La Table du Vingt-Deux

Verbier’s gourmet secret

Claude Hervé-Bazin
Urheberrechte ©
Christophe Voisin
Winter 2023-2024

Hidden behind a bookshelf at the back of Le Crock No Name awaits La Table du Vingt-Deux,
which proposes an innovative and refined fine-dining menu in a speakeasy setting. It’s an off-the-record address that’s already cherished by those “in the know.”

Taking centre stage is Le Crock; Le Crock No Name to be precise, an excellent bar that’s known for one of its mixologists, Thibaut (formerly a carpenter!), winning the Verbier Bar Challenge in 2023 - despite being up against eight other (almost as) highly skilled competitors. Technique, creativity, and style won gold for Thibaut, who is an expert at capturing Verbier’s unique mix of expertise, etiquette, and relaxation, spiced up with a dash of cool attitude. Start your night off here with a curated selection of cocktails and an array of gourmet tapas that are both hyper local and globally cosmopolitan.

The secret gets out
A few years ago, the boss, Pierre Jean Leclercq, acquired a room located behind the bar, which was a former tattoo parlour. Pierre Jean received his diploma in hospitality in Belgium and he liked to cook for his friends and staff, but he wasn’t quite sure what to do with the extra (but tiny) space. After giving it some thought, he decided to create an intimate table d’hôtes inspired by American speakeasys, which proliferated in the USA during prohibition. The wall that separated the two buildings was modified to create a hidden door, encased in a bookshelf, to complete the perfect speakeasy effect.

The name came about because the address is 22 rue des Creux, and the room seats 22 people. Inside, the open kitchen originally faced two large tables, which were later split into smaller tables for more intimacy. The venue has always served a prix fixe menu that revolves around local ingredients to minimize its carbon footprint.

Jackpot. The secret about La Table du Vingt-Deux (22) spread like wildfire. Soon guest chefs were invited to take part, like Mirto Marchesi, a friend who earned a Michelin star as chef at Chalet d’Adrien; or Adam Bateman, from Sir Richard Branson’s Verbier super chalet the Lodge; or even Thomas Vado, from Taratata (which scored highly with Gault&Millau), who recently put La Table du 22 on the Michelin Guide’s radar. Thomas, who is from Nice and who also occasionally DJs, only travels to select locations: Saint-Paul-de-Vence with starred chef Alain LLorca; Courchevel; Ibiza; the Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne; and the W Hotel in Verbier… nothing but beautiful places with beautiful people and top-of-the-line establishments.

A maxim of proximity
The speakeasy is known for its discretion and yet there’s nothing awkward about 22. The chef works right in front of your eyes, in an ambiance that is sometimes lively, sometimes romantic, but always friendly and set to the timing of the six-course meal. “Two pre-starters, two appetizers, plus a main course, dessert, and a cheese option,” explains Pierre Jean. In the kitchen, Thomas evokes his Mediterranean origins, with a personal preference for fish and vegetables. “I love making vegetables shine,” confesses the chef, who willingly adapts the menu for vegetarians.

At La Table du Vingt-Deux, most of the ingredients are from Switzerland and Valais: caviar and sustainably farmed blue shrimp from Rheinfelden, and butter and cheese from the Laiterie de Verbier and the Fromathèque de Martigny. When it comes to wines, the restaurant’s wine list leans towards Fully and Saint-Pierre-de-Clages. One of their favourites is La Cave Saint-Ours, which is “100% organic, using old vines, and which produces only 300 bottles a year of Petite Arvine. One of the things I’m passionate about and love about my job is finding small wine producers who create exceptional products,” adds Pierre Jean.

The menu changes every two to three weeks. It’s the perfect excuse for winter visitors to come back every three weeks, so as not to miss a single menu variation. The only downside is that the establishment is almost always fully booked, so plan to reserve at least one month in advance… unless you get extra lucky because Pierre Jean happened to set aside a few tables for VIP walk-ins. Regardless, the regulars know to be ready to make reservations as soon as bookings open in early November and again in early June.

Le Crock No Name is open Tuesday to Sunday; La Table du Vingt-Deux is open Wednesday to Sunday from 19:00 to midnight.