If Old Man Winter were to pick his perfect plus-one, he would surely choose fondue — the ideal partner for cold, snowy days and nights – not to mention #ValenDinesDay. Order fondue and you’ve got a sexy dish to share with a date — or a fun-loving dunking dish for a group of friends, who gather to twirl their fondue forks, speared with a chunk of crunchy baguette, into a swirl of Gruyere cheese. Or, a ripe strawberry chunk into a bubbling gooey pit of semi-sweet chocolate. Here are seven restaurants for fondue — some so traditional you can practically hear yodeling, others more extravagant for experimental fonduers.
Fondue with a view — of the Wasatch Mountains. You have a choice: The Rocky Mountain Fondue, with smoked local Gold Creek cheddar, Gruyere, and fontina, served with marbled potatoes, freshly baked bread, apples, pears, and grapes. Or go with the chocolate fondue, a sinful combo of cherry Kirschwasser and semi-sweet chocolate that comes with cashew brittle, strawberries, pineapple, and cubes of housemade pound cake. Make a reservation at Lookout Cabin.
Swiss Chalet, Vail, Colorado
Luxe it up and order the Champagne fondue, an alpler fondue blend with Champagne and black Périgord truffles served with a baguette. Meat lovers can opt for the fondue Bourguignonne — a boiling pot of oil with beef tenderloin that’s served with potatoes, winter veggies, and dipping sauces. Cheese lovers will be lured by the alpler fondue mit krauter — imported Swiss cheese with white wine, Kirschwasser, garlic, and fresh herbs — that’s accompanied by potatoes, winter vegs, and baguette. Make a reservation at Swiss Chalet.
Murray’s Cheese Bar, New York, New York
This popular West Village shop is Manhattan’s favorite cheese market (it dates back to 1940) where in-the-know New Yorkers go to buy a chunk of Murray’s Stilton or Cavemaster Reserve Annelies. And it also serves The Fondue in the shop’s lively adjoining restaurant. It’s a simple wintertime treat, but there’s nothing pedestrian about it — order the Alpine-style cheese with Chablis and nutmeg. The fondue’s sidekick: a toasted country loaf from Pain D’Avignon. Make a reservation at Murray’s Cheese Bar.
La Fondue, Saratoga, California
Fondue here is an experience, not a meal. There are more than 50 fondues served tableside — including thos with exotic meats like kangaroo, alligator, antelope, and wild boar. Or, sea scallops, lobster tails, and black tiger shrimp. Grab friends and order Le Freak for $325, and you’ll get a taste of “everything we offer.” The restaurant sports four separate themed dining rooms and five cooking methods for your fondue — such as punsch (spiced red wine with cloves and rosemary). Make a reservation at La Fondue.