Fondue-loving Valley diners are experiencing a dip in fortunes.
5223 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
Traditional Swiss-style fondue is typically a mix of Gruyère and Emmenthaler cheeses melted with dry white wine, a splash of kirsch (cherry brandy), a hint of garlic and a dusting of flour, but some Valley chefs turn this classic preparation on its head. At Windsor, the cheddar fondue ($12.50, pictured) is a happy marriage of white New York cheddar and Collier’s Powerful Welsh Cheddar with a smattering of parmesan cheese. To prepare, Executive Chef Cesar Jovel fashions a roux with flour and butter, adds milk, then sprinkles in the tangy cheese and finishes with a smooth beer, usually a Pilsner. Crisp apple slices, slivers of Schreiner’s hot linguiça sausage and hunks of pretzel from MJ Breads slicked with butter and sea salt are great for plunging and swishing through the velvety fondue.
Kazimierz Wine Bar
7137 E. Stetson Dr., Scottsdale
At Kazimierz, Executive Chef Grady Stallworth crafts a three-cheese fondue ($8) with mild fontina and Swiss cheeses and punches it up with earthy gorgonzola. After fashioning a milk-based cheese sauce with a dash of nutmeg, he rounds out the mix with rich, amber Anchor Steam Beer. For dipping, Stallworth offers cubes of toasted French baguette drizzled with clarified butter and Maldon sea salt and bits of tart green apple, but “cheese is the main attraction,” he says. Dessert lovers can also swoon over Kazimierz’s chocolate fondue ($16) with butter mochi, peppermint gingerbread and spritz cookies.
2201 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix
Because it’s so popular, The Gladly chef/owner Bernie Kantak and staff need to whip up a big batch of smoked mozzarella fondue ($10) every day. His version boasts a milk-based sauce with a mashup of Kilt Lifter beer and a blend of nutty Emmenthaler, aged white cheddar and smoked mozzarella cheeses. Presented in a tidy silver pot with a lit candle, the fondue comes with sweet and sturdy slices of Korean pear; plump, salty pieces of tender pork butt; and a heap of toasted country bread cubes for dipping. “Sharing fondue encompasses the whole philosophy of coming to eat at one of our restaurants,” Kantak says. “It’s almost like Thanksgiving dinner at your aunt or grandmother’s house.”
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