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81 Good

An East Village restaurant dedicated to the Swiss art of scraping melted wheels of cheese over plates of roast potatoes and other delicious things.

195 Ave. A, New York, NY, 10009



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The lowdown

Traditionally, the Swiss dish raclette was made by melting cheese over a roaring wood fire, ideally one located within some cozy mountain chalet. The logistics involved with melting cheeses over wood fires inside modest-sized East Village restaurants being prohibitively complex, Edgar Villongco, the chef-owner of this terrific establishment, opted for an alternative. His electric countertop cheese-melters may look like something you’d lock a two-by-four into to facilitate sawing, but they get the job done. How does it work? A half-wheel of raclette (the Swiss cheese after which both the dish and the restaurant are named) is propped on its side and strapped into the device, its surface exposed to a heating rod that melts and bubbles the cut end from above like a Corner Bistro cheeseburger. When the tanning-booth session is complete, and the top layer of fromage is lightly browned and suitably gooey, it’s scraped off with a wide knife over a plate of roast potatoes accompanied by bresaola, pickled onions, cornichons, and a sprightly arugula salad. The result is superb — rich and hearty and fairly transporting, like an alpine getaway on East 12th Street.

Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld

What you need to know

DrinksBeer and Wine

Noise LevelCivilized