This past Friday night, as the winds were blowing outside and the cars freezing on the street, Ben Reiner and I were enjoying a warm toasty meal inside Bathurst & Dupont's unfamiliar gem.
During the week, a friend of mine was looking for a fondue restaurant for her birthday party and although I suggested Misto to her, she was frightened by the "Japanese Swiss" theme. Fellow chowhounds, there is no need to raise eyebrows or be frightened one bit. The restaurant is owned by a sweet couple - the wife Japanese and the husband chef Swiss - who have obviously found the perfect balance of their nationalities, not only in life but also in the kitchen. So, while reading the menu online, I became intrigued, and since I knew I wasn't going to be able to try it for the birthday party, I suggested to my honey that we go this week.
It was indeed a great choice! We reserved our table the night before and let them know that we were going to order the fondue (which requires 24 hours notice). The fondue is offered for 2 people, and the raclette for 4 (also requires 24 hours notice).
While we were sitting there, we noticed how the owner and wait staff seemed to know everyone by name, greeted them as they entered and left the restaurant, and spent time chatting with them at their tables. When our waiter came to take our order, he already knew that we were ordering the fondue, but asked us if we would like a drink or appetizer beforehand. He suggested a delicious bordeaux and the house-cured gravlax, which I had wanted to try anyways. Both were delicious openings for the main to come.
The fondue was set in the middle of the table, hot and bubbling, and a large bowl of french bread pieces on the side (more bread was offered later as the supply ran out). We were also given small bowls of kirsch - a colorless liqour for an added kick with each bite. The cheese was amazing. The wife/owner came to visit us a couple of times to ensure that we were enjoying ourselves, and to keep an eye on the flame. When we were nearly done, she recommended that we scrape the "burnt" cheese at the bottom of the pot, which she described as her favorite part. It sure was good!
We were too stuffed for dessert but we took her suggestion of some peppermint tea to sooth our stomachs and allow the cheese to be digested.
We will definitely be going back, but have a difficult decision to make. Do we bring some friends along and try the raclette, or do we just go back ourselves and try some of the other delicious mains like the maitre d'misto? Such a dilemma..but one that I look forward to.