Mothers all over the world know nothing brings a family together like melted cheese.
In the Swiss home of chef Daniel Humm, the meal everyone gathered around once a week was a pot of fondue, and now he’s sharing that tradition with New York.
Humm, who also heads up 2017's best restaurant in the world Eleven Madison Park, is bringing the nostalgic fondue dinner to Sunday nights at The NoMad Bar, beginning Jan. 28.
He created the three-course menu not with his mom but NoMad’s executive chef Mike Reilly — who felt a bit of understandable nerves.
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“I was immediately excited to introduce something new, and simultaneously nervous to recreate a dish he grew up eating,” says Reilly. “The pressure was on!”
Authenticity was the priority — then come the expected high-end flourishes. “The elements of the fondue are what chef Daniel grew up eating in Switzerland, at home and at local restaurants: melted cheese, potato and bread,” Reilly explains. “Where we elevate it is in the ingredients.”
Let’s just say you’ll need a bit of the same refined endurance that defines the Swiss to tackle this feast.
The first course begins with a salad of winter greens with lardons and pepitas, along with an assortment of charcuterie and pretzels with a jar of chicken consommé, a “traditional savory but light treat in Switzerland,” explains Reilly.
Next is the main event, a fondue with the essential white wine and kirsch that make it truly authentic. But Reilly’s not giving away all his secrets: “We knew the cheese had to be Swiss, and we knew we knew we wanted to elevate the sauce, so we got to work putting together a really delicious fondue using a few atypical Alpine cheeses that aren't commonly used for melting.”
Those craving something more extravagant can add soft scrambled eggs and black truffles ($45) to the mix, which comes with marbled potatoes and sourdough bread for dipping.
For dessert, there’s tarte tatin — apple pie by any name is just as delicious — and a glass of shümli pflüml, an après ski treat in the Alps made with coffee, plum eau de vie and cream that you thankfully won’t have to try to pronounce.
The fondue dinner is $55 per person, available Jan. 28 through March 4 at The NoMad Bar, 10 W. 28th St. For reservations, call 212-796-1500. Eva Kis is on Twitter @thisiskis.