If you invite me to an event and there’s cheese involved, I’m there. You do not have to ask me twice. Bimi’s Canteen in Chatham held a press event about their latest menu offering – warm pots of mixed and melted cheese fondue for $25 to $60 (see end of post for details). They use cheeses that I can neither spell nor pronounce. They run a cheese shop, I figured they know what they’re doing, and all I have to do is show up and eat cheese.
There was warm lighting, comfy seating, lilting music and the food was excellently and gorgeously prepared and presented.
I felt welcomed and at home.
When you have trays of delicious food elegantly prepared and sitting in front of you, waiting for you, it’s really hard to listen to the presentation. All you want to do is dive right in and cover everything in melted cheese and put it in your mouth.
The restaurant co-owners, Christopher Landy and Ellen Waggett, and chef Jesse Curtin, spoke about why they added fondue to the menu. Years ago, when Ellen and Chris first met, it was evenings spent eating fondue that helped get them through the cold winter nights of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Throughout the years, Ellen and Chris worked (and still work) in New York City, moved upstate with their family, and opened up a small cheese shop, Bimi’s, in memory of Ellen’s mother, who helped foster the family’s love of local food, culture, and community.
Poets express themselves through words and prose; painters and sculptures through paint, metal and clay; musicians through song. Food people express themselves through food.
Yes, it is melted cheese in a pot, but Ellen and Chris want you to know that it was fondue that helped keep them going. They brought their kids upstate for a life of fresh air. They opened up a cheese shop. They stuck it out. They made it work. They persevered. Through it all, ups and downs, they had fondue. Now they want to share their life’s recipe with us.
I’m sure there were times that they wanted to throw out the entire batch. There were times of discount cheeses, and times of gourmet cheeses. They held it together. They did not let their fondue fall apart and at the same time keep stirring, so it does not settle and burn.
This is why a Bimi’s Canteen fondue night is the perfect date night – bring a new date, your long-term partner, or even do a solo date night out. It’s fun and silly to play with your food, dip it in, gaze at each other, and laugh as your pickle falls to the bottom of the pot. As a solo date night, celebrate with a whole pot of melted cheese to yourself! How indulgent!
What you’re eating on your date night in not just melted cheese on bread. You are taking in the years of hard work and determination that Ellen and Chris added to the recipe.
At the risk of sounding “cheesy”, it’s the LOVE that goes into the fondue that makes it an excellent date night experience for everyone this winter season.
From their press release:
On December 7th, Bimi’s Canteen will begin its highly-anticipated seasonal fondue service. The fondue is their house blend of Gruyere, Raclette, Challerhocker, and Ur Eiche, and it is truly mouthwatering. They will be serving two fondue options on the menu:
- THE SIMPLE FONDUE– $25 – Our 4-cheese mix, served with chunks of freshly made bread. A perfect starter for 2 or a ridiculously delicious bar snack.
- THE GRAND FONDUE – $60- Same perfect 4-cheese mix, same yummy bread…. but served on a bountiful platter of vegetables, fresh and dried fruits, and sausage. A starter for 4 or an entree for 2.
The fondue will be served until March 14th, 2024.