My friends and I have recently become obsessed with fondue, and the impetus for this new fetish is Fedora Social House. Chris and our friend Justin hosted a bachelor party for our friend Barron there this winter, and for weeks, all I heard was how incredible the fondue at Fedora’s was. Ever the Show-Me State girl, I would not be convinced until Chris took me there for dinner, but at the end of the night I was convinced. Here’s the scoop:
We walked into the restaurant around 5:30 and a host promptly escorted us to a previously-reserved table. Unless you arrive early, reservations are encouraged at Fedora; this little place has become quite the night-life spot in downtown Springfield, and the bar and tables fill up early and are full throughout the evening. We were seated in the front of the building, so we had plenty of light, but the farther back into the restaurant you go, the darker it gets. I didn’t get a chance to scope out the decor in detail, but the depths of the restaurant really feel like a classy lounge (from what I could tell to and fro the restroom).
We started with the Siciliano fondue ($12), a blend of mozzarella, Gruyere, and Havarti cheeses, melted with marinara sauce and Tuscan seasoning, served with pita bread and pepperoni. Imagine fondue pizza, and you’ll be right on target. Our server brought our fondue pot and “dippables” straight to our table, lit the fuel, and instructed us to stir every little bit until the cheese melted. She checked on us regularly to make sure the fondue was melting properly. Once we’d eaten through our pita bread and pepperoni, she took away our pot, but promised to come back with our entree soon.
Chris and I chose to split an entree fondue, so we could have dessert, and we chose Shrimp Scampi ($15) cooked in a mix of butter and garlic and dipped in a spicy seafood sauce or a tarragon caper remoulade. Again, our server lit the fondue pot at the table, and we had to wait for the broth to warm up before cooking our shrimp. It took longer than we wanted, for the Siciliano had certainly appetized us, and we were still hungry, but the shrimp was worth the wait. Nothing special about the shrimp, per se, but butter-garlic broth and sauces made the shrimp really yummy.
We still had room in our bellies for some dessert, and our server enticed us with a new fondue that hadn’t made it to the menu yet: Snickers Fondue ($12)! That’s right, chocolate fondue with bits and pieces of Snickers candy bar mixed in. Yum-O! This fondue came with marshmallows, graham crackers, and pretzels, but they weren’t enough! We ate all of them, and there was still chocolate left. I wanted to lick it straight out of the bowl!
Having never “done fondue right,” I was really pleased with Fedora’s range of fondue options and the quality of food we received. I was really pleased with our service, too. Our server was very attentive to us and the table-top fires, making sure that our fondue pots weren’t too hot but that our food was melting correctly and giving us explicit instructions that we were not to blow out the fires on our own. For the bachelor party, the guys brought in a group of 12, and they were well taken care of. (And they continue to rave about the steak fondue.) If you’re looking for a place to take your special someone or if you’re a pyromaniac or if you need to feed a group, you must give Fedora Social House a try. (Just make reservations in advance!)
Fedora Social House is located on 300 Park Central East in Springfield and can be found online at www.fedorasocialhouse.com.