Shrugging off a stigma of fondue as suited only for cold, winter nights and shag carpets, two East End cheeseshops will be offering it through the warmer months.
“It’s a great, quick appetizer. It’s a great communal dish,” said Michael Cavaniola of Cavaniola’s Gourmet in Sag Harbor.
Cavaniola’s spring and summer fondue pots will be filled with oil or vegetable stock, and use cheese to accompany the dipped summer veggies or seafood. Mr. Cavaniola is considering a tuna fondue topped with wasabi goat cheese, and assorted recipes for asparagus, leeks, and Long Island duck. Of course, he will still offer his Bridgehampton Blend of three Mecox Dairy cheeses.
On the North Fork, the Village Cheese Shop on Love Lane in Mattituck is offering a New York State cheese fondue with three semi-soft cheeses from Hudson Valley dairies. “It’s retro,” said Rosemary Batcheller, who owns the shop with husband, Adam.
“But it’s back in again.” Mrs. Batcheller encourages customers to bring their own wine and enjoy the fondue in the shop’s sun-drenched café overlooking a lavender garden. The shop still features goat cheeses from Catapano Dairy down the road, and will also offer raclette with new potatoes and organic greens from North Fork farms. Both shops offer all fondue ingredients to go, and both sell sleek stainless fondue kits, upgraded in recent years with a glass insert that makes clean-up easy.