Tobias Schöpf was fortunate to learn his profession for four years at the side of Thorsten Probost in the “Griggeler Stuba” at Burgvital Resort in Lech am Arlberg, two of those years spent as sous chef! When, in 2015, he decided to take the step to becoming independent, he clearly had all the tools in his culinary tool chest that he would need to be successful and had already pinpointed the focus of the culinary direction he was about to pursue. And thanks to his girlfriend, Tanja Gohrke, he also had a charming restaurant manager, with exceptional wine expertise and invaluable experience also gathered at the Griggeler Stuba, at his side.
It quickly became apparent that the two of them have a real knack for the business. Their intimate restaurant, the “Fuxbau”, on the Arlberg is integrated into a building complex that includes apartments, a sporting goods store and a ski depot (below ground). Skiers can literally slice through the snow right outside the main door. Which in turn means, there is plenty of customer traffic, including guests with a refined palate.
The menu offers a refreshing succession of exquisite dishes prepared with a contemporary approach, featuring vegetables and other treasures of nature, perfectly prepared fish, as well as beautifully cultivated meat and game specialties, all of which can be counted on to indulge the palate with the perfect bite, meaty aromas and succulent jus. In their very first year, they received two toques from Gault Millau. This year, Tobias and his team augmented their score to a highly-laudable 16 points.
At lunchtime, skiers and boarders stop by to dine, sample a natural wine or two, then slip right back into their winter gear. With a clear conscience, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to them the four-course menu (62 euro!). Even the home-baked spelt bread with its crispy crust, served with whipped butter and fir-tip salt, is guaranteed to whet your appetite for more.
The first course is entitled “The Potato”, a very good indicator of this restaurant’s culinary style. Roasted crispy black salsify wallows in a light-and-airy potato foam aromatized with brown butter, sharing this delectable habitat with pickled chanterelles. Brussels sprouts leaves sautéed in butter and a yeast frappe complement this beautiful appetizer.
And because everything here has a moniker, the next visitor to the table is “The Old River Dweller”: a crawfish which greets the diner accompanied by cauliflower in different consistencies – as a cream, coarsely grated and steamed – along with braised leak and a crawfish foam. The fried golden trout is served with a parsnip purée, creamy pumpkin, mashed pumpkin, braised pumpkin as well as sea buckthorn, both as a cream and foam. The absolute definition of diversity on a single plate!
With the season for wild game in full swing, game also becomes a central theme on the menu at the Fuxbau. Mr. Schöpf Sr., a passionate hunter, supplies venison, ibex and chamois from hunting grounds in Klösterle. Diners are guaranteed to be eager to meet “The Mountain Dweller in Two Courses”. A quickly pan-fried saddle of chamois goat with creamy turnip and fermented sugar beet unites understated sweetness, acidity and umami with the flavor of game.
A braised shoulder of chamois comes with a purée of Jerusalem artichoke and puts quince on clear display: as a chip, dumpling and pickled in beer vinegar. Each course radiates assuredness in its composition and a balanced play of aromas. A quick lunch grabbed between runs on the Albona (please be aware: this is a piste!) almost doesn’t do this menu justice – though the restaurant is also open in the evening. When all said and done, we can fairly claim that, in terms of value-for-money, the Fuxbau on the Arlberg is second to none.
6762 Stuben am Arlberg 22
Tel.: +43/5582/301 88 400
open: Mo-Su, 8.a.m.-11.p.m.