Swizz Restaurant & Wine Bar
310 West 53rd Street
New York, NY
(212) 810-4444 | Map
The first snow of the season fell in the city this weekend, nearly erasing all recollection of the 60-degree temperatures New Yorkers enjoyed earlier in the week. With the falling of the snow, the setting up of my Christmas decorations, and the adding of three holiday parties to my schedule (all within the same week), I can firmly say that the holidays are here. During the week before Christmas, I'll be singing karaoke (maybe) with fellow Chi Omega Sisters in Murray Hill, toasting a friend's new business venture in NoHo, and then leaving the city to enjoy cocktails and dessert with friends in the Lehigh Valley. A little bit of everything!
If you're looking to plan a get-together with friends or loved ones in New York but aren't too keen on karaoke or want to avoid the typical bar scene, then I highly recommend giving Swizz Restaurant & Wine Bar a chance. Located on West 53rd Street, Swizz is in the Theater District, so you can have a glass or two of wine before or after a show. But, it's also far enough away from the hustle and bustle of Broadway that you can walk in and not worry about waiting forever for a table.
If you're lucky enough, when you do walk in, you'll be led downstairs to the Wine Cave, which can seat a maximum of 18 people. Four friends and I were seated in the Wine Cave after a wait of about 30 seconds, but if you're planning to roll in with 17 other people, be fair to the establishment and call ahead. After ordering wine, we decided our best approach to the menu would be to order two types of fondue and share.
We ordered the Traditional Cheese Fondue ($21) of Gruyere and Emmental cheeses (on the right) and the Cheddar Cheese Fondue ($19) of Montgomery, Keen and Cabot cheddar cheeses (on the left). Both were served with pieces of cubed bread. And, to make sure we ate something a little more substantial, we ordered broccoli and apples ($3 each) to dip in the melted cheese, as well. Not that there's anything wrong with making a meal solely out of bread and cheese.
The broccoli tasted fantastic with both kinds of fondue, while the apples, I felt, paired best with the Cheddar Cheese Fondue. That was not surprising since I already knew I liked the combination of cheddar cheese and apple pie. It was also not surprising that the five of us devoured the fondue in record time! While our waiter cleared the empty pots of cheese away, we wondered whether we should have ordered enough for 3 servings of each fondue rather than 2 (they'll ask you how many servings you think you'll want). Then we remembered the dessert section of the menu.
Of course, we had to order dessert! Especially since the words "Jacques Torres" appeared on the menu. To be honest, I think we all would have been very happy to just finish the meal with
My friend Christine chose to start with a piece of cantaloupe while I let go of the rules and went straight for a piece of marshmallow. And then, when we were all out of things to dip in the chocolate, I half-jokingly whispered to our waiter and asked for a spoon. I didn't think he heard me, but then he returned a few minutes later with enough spoons for all of us. Good guy.
Fondue isn't just a dish, it's an experience. And the experience at Swizz Restaurant & Wine Bar was fantastic! Isn't it amazing how much melted cheese and melted chocolate can make a group of women smile?