Last week, it was celebration time for my wife and co-workers of hers. Many of them got new jobs, which meant that we were all moving out of state to different colleges.
We decided that the celebration should be at Dante's Down the Hatch. This is no normal dining/fondue experience. Being the second oldest fondue restaurant in the US, the venue is athe result of collecting architectural elements, niches and whole rooms. A nautical theme pervades the whole place, with sitting areas being either on the wharf and or the sailing. Inside the ship is the jazz band, outside it is quieter and in the moat live crocodiles that are Dante's pets.
Since the chocolate fondue is only done once a night, Dante himself joined us to hold court for about an hour while the preparations continued. Conversation with Dante are both a catalog of his knowledge and experiences, as well as a barrage of questions aimed at all at the table. He learned about our jobs and college educations, and we learned that his mother was the last Montessori teacher to be taught by founder Maria Montessori. We also learned he has visited Siberia and Tibet. After the geography and education lessons, he went on to detail the involved process of fixing the chocolate for the fondue.
It's 8-hours of folding the chocolate and honey mixture. And we were eager to get our hands on it. Soon enough, small vats of chocolate and a huge fruit plate arrived. And with that Dante left us to eat.
We were sitting in a savaged catholic bishop's room. The fondue itself was not a single bubbling vat of chocolate, but collection of smaller pots withing easy reach of the 7 of us.
And this last picture was taken after 2 hours of eating.
All in all, a very good night.