Winter may feel cold and bleak but there are plenty of ways to warm up and dethaw, including some hot, melted fondue. Sweet or savoury, these restaurants have you covered with the best fondue in Toronto.
It almost seems archaic. I was chatting with my mom the other day about this assignment and she started getting all nostalgic about how her and her friends used to throw fondue parties in the 80s. I kept playing over disastrous montages in my head of Gail’s overly-hairsprayed red locks catching fire on the open flame as she went to dredge a slice of raw beef into the bubbling oil. Back then, fondue was the single biggest consumer fire hazard since the 1978 recall of the Ford Pinto.
Nowadays, things aren’t so dodgy around the dinner table but it’s not all that often you see ‘our generation’ dolling out invites for fondue parties. That said, if you’re craving some cheesy, chocolaty, or meaty melted meals, here are six fulfilling fondue restaurants around Toronto…
215 Madison Ave
Indulgent dessert fiends will swoon over the silky, rich chocolate fondue at this Yorkville establishment. Made from a Valrhona Chocolate, diners have a choice of 66% dark chocolate, milk chocolate or white chocolate ($24). Each serving feeds about 2-3 people and comes with a selection of seasonal fruit and a chef’s choice of cakes and pastries that are prepared daily. Additional dippers are $2 each, and when one just isn’t enough an additional pot of chocolate will run you $8.
Caren’s Wine and Cheese Bar
1118 Yonge St
As expert purveyors of wine and cheese, it’s not surprising that Caren’s in Rosedale is an oasis for fancy fromage and fine chocolate. The French bistro offers a classic fondue and blue/brie fondue with mouth-watering fixings, toasty bread and figs ($24). If your appetite is sweet then order the chocolate fondue, complete with fruit, marshmallows, and banana bread pudding ($24).
7 Elm St
Pricey but powerful, Barberian’s offers late night theatre-goers a power meal for after the play. Available as part of their After Ten Theatre Menu, hungry epicureans can indulge in a Cheese Fondue for Two ($52) or the French classic Beef Fondue Bourguignon for Two ($95). At that price, the meal may not be the only thing you’re taking a bite of.
Art Square Gallery & Café
334 Dundas St. West
Earn extra points with your cultured date by popping by Art Square Gallery & Café after taking in an exhibit at the AGO. Not only do they have a fine collection of intriguing exhibits and excellent workshops, but Art Square has a tasty little fondue menu, too. Both cheese and chocolate fondue ($16.50) are served with wafer-thin crepes. The chocolate fondue also comes with a selection of fresh fruit and can be spiked with Grand Marnier or Amaretto if the mood strikes ya.
Mill Street Beer Hall
21 Tank House Lane
As the name “Cheese Fun Due” implies, Mill Street Beer Hall puts a twist on the classic cheese fondue ($25). Perfect for two to four people, the gooey pot of goodness comes with some unlikely but drool-worthy sides: three different cheeses, TANKHOUSE ALE bratwurst, apple, roasted beet, smashed potatoes and a giant pretzel. Fun indeed.
52 Wellington St East
Reservoir Lounge is as much about the food as it is having a good night out. Enjoy the hottest jazz and swing music in the swanky underground establishment as you indulge in the Chocolate Fondue for Two ($14). And not just any chocolate, Cognac infused chocolate served with fresh strawberries for a sweet night of fun.
18 King St East
This one’s for the alcohol enthusiasts! If beer is your jam then Beer Bistro’s Cheese & Lager Fondue is right up your alley. Aged Cheddar and emmental are infused with thirst-inducing Hacker-Pschorr Edelhell, a flavourful German lager. Pair it with another pint and you’ll be feeling just fine and dandy. Not to mention $17 is a pretty good price tag.
600 King St West
Fondue is currently in season at Bier Markt, from February 1st to March 2nd. Their annual Bier & Fondue Festival comes in flights of three ($12) or six ($19) cheeses from around the world – Chimay, Gruyere, Double Brie, Saint-Pailin, Beemster Classic and Stilton – and comes with a compote du jour and bistro bread. There’s also a lobster, brie and Pernod fondue ($23) or a cheese and lager offering ($21). For the animalistically inclined, there’s an NY strip with Leffe Brune broth ($43) and an Asian inspired duck with lemongrass and ginger broth ($39). The dark Belgian chocolate dessert fondue ($16) comes alongside sweet vanilla pastry with cream filling and fresh fruit.
What’s your favourite fondue restaurant in Toronto? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.