Seemingly just a few steps west on East 7th from another recent fondue fave, you’ll find my original go-to fondue location in Manhattan – the Bourgeois Pig. I’ve been here several times, the time prior being to take advantage of their special at the time (half priced bottles of wine from 5-7PM on Sundays). This time there was a new reason for returning – the promise of frozen fondue.
We arrived as they opened at 6PM, which is my favorite time to go. The seating is cozy and if you arrive later, it can feel like you’re being squeezed in (if you’re lucky to find a seat at all). I’ve learned this is the best way to maximize your experience here. While it straddles the restaurant/lounge line, the atmosphere of the Bourgeois Pig is definitely more on the lounge side. The lighting grows dim as the hours wear on and the set up affords you the opportunity, if you are so lucky, of even dining up in their small elevated faux second tier in plush seating. All they need is a fire-place and it would be the perfect place to hole up come winter.
We started with their seasonally appropriate watermelon sangria. It was ceylon infused white wine, fresh watermelon, and cumin syrup. The combination made for a crisp light blend between fruit juice and wine, a nice occasional variation from the heavier brandy-based sangrias. We went with their Mozzarella, Provolone, Parmesan And Romano cheese fondue, which was prepared with rosemary, thyme, and oregano served with toasted bread, herbed potatoes, and a variety of vegetables (squash, red pepper, brussels sprouts, carrots) and fruits (grapes, strawberries, apple slices). The portion size was more than sufficient for a party of two and their herbed potatoes, naturally combined with the cheese fondue, is spot-on.
For dessert, we couldnt’ resist taking advantage of two of their seasonal dessert offerings – the “Death by Frozen Fondue” and their champagne float. The frozen fondue was a dark chocolate “fondue” ice cream on top of thick cubes of chocolate cake, served with melted dark chocolate fondue topping, nuts, chocolate chips, fruit, marshmallows, and whipped cream. It was very different from standard fondue – more of an upscale variation of a mix-and-match sundae. The dense chocolate cake was a nice addition and it still kept that customizable feel of fondue, even though there wasn’t a whole lot of dipping going on. While I definitely enjoyed this addition to the menu, I think next time I’d vote to return to the traditional melted chocolate version.
What was absolutely amazing though was the champagne float. It was literally champagne sorbet floating in a sea of champagne – with a strawberry strategically situated at the center. It was as if it were a root beer float, but forget the coke. Why not go straight to champagne? We spoke more with the manager on duty, inquiring as to how exactly one freezes champagne, and learned that the provider is actually a small local operation currently only supplying the Bourgeois Pig with their product. So the answer was we’re not telling.
It’s this same provider who they source their sorbets for another seasonal offering, their frozen wine flight. This includes a flight of four wine sorbets – pinot noir, rose, champagne, and cabernet sauvignon – accompanied by grapes, raspberries, strawberries, apples, and blackberries. The provider, name unknown, may eventually be expanding but in the interim, I suggest giving the champagne float a try at the Bourgeois Pig. Perfect for this crazy summer heat we’ve been having. It seems this was originally a seasonal option but with the response they’ve had, who knows. Perhaps it’ll be around to stay.
Bourgeois Pig – 111 East 7th Street – 212.475.2246
Reservations Not Accepted