Thursday, February 3, 2011

There's a Zoo in my Mouth...

...yep, that's what I said about my birthday dinner.

I really wanted to do something different for my birthday dinner this year, so I sought out a fondue place. Jonathan and I tried out The Melting Pot one time in 2008 (or maybe even 2007) and weren't all that impressed, though we agreed that the novelty was good. We had a couple of non-chain fondue places out here, so after reading some online reviews, I chose La Fondue, which is in Saratoga, about twenty minutes away from our place.

Because fondue is generally a pricey meal, I wasn't counting on being able to get very many people to come on out with us, but to my surprise we ended up with five, which worked out pretty well. We had a reservation for 8 o'clock, and all carpooled from our place, so it made it easy. The waiting area was nice, but we didn't really focus on it since we were seated immediately. The lamps had a machine-gun look, which the boys thought was cool. We took a bit of time looking over the menus, since it was pretty intense. In the end, we ordered two different meals, both of which fell under "Fondue Feast."

Jim and Vivian chose the Blue Tomato cheese fondue, which was beer-based with cheddar, blue cheese, and sundried tomatoes. Kathy, JB, and I went with the 4 Cheese, which was champagne-based with Fontina, Gruyere, Ementhaler, and Surchoix. These were neat, since they made them at the table for us. We enjoyed it quite a bit, and our dippers included bread, potatoes, garlic, carrots, broccoli, tiny pickles, apples, and grapes. I think we all had our favorites - but of course mine was the bread! I had to really stop myself from filling up!
While we were eating the cheese course, the salads came. Jonathan and I both ordered the chef salad, but everyone else had the spinach salad. Everyone agreed that the salad was excellent and that the ingredients were incredibly fresh. Our chef salads had cheese on top as well as four small "chef rolls," which were pinwheels of salami and cheese. Again, I had to stop myself from gobbling down the salad, only eating 30-40% of it... it was HUGE! (and, in theory, for $10 a la carte it should have been, LoL).

The next round was the meats. We all chose the "euro-grill" method, which turned out to be pretty easy and pretty good. Kathy, Jonathan, and I chose the Swiss Chicken (swiss cheese and honey mustard-flavored, from what we could tell), Savage Wild Duck, Sea Scallops, Alligator Tail, Wild Kangaroo, and Antelope. Jim and Vivian also chose the Savage Wild Duck and Wild Kangaroo, but went with a Japonaise Chicken (teriyaki-style), Tuna Saku, Filet Mignon, and one more. There were also more vegetables, including carrots and peppers. There were also SIX dipping sauces! Teriyaki, wasabi teriyaki, mango chutney, sour cream and chives, garlic butter, and barbecue. I liked the teriyaki quite a bit, and Vivian adored the mango chutney. The garlic butter worked well to cook the vegetables and scallops, so it all came together really well. We all liked the antelope, we were half-and-half on the kangaroo (I think it tasted like meaty popcorn) and the duck, and loved pretty much everything else as well. They were out of ostrich and llama, so I think those are definitely on the list for the future, along with python and wild boar!
duck on top, kangaroo in the middle, scallops on the bottom

I was psyched about the dessert, and I had every reason to be! We got milk chocolate with amaretto, and Jim and Vivian got the Flaming Turtle, which really was set ablaze! That was cool, since we were able to roast marshmallows on the flame before it went out, hehe. Our dish of dessert dippers had a single candle, and since we were already buying dessert, as a birthday gift they gave the entire table champagne! It wasn't as delicious as the kind we brought (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday it's BYOB with no corkage fees!), but still very thoughtful and yummy. The dippers included strawberries, bananas, oranges, cream puffs, marshmallows, piroulines, chunks of chocolate chip cookie dough, rice krispies treats, and little marscapone cheese balls. We asked for extra strawberries, bananas, cream puffs, and cookie dough. It was simply fabulous. I think we all ate as much as we could before calling it a night, LoL. Before wrapping up, I wanted to point out how eclectic and unique the decor of the restaurant is. Each room is decorated differently, and everything from the wallpaper to the mirrors is exquisite. Truly a sight to behold, and at least a few of us got up at various points of the meal to walk around the other areas of the restaurant, hehe. The prices were a little high, but in comparison to other meals we've had that cost about the same, this one was a winner in my book!

1 comment:

  1. It sounds delicious, although I find your meat choices very adventuresome : ) Hope it was a wonderful birthday!