A photo study of some melted cheese, broth dipping, and caramel dipping… and perhaps a few cocktails as well. At Urban Fondue.
To start, a cheese fondue for two of Brie and Gorgonzola, with Brie cheese swirled with Gorgonzola cheese and topped with roasted hazelnuts, and we were given bread to dip with.
For our broth, we picked Urban Yosenabe, a chicken and clam broth with hints of lemongrass, ginger, sweet chilies and soy. And then we shared the dipping pieces of “East Meets West” with Carlton pork, local breast of chicken, east coast scallops and Tiger prawns, and also the “Lobster & Prawns” with baby lobster tails and Tiger prawns marinated in cilantro, citrus zest and Meyer lemon oil. The amount of time you need to let the dipper on the fondue fork sit in the broth varies depending on whether the item is pork, chicken, seafood or vegetable, and Urban Fondue has a cute little red hourglass timer that lists various suggested times that you can use to make sure you have left it in long enough to cook.
This is critical because perhaps you will also be having wine/cocktails and talking, and it is so easy to lose track of time. The plate may look small for an entree, but as you cook items perhaps two at a time using your two fondue forks, time passes with conversations as you wait, so the pacing of the meal ensures you savor and enjoy each bite over time rather than rushing, and it becomes an entire dinner experience… but thankfully by going out instead of making this at home you save so much prep work and cleanup work.
We also had a side dish of Gratin yukon potatoes with Parmesan, black pepper and Gruyere cheese. Various dipping sauces you see there include a Pesto, Blackberry Ketchup, Lemon Garlic Butter, Meyer Lemon Hollandaise, Thai Peanut, Wild Mushroom Demi Glace, and Au Poivre Peppercorn. I think there was some sort of citrus chili one as well, but I don’t quite recall. That gratin potatoes dish was so good, we would not let the server take it way until we had spooned up all that cheese as an extra dipping sauce as well.
Finally, dessert as the light was really fading (and turning yellow- sorry for the poorer quality of photo!) of a Caramel Cognac fondue with cognac swirled in silky house caramel made from scratch, served with banana, strawberry, poundcake, cheesecake, cookie dough, doughnut holes, eclairs, dried apricots
And some cocktails during the meal were also enjoyed. Urban Fondue and Bartini share to offer you the luxurious experience of both fondue and a huge martini bar menu. Some cocktails that evening included (don’t worry, they were not ALL mine)
- Coconut Mojito-Tini- coconut rum, muddled mint and lime, citrus soda. Refreshing and not overly coconuty
- Luscious Blackberry Cocktail, with Alize Red Passion liqueur, raspberry vodka, fresh mint, lime, blackberry syrup, soda, over ice. I was not expecting it to be pint size.
- Diablo martini, a spicy bite of Habanero infused vodka, passion fruit puree, cilantro, fresh lemon, sugar rim. It really is spicy!
- Peartini, with vodka, pear puree, sour apple and peach liqueurs was light and refreshing and a bit more subtle than the earlier drinks
- Cloud Nine with coconut rum shaken with dark creme de cacao and hazelnut liqueur, topped with shredded coconut. Favorite of the night, though it is definitely a decadent dessert one to save towards the end
- Oatmeal Cookie, with butterscotch and irish cream liqueurs shaken with cinnamon liqueur and cream did indeed taste like a liquid oatmeal cookie
I hope those pictures make you think about checking out the incredible martinis at Bartini, because I kid you not, they have probably at least 100 martini combinations for you to try, and many happy hour bites besides- great starter for a progressive dinner in the NW Nob Hill area, for instance. Or no need to go anywhere: right next door/part of Bartini is Urban Fondue, and I appreciate that when it even comes to options for cheese, broth, and dessert fondues you are so rich with different options, as they have half a dozen cheese combinations and “dip into the broth” plates to choose from and a dozen dessert fondues, each unique in flavor profile, with lots of additional add-ons possible for dippers.
Urban Fondue is participating in Portland Dining Month, though note there is an upcharge if you order an entree with lobster like we did. But maybe, just like us, you will get extremely intrigued by the beverage menu… Make your Portland Dining Month reservations via OpenTable so that Downtown Portland will also make a donation to the Oregon Food Bank if you go this month!