Hotel Stern Restaurant
Astfeld 12, I-39058 Sarntal, BZ, Italy
Tel: +39 0471 623140
It has been a considerable time since we stayed here but Theo hasn't changed; neither have his menu classics, one of the most notorious of which being Prawns in Vodka cream sauce. This I found to be as wicked as ever with the vodka being added at the last moment to keep the flavour but also the alcoholic content (hic!). Served with plain rice it was still rich in spite of having leeks in the sauce as well as king prawns and I needed to supplement the rice with breadsticks to stay sober. Nick stuck to a plain steak and chips, which whilst not strictly on the menu was produced without hesitation. A dessert of Rosa's classic "Heisse Himbeeren" (for the uninitiated this is hot raspberries with ice cream and whipped cream) completed the meal, but this was so huge we shared one between us.
This particular week only the standard menu was offered, but there are frequently seasonal special menus - I think we fell between the wild mushroom menu and the pumpkin menu. Best of all is the spring "Spargel" menu with such delights as white and green asparagus soup served as yin-yan in a single dish.
If you want something more modest, although not necessarily smaller, the Stern has the only proper pizza oven in the village, so most of the locals come here for pizza and it gets very busy at weekends.
Verdict: Good as ever even though it has been some years since our last visit.