It's cold, dark and windy. You round the corner at 8th and there on the south side of 53rd is a small red entrance that opens to a long narrow room in exposed brick. I thought a fondue sounded good last night. Sold it to the Golf Foxtrot and off we went. I can't remember the last time I had fondue but am pretty sure it was under Trad Dad's roof. Back then it was a pot of hot oil and pieces of steak.
Despite a take away menu I had picked up from Swizz when they were closed (dinner only), the Fondue for two is $35 and not $21 (that's for one). The wine list made up for that misunderstanding with every selection under $40 and a great selection for $30 or less. Still, you're not getting outta here for less than a hundred. That seems to be the law in Manhattan.
We did the TRADitional Gruyere and Emmenthal cheese with bread and a bottle of French Chardonnay. A couple things I should have thought of. Fondue places are notorious for parties. Brick walls are good for the reflection of sound. Parties and brick walled restaurants are not a good pairing. Lastly, I'm lactose intolerant. Neither was a welcome realization.
I liked the fondue. It has an earthy taste and seems to be one note until you get into it. And I got into it. The cold Chardonnay is perfect for the hot cheese although I think a dry Riesling might be better. The waiter was alone but moved like greased lightning and refused to let me play with the Sterno.
I can't help but think how these walls would look with a few Swiss posters rather than somebody's endless supply of macro shots of flowers with their prices stuck next them. It's a cheesey thing to do in any restaurant. Fondue or not.
Not a bad place but not worth a hundred bucks. I'd like to go back for the Raclette cheese served over boiled potatoes, gherkins and silver onions but I may have a tough time selling it to the Foxtrot. She was underwhelmed. Although we did a brisk walk home when the stomach reminded me of that problem with dairy. Brick walls and dairy... never forget.