2 Park Ave., at 32nd St., 212-725-8585
Chef Terrance Brennan's brasserie-cum-fromagerie stands as one of the city's top destinations for all things cheese, with roughly 200 types in house. Settle down on one of their many banquettes and take your pick of the staple cheese fondues in petite (1-3 persons) and grande (4-6 persons) selections—or try their chocolate fondue à deux.
• Cheeses: Classic Swiss; "Artisanal Blend" of beauford, cow's milk, and sauvignon blanc; stilton and sauternes; and a fondue du jour. Petite, $24. Grande, $40.
• Side dishes: Air-dried beef, fingerling potatoes, kielbasa, crudites, beef tip, and apples, each for an additional cost.
• Chocolate fondue served with homemade marshmallows, madeleines, other confections, and fruit. $22.
416 Third Ave., between 29th and 30th Sts., 212- 481-1712; dipnyc.comPart lounge, part pool bar, part restaurant, DIP may have an identity complex, but it does dish out delicious fondues, plus various dips and small plates. On Valentine's Day, both the inviting and dimly lit downstairs area and the upstairs lounge, outfitted with couches and a pool table, host a prix fixe dinner that guarantees each table a choice of fondue—from white cheddar to "vanilla champagne"—plus a helping of chocolate covered strawberries with dessert.
• Cheeses: White Vermont cheddar; emmanthaler and gruyere; "Tex-Mex" Monterrey pepperjack cheese. All served with vegetables, a baguette and walnut-raisin bread. Tex-Mex also comes with grilled chicken and shrimp
• Chocolates: Belgian milk chocolate; semi-sweet Belgian chocolate mixed with peanut butter; Champagne and vanilla bean. Served with fresh fruits, brownie bites, rice crispy treats and marshmallows
• $60 per person prix fixe menu with either three items, a fondue and a champagne or wine bottle, or one item, two fondues and a champagne or wine bottle. Taking reservations.
- 3. Punch & Judy
26 Clinton St., between Houston and Stanton Sts., 212-982-1116
The Lower East Side's best and coziest wine bar, Punch & Judy is bathed in an amber glow and decked out with deep, dark red couches to compliment all that vin rouge. Their chocolate fondue, a decadent dessert staple, will be part of a special Valentine's prix fixe for two.
• Chocolate fondue served with fresh fruits and chunks of cake.
• $40 prix fixe per couple includes a bottle of champagne and chocolate fondue; the regular menu will also be available.
- 4. Dylan Prime
62 Laight St., at Greenwich St., 212-334-4783; dylanprime.comYes, it's a steakhouse, but Dylan Prime is also home to noteworthy cheese fondues. Served on a lazy susan, the fondue is intended as a starter for hungry groups of 4 to 6 persons, looking for something to nibble while picking out entrees and appetizers. Though there are no fondues just for two, the romantic restaurant and lounge's floor-to-ceiling windows, wine bottle displays, and candlelight are certainly couple-friendly.
• Cheeses: A mix of Pierre Robert, gruyere, white cheddar, gorgonzola, and taleggio. Served with apples, bacon, onions, and bread. Cheese fondue, $18. With beef on the side, $24.
- 5. Mont Blanc
306 W. 48th St., between Eighth and Ninth Aves., 212-582-9648, montblancrestaurant.com
Swiss and Austrian fare—including five types of fondue for two—make up the menu at this reliable Theater District old-timer. Here, patrons are mainly middle-aged and the dining setup is traditional: white tablecloths, mini clusters of coordinating flowers, and rustic touches. There's no Valentine's menu, but you can treat yourselves to the raclette, a cheese dish which arrives with a melt-it-yourself grill.
• Cheeses: A blend of imported gruyere, ementhauler, brie, and Swiss cheeses, $39; raclette $40.
• Seafood: Shrimp, scallops, salmon, and tilapia. $42.
• Beef: filet mignon. $49.
• Each served with salad and potatoes.
• Chocolate fondue served with fruits and pound cake. $16.
- 6. Fondue
303 E. 80th St., between First and Second Aves., 212-772-2390; fonduelounge.com
With an all-fondue menu and minimal, Moroccan-inspired decor—teeny mosaic-tiled tables, satin cushions, a few candles and gauzy drapes—this inconspicuous spot practically oozes romance. This Valentine's Day, Fondue ups the ante with scattered rose petals and a prix fixe menu meant for two.
• Cheeses: Gruyere and Swiss, served with a choice of vegetables and bread.
• Chocolates: Belgian chocolate; caramel. Served with fruit sprinkled with powdered sugar or with marshmallows, graham crackers, and rice crispy treats.
• $100 prix fixe per couple for a cheese fondue, a dessert fondue, and champagne or wine. A la carte service only at the bar.
Two for Fondue
Made for dipping, nibbling, and sharing, fondue just may be the perfect Valentine's dish.
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