Andrew Tanielian, NBCDFW
The four-course meal at Simply Fondue is cheesy and chocolate bliss at ten locations in four states.
They say simple is sought after -- turns out it is also sweet!
North Texas is home to three Simply Fondue franchise restaurants, and this successful lone star chain has sprawled to ten locations in four states.
“Simply Fondue is a unique dining experience -- it’s not like other restaurants where you go down and sit down for 45 minutes and have your dinner just get up and leave," said Gary Grassia who owns a Simply Fondue restaurant in Fort Worth. "It’s a dining experience where you kind of have to like the person that you’re with and just sit down and relax and enjoy the company who you’re with.”
The foundation for every course you embark on is fondue, the 18th century Swiss indulgence that comes from the French word meaning “to melt”.
Swiss villagers created the style of cooking during harsh winters when all they had was stale cheese and hard bread. They enjoyed the cheese melted by campfire and discovered the bread would soften when dipped.
“It’s roughly going to take about an hour and a half to two hours in length. You’re going to start off with your salads and your cheeses it’s a four-course meal. And then you go to your proteins and then your chocolates at the end,” said Grassia.
Each course is roughly a half-hour long with an extensive menu to choose from.
“We have a wide variety of cheeses. Some people think that Swiss cheese is a little too pungent so we can do a spicy Pepper Jack or we can go as easy as the Wisconsin sharp cheddar. For your proteins you can go as easy as just a generic chicken breast for the people who are health conscious or you can go with the seafood, the Black Tiger Shrimp. We also have the Mahi Mahi, the Pecan Crusted Mahi, the Ahi Tuna and then you can go as far as lobster if you want to,” said Grassia.
While the twin burners and pots set in front of you make for a unique dining experience tableside the restaurant had to re-tool the method to translate to the bar by way of what’s called a Raclette.
“It’s an idea that we brought into Simply Fondue. We wanted to give people the dining experience of having fondue. One of the things you couldn’t do at the bar was to heat up the oil and cook at the bar. So, we brought in something called a Raclette,” said Grassia.
It’s a French invention of the same name as a popular melting cheese that originated in the French speaking regions of Switzerland.
“And people are able to cook their veggies underneath. It’s a double element. You can keep, cook your vegetables underneath and you cook your meats up on top over the veggies. It’s really, really neat and it’s only available at the bar you can’t get that at the table,” said Grassia.
Your meal ends in the same way many people might have first been introduced to fondue, dessert.
You have more than a dozen options ranging from campfire chocolate to Bailey’s Irish Chocolate to bananas foster fondue all of which are flambéed.
There's a plateful of treats to dip in your sauce of choice, everything from pound cake, jumbo marshmallows, triple chunk brownies, cherries, strawberries and much more.
“If you want to have a great dining experience without the hustle and bustle of all the other dining restaurant experiences completely different this is the place to go,” said Grassia.
Simply Fondue Sundance Square
111 West 4th Street #15
Fort Worth, TX