Secret location, somewhere around Merano
For initiates only (you will need a local “contact” to get you in). This is one of the strangest places in the region but well worth it. This “restaurant” is actually a private club and one needs a code and password to get into the restaurant. From the moment you step inside, you cross into a bizarre retro-kitsch fetishistic fantasy that simply escapes traditional design concepts. The food is a set menu — between five and ten dishes — and there is a vegetarian option (actually better than the non-vegetarian one) which is creative, seasonal and fresh: first we had a barley salad with sweet peppers, followed by a delicious chestnut soup with potatoes (fantastic, except for the color), then imported South-American asparagus. After the asparagus, Carletto served us one of those giant raviolis with a sophisticated name that a non-Italian speaker simply would not remember: it had an egg inside (sunny-side up). Superb. It was the clou (high point) of the meal. This was followed by a delicious zucchini and mushroom soufflé with béchamel sauce and finally a chocolate mousse, which was merely adequate. The experience was altogether sensational because of the ambiance, outrageous interior (make sure you visit the toilets) and cloak-and-dagger entry process.