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Places for good fondue?

chowciao Feb 13, 2007 04:54 AM

I know folks have really disliked The Wine Cellar and The Melting Pot on these boards. I must confess I love the idea of fondue though. Are there any places in the metro Boston area that offer great fondue (both entree and dessert)?

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  1. pamalamb RE: chowciao Feb 13, 2007 05:08 AM

    I've never been, but I've heard good things about the chocolate fondue at the B-Side Lounge in Cambridge.

    1. gini RE: chowciao Feb 13, 2007 05:12 AM

      Grotto has a Fontina cheese fondue served with steak tips and portobello mushrooms for an appetizer that is quite appealing.

      B Side's gouda skillet is pretty good - I didn't know they had a chocolate fondue as well.

      Evidently Grendle's serves a fondue, but I've never actually eaten there.

      5 Replies
      1. re: gini
        heathermb RE: gini Feb 13, 2007 05:32 AM

        Once upon a time Grendel's did a great fondue dinner deal for two: salad, cheese fondue, carafe of white wine, and chocolate fondue...all for about $20...of course that was 15 years ago! I used to go pretty regularly with a friend of german/swiss descent and he said it was as close to authentic as he'd had in the states. I had heard Grendel's didn't serve it anymore but would be thrilled to be wrong!

        No. 9 Park also has (had?) a delicious Gorgonzola fondue that they serve with lamb for dipping...I've only tasted a few bites but remember it being quite delicious.

        1. re: heathermb
          Pia RE: heathermb Feb 13, 2007 05:48 AM

          Sadly, you're right -- Grendel's doesn't have fondue anymore (and in fact, they don't have that portion of the dining room where they used to serve real food at all).

          1. re: Pia
            ursamajor RE: Pia Feb 14, 2007 12:05 AM

            Haven't been to Grendel's in over a year, so I'm sad to hear they took the fondue off the menu. It wasn't the best, but it was a good warming winter dish, and even better at half-price before a certain time.

        2. re: gini
          fenian RE: gini Feb 17, 2007 02:59 AM

          I second B-Side's and also mention Eastern Standard's baked raclette. The former is large and decadent; the latter is smaller but more interesting.

          1. re: fenian
            heathermb RE: fenian Feb 20, 2007 06:46 PM

            I've had the ESK raclette twice and it's delicious. It's not the traditional preparation since obviously they can't lug a raclette maker to the table, but it's the proper cheese melted over little white potatoes and cornichons. Served with bread for dipping and smearing. It's a smaller portion (app) but VERY decadent and filling.

        3. MC Slim JB RE: chowciao Feb 13, 2007 05:22 AM

          I've heard horrible things about The Melting Pot (nasty chain) and The Wine Cellar (ridiculous prices), too. I've had those fondues at the B-Side and Grotto, and they're both worthwhile.

          One place not mentioned is Avenue One in the Hyatt Regency (the former Swissotel) in Downtown Crossing. They used to do several dinner fondues, but the only thing I see on their current online menu is a chocolate dessert fondue served in their lounge.

          1. sailormouth RE: chowciao Feb 13, 2007 06:37 AM

            You could try the Temple Bar on Mass Ave near Harvard Law. Decent fondue, abysmal service. I think they bus the people in from Grouchland. But okay fondue none the less.

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              ap65065 RE: chowciao Feb 13, 2007 09:24 AM

              Sorriso has a really good fonduta appetizer.

              5 Replies
              1. re: ap65065
                mangorita RE: ap65065 Feb 14, 2007 02:20 AM

                I will second Sorriso's "Italian Cheese Fondue". It is not served in a fondue pot so those looking for the experience of the fondue pot and sticks may not be fully satisfied ;)... but the hot cheese is quite tasty and they give an interesting assortment of bites to dip with... cornichons, smoked oysters, and toasted bread amongst other things.

                1. re: mangorita
                  cmd RE: mangorita Feb 14, 2007 04:08 PM

                  I like this one as well, but didn't think the cornichons went all that well with the fondue (didn't try the oysters).

                  Last winter Ivy had a really good "fonduta" on the menu. They took it off when the weather got warm. I haven't been recently to see if it's back, but it was really very good--I think it was fontina and something else.

                  1. re: cmd
                    alpina RE: cmd Feb 25, 2007 08:34 PM

                    I believe the cornichons are to be eaten as a palate cleanser, not to be dipped into the fondue. They do this in Switz. so I don't think its wierd. It's like pickled ginger with sushi.

                    1. re: alpina
                      cmd RE: alpina Mar 6, 2007 03:57 PM

                      Well, don't I feel gauche! Thank you for the info... who knew? (Well, um, you did...and probably a variety of people who were shaking their heads and laughing.)

                      At least I don't try to drink the finger bowls...

                  2. re: mangorita
                    mintchip RE: mangorita Feb 15, 2007 04:12 AM

                    I've got to add my .02 cents on the cornichons here. I was in the Swiss Alps a few weeks ago for a wedding. The rehersal dinner was at a place that served a delightful fondue. Along side they served chunks of bread, cornichon and pineapple chunks!! I was the only American there, and the only one who thought it was a bizarre combination. Oh, they also had slices of fresh garlic to go w/ the cheese. (see my picture!)

                2. Chris VR RE: chowciao Feb 13, 2007 10:04 AM

                  Shabu-Zen and Kaze offer what is essentially a fondue experience- cook the veggies/meat/fish yourself in your pot of broth at your table.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Chris VR
                    bachslunch RE: Chris VR Mar 6, 2007 01:45 PM

                    Of the two, I much prefer Shabu-Zen. The one time we went to Kaze, they seemed understaffed, slow, and disorganized. And the food, while not bad, wasn't up to Shabu-Zen's standards in terms of things like veggie freshness. Shabu-Zen has been properly and professionally staffed the several times I've been there.

                  2. b
                    BJK RE: chowciao Feb 13, 2007 10:07 AM

                    Sorellina has a very tasty fondue appetizer topped with thinly sliced soppressata (sp?).


                    1. b
                      bakemeacake RE: chowciao Feb 13, 2007 10:23 AM

                      My hubby and I ate at "Central Kitchen" last night where we enjoyed a delectable dish of blue cheese fondue served with apples and fruit/nut bread (savory not sweet). We also ended up asking for some regular baguette as we wanted to sop up every last drop of cheese. It was quite yummy!

                      1. c
                        chompie RE: chowciao Feb 16, 2007 08:26 PM

                        anthing fondue north of boston??

                        1. b
                          BJK RE: mstead1 Feb 17, 2007 04:20 AM

                          I'd beg to differ regarding the Wine Cellar. Decent cheese fondue itself, but served with the poorest quality bread and potatoes. Really uninspired ingredients.


                          1. t
                            taxi RE: chowciao Feb 22, 2007 01:23 PM

                            What a great question? I also enjoy fondue. I used to serve it homemade when I had parties in the 70's when it was so 'in'. I heard of a place in Boston called DeVille's. I don't know if it is still around. I think it was on Congress Street.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: taxi
                              pamalamb RE: taxi Feb 22, 2007 03:04 PM

                              It's attached to the Kings bowling alley. The food was just ok.

                            2. MC Slim JB RE: chowciao Feb 22, 2007 03:06 PM

                              Incidentally, I had that steak and mushroom fondue again at Grotto the other night: outstanding.

                              1. ek0ehler RE: chowciao Mar 2, 2007 06:57 AM

                                The Wine Cellar during Restaurant Week isn't bad.

                                1. b
                                  bizzy50 RE: chowciao Mar 2, 2007 10:26 AM

                                  I know it's a little bit of a hike but Wild Horse Cafe in Beverly has a great fondue and a cozy atmosphere to boot.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: bizzy50
                                    gini RE: bizzy50 Mar 2, 2007 10:59 AM

                                    I didn't realize they served fondue! I think the bar there is actually really comfortable.

                                  2. i
                                    italyinmind RE: chowciao Mar 6, 2007 01:14 PM

                                    Anthem near North Station serves fondue with garlic croutons that is delicious! There is also an option to have crabmeat in the fondue. I especially like the fact that they weren't stingy wtih the bread like I've found other places.

                                    1. v
                                      Valyn RE: chowciao Mar 6, 2007 03:29 PM

                                      I've spent a lot of time in Switzerland (used to work for a Swiss company) and making traditional cheese fondue at home is so easy it's criminal to pay for it, pluse I haven't found anything good in Boston. Cornichons with cheese fondue is a classic combination, along with apples, potatoes and a yummy baguette!

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