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Words By Andrew Bucket, Photos By Armando Gallardo

The 1964 Worlds Fair was Americas introduction to fondue, and by the 70s the dish a was a staple of the dinner party; an exotic, interactive, social dining experience that involved a cumbersome portable stove and the inevitable mess of cheese blobs on your carpet.

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In my formative years, there was The Melting Pot, a restaurant (still around) that boasts a huge production of table stoves many iterations of fondue– and many young lovers went there for a homecoming or prom Fon-date. A pitfall of the Fon-date was smelling like you slept in a Benihana and, once word spread of the broth-y stench, it became a big Fon-don’t. No amount of Drakkar Noir can contend with the aromatic film of fondue-stock on your skin.

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Jack Rose Executive Chef Russell Jones has undertaken all the Fon-do’s, and cut out the other stuff, but also written a dope drink menu to pair with the hip, cosy atmosphere in their fireside balcony, for what Jack Rose is calling Fondue By the Fire.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the whole thing is soundtracked by the songs of romantic 1980s female vocalists like Starship and Roxette. An intentional touch by chef.

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One savory pot called Jacked Up features pumpernickel and rye breads, pretzels, marinated mushrooms and beef brisket, and a Vermont pepper jack gooey dip. The brisket really steals the show.

On the lighter side is the Oh Danny Boy spread, clearly a Irish inspired pot of aged cheddar with pork bangers, apples, and soda bread. The sharpness of the dip is a welcome edge to the easy going fare.

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The S’more plate is simple enough (marshmallows, berries, graham crackers, bananas) but the thin milk chocolate gives the items a modest coat instead of a gluttonous blob.

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Let’s talk booze now: the Scottish hot cocoa is all you need to get by in this miserable life. It’s made with a 10 year Glenmorangie, a naturally sweeter scotch, and you will be in love with the cocoa. It’s also a handy catch all for drippy chocolatey fondue sticks.

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A bit left of center on the menu are the whiskey and beer pairings that showcase rare barrel aged beers and the whiskeys the beget them. I had the Eclipse Imperial Stout and a Woodford Reserve. This playful matchmaking reminds one that Jack Rose is an alcohol Mecca, boasting a list of such magnitude that experimentation isn’t just a lark to drum business, it’s a daily affair as intrinsic a part of the restaurants affairs as is turning on the lights.

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