Stick a Fork in It

Grip it and dip it: Ian puts Simply Fondue to the test.

Further complicating your meal, five dipping sauces are included with the meat course. Only a mild yogurt-curry blend was particularly distinctive. The ginger-teriyaki and Thai sweet-sour sauces made no impression at all; the horseradish and honey mustard-tarragon sauces were too blunt.

In addition to the meats, you receive raw vegetables, which can be cooked and eaten or used to flavor the broth, or both. There are also large ravioli stuffed with cheese. These were bland and didn't take well to frying, but mushroom caps stuffed with cream cheese, battered and fried (which came with the oil but not the Cajun broth, for the same reason as the coconut shrimp) were a guilty pleasure.

I should also mention that you don't have to order the meal for two. The menu features a number of "à la carte" selections with the meats chosen for you, and if you want to have only cheese or chocolate fondue, you can.

Details

1629 Locust Street, 314-335-7377. Hours: 4:30-10 p.m. Sun.-Thu., 4:30-midnight Fri.-Sat.

Dinner for two:
Salad
Cheese fondue
Entrée fondue
Chocolate fondue...$40

Most dessert selections feature milk or white chocolate blended with various ingredients, such as pieces of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Heath Bars. I went for simple blends: milk chocolate with caramel and pecan on one visit, and with Grand Marnier on another. The Grand Marnier didn't contribute much flavor to the chocolate, but the caramel and pecans were an excellent addition.

With the chocolate you get marshmallows to toast, a slice of cheesecake, fruit, cinnamon-sugar balls and pieces of Rice Krispies treats and angel food cake. There's nothing subtle about these desserts, and after salad, cheese and meat it's too much food, but for sheer decadent indulgence, it's pretty good.

Also indulgent, considering how much food the dinner for two brings, is the option to add two lobster tails and a bottle of house red wine to your meal for $18. The meat is removed from the shell for you and served with a butter sauce. Considering the investment, you'll want to check that lobster every fifteen seconds or so as you cook.

Have a suggestion for a restaurant the Riverfront Times should review? E-mail ian.froeb@riverfronttimes.com.

For more about food and St. Louis restaurants, visit Gut Check: blogs.riverfronttimes.com/gutcheck.

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