Fans of fondue will be delighted to know that Craft Food & Beverage Co. in Marquee Place on West Bay Road offers a special menu on Melting Pot Wednesdays, bubbling over with cheeses and chocolate. There is just something so decadent about fondue in Cayman – you get all the feeling of being in a ski lodge without the sub-zero temperatures and snow outside.
I made my way to Craft with my friends Lynne Firth and Sue Fleming one breezy Wednesday night to give the menu a try. We had all visited fondue restaurants in the U.S. in the past, and so were keen to try this dining experience a little closer to home. For those unfamiliar with fondue (originating from the French verb “fondre,” which means “to melt”), it is a wonderfully social meal to enjoy, where diners are given long forks with which to pick up chunks of bread, meat or fruit, dunking them in a communal pot of hot cheese, oil or chocolate. The pot sits on a portable stove, and so its contents remain consistently liquid.
On the evening that we attended, we had a choice of Alpine, Moroccan or Dublin Cheese pots with a selection of breads. We could also order extras like vegetables, crispy fried oysters, and meat, like sausage and Craft bacon, to add to the mix.
With three of us to share, and all of us pretty hungry, we went with the Alpine and Moroccan, as well as roasted vegetables and the meat choice. We figured that would keep us pretty happy, and we could always order more if we needed to.
Well, the moment it arrived it was obvious we wouldn’t need to add anything extra. In fact, we weren’t sure we’d make it through everything we’d been given. One of these pots is easily enough to serve two to three people, particularly if you take advantage of some of the side dishes.
The Alpine fondue is a heady mix of white wine and garlic, aged Gruyère, provolone, lemon and grated nutmeg, while the Moroccan fondue blends Gruyère, provolone, Moroccan spices and garlic for a completely different flavor. The Dubliner (which I’ll be back to try another time) combines mild and aged Irish cheddars. Yummy.
What followed was a wonderful evening of truly delicious food. May I recommend the Alpine and Craft bacon as a combination, as well as the Moroccan with carrots and Brussels sprouts? Although, honestly, you won’t go wrong no matter what you choose. We couldn’t decide which cheese we preferred – they were both excellent.
Despite the fact that we were almost full-to-busting, we had to try the chocolate fondue dessert with a swirl of cream. We didn’t add Grand Marnier, but that is an option. The fondue was served with fruit and brownies for dipping. You can only imagine…
Thus ended one of the best dining experiences we’ve had in a long time. Next time we’ll probably indulge in a bottle of wine as well, as select wines are on special on Wednesday too.
I’ve never been a skier, so it’s great to know that I can enjoy this Swiss tradition without resembling the Michelin Man on the bunny slopes.