When the temperature go low, I go warm, melted cheese! One of my favourite thing to do in the winter is host friends over for raclette. If you don’t mind splurging on your own grill (you can get a small one for 2 people for $27 on amazon or a bigger one perfect for larger get-togethers for $63 — that last one is actually the one I own) you can throw your own party too. I’ve got this little guide and raclette 101 primer to help you plan it! But of course, you can head to one of these restaurants to get your hot, melted cheese fix:
Leave it to one of my favourite restaurant in the city to throw one of the best happy hour, complete with complimentary raclette! Between 5-6PM and again from 9-10PM, patrons can enjoy gooey melted cheese at the bar, in addition to $5 wine and $2 off draft beer. While the free raclette ends at 6PM, the drink specials are good until 7PM. And if you prefer your raclette tableside, it’s also on a menu for $13.
Cheesetique’s speciality is, obviously, cheese, so it’s not surprising to find two different types of fondue dishes on its menu during the winter (if you’re lucky you might even find some raclette in its cheese counter too!) The first fondue is pretty classic with gruyère, emmental, raclette and white wine ($18.) The other is $13 and varies every day depending on what cheeses are available.
The wine bar next door to the Four Seasons in Georgetown turns into an alpine chalet every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. $18 gets you a plate of bread, potato, cornichons and onions onto which the hot melted cheese is poured on. For a little extra, you can add charcuterie as well. And of course, since ENO is a wine bar, there’s a wine pairing option as well. The sommelier selected a sparkling Gewürztraminer from Washington state to go along the raclette ($18 for one glass).
Last March, chef Nathan Beauchamp kicked-off a series of raclette parties at his U Street restaurant. They were pretty popular, so they will be coming back in 2017, this time in the form of a 3-course menu. Until then, you can enjoy The Fainting Goat‘s popular take on fondue: its goat cheese fondue ($12 during regular hours and $10 during late nights Thursday-Saturday from 11PM-1AM.)
Just in time for winter, chef Rob Weland is bringing back the popular fondue pop-up at his Barracks Row restaurant. If the weather allows, you can even enjoy it on the heated patio. Wether indoors or out, it’s a pretty classic alpine fondue, offered at $18 per person. It comes with bread cubes unless you want to splurge on add-ons like heirloom apples, turnips, radishes, boiled potatoes, hanger steak tips, and, of course, the restaurant’s popular gougeres (the add-ons run between $4-10).
At Homestead in Petworth, raclette is considered an appetizer or shareable plate… it’s also noted as vegetarian unless you want to add lamb bacon lardons to it.