Monday, May 13, 2013

Dinner in the City - Matterhorn Swiss Restaurant and Bar

While I was cleaning our home office table, I unearthed a 7 month old restaurant gift certificate given by one of our friends. It was for Matterhorn Swiss Restaurant on Van Ness Avenue.

We didn't have plans that evening so we decided to finally redeem the certificate. This was our first time going to a Swiss restaurant or to a fondue place. We discovered this place serves well made fondues and the restaurant is great to bring the whole family or a big group.

The Marina is part of town that we seldom pay a visit because it is on the other end of the city from where we live. This is unfortunate because there are lots of good restaurants located in this area.
One of them is The Matterhorn Swiss Restaurant and Bar. Had it not been for our thoughtful friends who gave us the certificates, we would not have made it here. It was a bit cold that night so fondue seemed like a perfect choice for dinner.

Below is the entrance to the Matterhorn's dining room.
Matterhorn - Entrance

I've never been to Switzerland so I am not sure if the restaurant's theme is classic Swiss ambiance and interior.  In my opinion, the wooden walls and panels and the lighting is what I call country but elegant.
Matterhorn - Dining room

We decided to start with this Chianti by Ruffino. Italy is next to Switzerland, after all.
Matterhorn - Chianti

The restaurant was having what it calls Peak Experience Fondue Festival so we ordered one of the selections called Half and Half which is a blend of Fribourg Vacherin and Gruyere cheeses. They served us mixed green salad as the first course because it comes with an order of one of their fondues. 
Matterhorn - Salad

They also serve a basket full of baguette cut into little square pieces. The bread comes with this spiced butter. The butter was delicious.
Matterhorn - Butter

Next came the fondue set. It was sort of exciting to see our table being prepared and the kerosene lamp lit. I've always enjoyed dinners where you cook the food yourself. I guess the table participation adds to the overall dinner experience, at least in my opinion. We were also told a summary of fondue do's and dont's and what to do to avoid a burnt cheese. Remember this. Don't just dip, stir as well.

There are no meats that come with the fondues so we decided to order a side of meats and potatoes. I am not sure if not having meat is the usual.  Since we've never been to a fondue dinner before, we didn't know.  I am glad we did order a side of meat because I didn't think a dinner consisting of only salad, breads and melted cheeses would fly well with Mijo.  The meats came with a small plate of pickled vegetables.
Matterhorn - Half and Half fondue

Here is the cheese pot upclose. It was super creamy and tasty because of the Gruyere and Vancherrin cheeses. The saltiness of the concoction was perfect with the pieces of bread. This pot of cheese would be perfect for a group of six but was way too much between Mijo and I. If only I could take home the left over melted cheese?
Matterhorn - Cheese pot

We also added some boiled potatoes in the mix. The combination of the potato flavor and the creamy cheese reminded me of au gratin. Delicious!
Matterhorn - Potatoes

Mijo and I almost always (discretely) swap plates so we can sample what the other had ordered. Fondue is different because you share. I thought share food this way adds some hints of romance into the dinner, don't you think?
Matterhorn - Cheese fondue

For dessert, we decided to get the applestrudel to wash away the salty creamy aftertaste of the cheeses. It was moist and delicious.
Matterhorn - Applestrudel upclose

The applestrudel also came with a scoop of ice cream and vanilla sauce.
Matterhorn - Applestrudel and sauce

Dining here was definitely fun and delicious. I totally enjoyed the fondue style dinner. We'll probably order more meats like sausages next time. The service was attentive as well. Thanks T&L for the gift certificate!


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