2014-02-12 / Restaurant of the Week

SIMPLY FONDUE

Simply Fondue is simply a fun and unique way to spend an evening with friends or with your special Valentine. Indeed, what could be more romantic than sharing and dipping and feeding each other from across the table in your private cabana? It’s no wonder that Simply Fondue was voted “Most romantic restaurant” by Open Table for two years. Reservations are still being accepted for their special Valentine’s package which includes their signature three or four course fondue prix fixe dinners along with a complimentary photo and a glass of champagne. The offer will last all weekend too so everyone can join in.

Simply Fondue is a franchise begun in Texas and has played a starring role in the upscale Atlas Park shopping mall in Glendale for the last five years. Daniella Fernandez, along with her mother and brother, run Simply Fondue with an eye to excellent service and fun for all their guests. The sultry décor resembles an exotic lounge with low lighting, private cabanas with golden drapes for privacy and a hefty wood table with your own cooking surface to keep your fondues melted and warm.

Start with one of their designer martini cocktails from a list with over 100 items, including fine wines and beers. The “Lemon Drop” is a refreshing martini mixed with citrus vodka, Limoncello, and a slice of lemon for garnish. The “Skittles” martini has a colorful rim of sugar, and the chocolate martini is a big hit with the ladies. Enjoy one of these concoctions or a glass of wine or beer with an appetizer of stuffed mushrooms with creamy horseradish sauce, bacon wrapped filet mignon, or crunchy coconut shrimp served with a sweet Thai dipping sauce ($9). Friends gather at the spacious bar for cocktails and an assorted cheese board, a trio of hummus, or Simply calamari, which are so crisp and golden, served with zesty marinara sauce.

Both Daniella and our friendly server Joseph suggested the Combination Dinner designed for two and we concurred. We were served a wonderful salad composed of mixed greens and gorgonzola cheese and also sampled the spinach and strawberry salad. Next came our fondue, made before our eyes with our choice of cheese, which was the traditional Swiss Chalet Fondue made with hand-shredded cheeses, which were poured into a simmering broth, Next, a sprinkling of nutmeg and a splash of sherry brandy completed the complex flavors of this melted pot of lusciousness. You can also choose the spicy pepper jack fondue, Italian fontina cheese fondue, which we hear is quite popular, or the sharp cheddar fondue with beer, tomato pesto and sun-dried tomatoes.. Either way, you’ll be served an accompanying platter of fresh vegetables, cubed bread and fruit meant to be pierced with the long fondue forks and swirled around to soak up the savory melted cheese. Eat and enjoy is the only thing you need to do next.

After we’d had our fill of this delicious Swiss treat, our fondue course was swiftly cleared away and room was made for our next course: cooking our own entrée. A hot pot full of your choice of broth is brought so that you can cook meat, vegetables and seafood in it. The choices are all tempting, canola oil, vegetable bouillon, Mediterranean sangria, Cajun, or the fondue grill on which to cook your meat. We opted for the flavorful vegetable bouillon and happily dipped plump tiger shrimp, beef tenderloin, fresh mahi mahi, cubes of chicken breast, and even homemade ravioli into the simmering broth. It took just a couple of minutes to cook and was a whole lot of fun. Eating this way also allows you to slow down, relax and savor the whole experience, so when you visit Simply Fondue, plan to stay and enjoy for a couple of hours. Simply Fondue proudly serves only the finest quality food made with the best ingredients. Nothing is canned or bottled, there are no preservatives, and only the best cheeses and chocolate are used for their incredibly delicious fondues.

Speaking of chocolate, your special meal is finished with a sublime chocolate fondue, also flambéed before your eyes using your choice of milk chocolate, rich dark chocolate, or creamy white chocolate. There are 15 varieties of chocolate fondues with varieties such as bananas Foster, chocolate Grand Marnier, raspberry cabernet, and Kahlua Heath bar crunch. All these sweet, melted confections are served with cubes of Angel food cake, cheesecake, marshmallows, pineapple chunks, strawberries, rice crispy squares and brownies….yes brownies dipped in melted chocolate!

Simply Fondue provides a unique dining, social and romantic experience for all who visit. Enjoy a relaxing meal after an afternoon of shopping at Atlas Park, before a movie located there, or visit anytime you’d like a oneof a-kind meal. Simply Fondue is open seven days a week for dinner, from 4pm to 11pm on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and from 5pm to 11pm on Mondays to Wednesdays.

The food, cocktails, wine and beer are top quality, the ambience and service is excellent, and the ambience is really something special. Treat your Valentine any night of the year to a special meal at Simply Fondue.

71-19 80th Street | Atlas Park
Glendale | 718. 416.3755

www.simplyfonduenyc.com  Follow them on Facebook

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