In Italy a distinction is made between ristoranti, more formal restaurants, and trattorie, more informal restaurants with rustic food like grandma used to prepare it. The Gambero Rosso guide awards 1, 2 or 3 forks (forchette) to the best restaurants, and 1, 2 or 3 shrimp (gamberi) to the best trattorias. There are only 18 trattorias with 3 gamberi in all of Italy, and Pretzhof is one of them.
Pretzhof is a farm in South Tyrol (Südtirol or Alto Adige), the German-speaking region of Italy, near the border with Austria. It is located at the end of a road in the Pfitschtal/Val di Vizze, near Sterzing/Vipiteno. The restaurant only has daily specials, because they turn whatever the season or farm offers into local dishes, based on Grandmother’s recipes.
…as well as a selection of cold cuts made on the farm. The roast veal and veal carpaccio are amazing. Often these lack in flavor, but these are a revelation. There was also smoked and unsmoked prosciutto, as well as boiled and smoked ham and a dry sausage of pork and beef. The farro (wheat) that came with it was a nice accompaniment. These cold cuts were the star of the dinner and worth coming to Pretzhof for. 10/10
There is no written menu, but today’s options are rattled off by the owner. It all sounds so great that it is difficult to choose. We decided to pick different dishes and share, in order to try as much as possible. One of the primi we chose was goulash soup, a lot of small pieces of beef in a flavorful broth. 8/10
Most grandmothers in Italy are most famous for their meatballs, polpette. And so I wanted to try them as one of the secondi. These were very flavorful as they included local greens, pork and beef, and were served with mashed potatoes with great potato flavor. 9/10
Black currant semifreddo with slices of peach and apricot sauce. 9/10
This meal at Pretzhof was a great start of our trip to Italy. It is very obvious that the quality of the produce from the farm makes a huge difference and takes simple dishes to a whole new level. I’m rating the food 8.5/10, which is comparable to restaurants with 1 Michelin star. Even though the food at Pretzhof is rustic, it certainly is as delicious if not more delicious than what you get at a restaurant with 1 star.The check for two including drinks and coffee came to 162 euros, so not cheap but certainly value for money. The service is good and friendly, 8/10. For such a simple restaurant, they have a great wine list with a good selection of affordable bottles.