Fondue gets fresh at Patty Boland’s Pub

Fondue just got a fun, fresh makeover thanks to chef Luc Doiron, with guidance from food impresario extraordinaire Robin Duetta, who are serving up pots of deliciousness at Patty Boland’s Pub in Ottawa’s ByWard Market. The pub’s gorgeous Abbey room is now home to Fondue, a new dining concept that more than holds its own against the great pub fare already on offer there.

Replete with Old World charm, the space ideally suited for a leisurely shared dining experience at Fondue.

The he space is ideally suited for a leisurely shared dining experience at Fondue.

Filled with old world charm, the space is cozy and welcoming, just the kind of place where you’ll certainly feel comfortable lingering over warm pots of cheese, broth and chocolate.

Chef Luc Doiron and Robin Duetta have added contemporary flair and some fun touches to the fondue experience.

Chef Luc Doiron and Robin Duetta have added contemporary flair and some truly inventive touches to the fondue experience.

Chef Doiron has updated the traditional fondue by introducing some intriguing elements that I found very appealing at a recent tasting. Forget the classic Emmental cheese/kirsch combo; his cheese fondue is a brie-gorgonzola blend which gets a lovely flavour boost from new Ottawa product TreeWell Carbonated Maple Sap.

Perfectly prepared handcut fries make for an ideal dipper for cheese fondue.

Perfectly prepared handcut fries make for an ideal dipper for cheese fondue.

While the bread dippers were available, Doiron takes cheese fondue to a whole new level, thanks to his build-your-own poutine concept – simply ladle the cheese sauce over some of his delicious hand-cut fries, then sprinkle with crispy bits of double smoked bacon. Ridiculously delicious.

Build-your-own poutine takes cheese fondue to a whole new level of deliciousness.

Build-your-own poutine takes cheese fondue to a whole new level of deliciousness.

The broth fondues on offer are similarly inventive. A fresh and flavourful Thai-inspired version, infused with kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass, is ideal for cooking morsels of top quality seafood.

Perfect little morsels of seafood cook up beautifully in a Thai-inspired broth.

Perfect little morsels of seafood cook up beautifully in a Thai-inspired broth.

The same broth quickly becomes a fragrant soup when ladled over cooked vermicelli noodles. The sesame-dressed side salad that accompanies the noodles is full of flavour and provides a nice, crispy counterpoint to the various protein elements.

Ladle the Thai-inspired broth over a bowl of cooked vermicelli noodles and you've got a super tasty soup. Don't miss out on the sesame-dressed side salad - it is fabulous.

Ladle the Thai-inspired broth over a bowl of cooked vermicelli noodles and you’ve got a super tasty soup. Don’t miss out on the sesame-dressed side salad – it is fabulous.

Traditional Fondue Bourguignonne gets a makeover here as well, with thinly sliced sirloin arriving alongside a pot of well-made veal stock. The meat was so tasty I wasn’t even tempted to dunk it in the accompanying aioli. Little slabs of ham, bacon, proscuitto, banana peppers and assorted blanched veggies were other great options for either the veal or Thai broth though my fork seemed to reach for the beef, over and over and over….

Tender morsels of sliced sirloin are delectable when cooked up in a veal broth.

Tender morsels of sliced sirloin are delectable when cooked up in a veal broth.

Ham, bacon and banana peppers are unconventional yet absolutely fantastic fondue dippers.

Ham, bacon, prosciutto and banana peppers are unconventional yet absolutely fantastic fondue dippers.

True to its roots, Fondue offers up a great sweet finish to the meal. Traditional Belgian chocolate fondue arrives with a variety of dippers, including bacon (what a concept – dipping bacon in melted chocolate. Yum!). I loved the Canadian Maple Taffy – hot, reduced maple syrup drizzled over a plate of clean snow, then conveyed to the mouth with pretzels.

At Fondue, you can enjoy a traditional maple taffy pull right at your the table!

At Fondue, you can enjoy a traditional maple taffy pull right at your the table!

Fondue is open Friday and Saturday nights for now but will be expanding its days of operation as word gets out and demand builds. Chef Doiron is already planning some clever adaptations to the menu for the warmer weather and is confident that Fondue will be a hit with locals and tourists alike. “It’s such a fun way to share a meal together,” he explained. “We like to offer our fondue at a relaxed pace and we know that having knowledgeable servers makes the experience just that much more enjoyable. We expect our guests will include those familiar with fondue as well as people who are exploring this great dining concept for the first time.”

Fondue is at 101 Clarence Street; call 613.789.7822 for reservations.

 

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About Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I play with words and with food. I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. I'm also an enthusiastic explorer of faraway lands and cuisines.
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2 Responses to Fondue gets fresh at Patty Boland’s Pub

  1. Hi Paula: We love fondue here. Nice to see it making a comeback. There was no mention of prices. Do you remember what you paid for the dishes? Was it just you and hubby? Wondering how it would work with a foursome. I believe at Absinthe the menu is set up so you have to dine at least as a couple. Is it the same here? I love the idea of a Thai broth that is then up-cycled as soup.

    • Paula Roy says:

      Hi Anne, prices are all on the website for Patty Boland’s (you can click the link in the blog post). They have done it in a very flexible format in that you pay for the cheese or broth and some “dippers” are included; you can add more dippers if you wish. Prices are based on 2 people but I believe 4 would actually be better as you could order a greater variety of items. I love Absinthe’s fondue as well though it is perhaps a bit more traditional while this new concept at Patty Boland’s is a bit more playful.

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