The Matterhorn

2323 Van Ness @ Vallejo
phone: 415.885.6116
hours: Tues-Sun 5 pm- last seating at 8:30 pm
Full Bar

In the 70's, no kitchen was complete without a fondue pot, but it's not often people actually cook these family style dinners anymore. What luck to find a restaurant dedicated to keeping the tradition alive internationally and to doing it well.

The Ambience:
Walls of blonde wood house the well-lit chalet that is the Matterhorn. Your greeted by a large painting of the majestic Swiss mountain and whisked off to cushioned wooden booths. It's friendly, cozy and unpretentious. We were sitting next to a regular who strongly resembled Jabba the Hutt, so we got a great preview of almost every dish on the menu.

The Menu:
Who knew there were so many variations of fondue? They offer a dozen different combinations of cheese fondue, and three beef fondues, all of which come with a green salad. You can order additional sides to dip in your bubbling pot like potatoes, apples and mushrooms. They also offer a few entrees that would make a vegetarian cringe, like weinerschnitzel, five additional veal dishes, pork tenderloin and Sonoma chicken. The fondues are about $30 for two people.

The Food:
Delicious! The flavors of the cheese simmer to the forefront, and the combinations of tart apples or subtle mushrooms with a tangy or sweet cheese is really striking. The salad was light and uneventful. As two people, we split a fondue and two side dishes and left pleasantly full.

The Service:
Real people, who are friendly, knowledgeable and non-judgmental. They seemed genuinely happy to be there and intent on making sure everyone has a good dining experience.

Reservations: Not usually necessary

Overall: A-
Delicious and great fun.

Reviewed : June 2004

Design and Content © 2003-2008 Sez Giulian