The next best thing to being wooed by Pavarotti himself is having an après ski glass of wine and appetizer at Pavarotti and Friends in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Sit elbow to elbow with locals and savvy international visitors who know that unwinding at Pavarotti’s is the best game in town.,/p>
The owner, Deny Mainente, is a dead ringer for the classical opera singer and he sounds very much like the real deal, too. He shaves off thin slices of prosciutto while humming along and breaks out into song every so often as he serves the fresh meats, cheeses, and authentic Italian pasta with a Cheshire cat grin.
Ask him for recommendations, and he will size you up perfectly and make a suggestion that is appropriate for the level of celebration you intend and the amount of trouble you want to get into!
Pavarotti’s is a fully stocked wine bar where Chianti, Bordeaux, and Champagne comingle in the tiny cave. Cases of red, white, sparkling, and everything in between are stacked among the customers sitting at farm tables. I am not sure how he does inventory, but I know that he goes through it quickly in ski season, so perhaps it doesn’t matter.
Mainente is definitely a wine snob — I saw many vintage bottles of Dom Pérignon and Lynch-Bages, but he also carries reasonably priced wines that taste wonderful and fit every budget, like Vermentino’s Bolgheri.
Stop in after an exhausting day of skiing, order a glass (or two) of your favorite libation, and you will be sure to come away feeling like you have made friends with the most entertaining celebrity in the village of St. Moritz.