Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a Maman “Fondue Like the French Do” dinner party at their Soho location, which ironically fell on National Cheese Lovers Day. The city was slightly subdued for a Friday night following the bustle of inauguration, and from first glance, the café looked closed. Technically it was, for us!
We walked to the back room, which was set up with fondue bowls, beautiful flower arrangements, mood lighting, and fun communal tables. Because of my gluten allergy, Maman was kind enough to give me a separate fondue bowl at the end of the table so I didn’t have to worry about other people’s breadcrumbs (in fact, they were super accommodating the entire meal!)
Photo by Hanna Stefansson
We started with some lovely canapes: pigs in a blanket and zucchini, kale and ricotta quiches. They were fresh out of the oven and piping hot. Next, we had the mixed green salad with green onions, and the coleslaw salad with green apples, cheddar, and almonds. Both were full of flavor and great family-style dishes to prep our stomachs before the dairy binge.
We were all eager to get started with the main event. The owner showed us his favorite way to start the fondue – with white wine – and mixed three favorite cheeses into our pot for melting. The fondue was served with potatoes, roasted cauliflower, and fresh French bread. I was worried I wouldn’t get full enough without more of a substantive main but we were so very full and satisfied by the end of our meal that I couldn’t make room for dessert!
This is such a fun way to spend an evening, either as a Valentine’s date or a get together with friends. Fondue makes for an entertaining, silly, and messy night of decadent cheese and good French wine.
Have no fear; you don’t need a national cheese holiday to experience one of these delightful evenings. There are two events in February (the 7th in Soho and the 21st in Greenpoint) you can sign up for, just in time for Valentines Day! Tickets are available online and are $65 per person.
Photo by Melissa Hom