This Melted Cheese Restaurant Is Serving Dreams on a Plate
Do you like melted cheese?
Of course you do, what a silly question. Do you like entire wheels of cheese, melted and then slowly poured over other forms of foodstuffs? Then you like Raclette restaurant in New York City.
Raclette refers to two things: One, the type of cheese used in the dish; and two, the dish itself, pulled from the French racler, to scrape. The dish is fairly simple: Wheels of cheese are heated and then scraped over cooked meat, potatoes and vegetables.
The restaurant offers both croques (grilled cheese sandwiches, basically) as well as a few variations on raclette, one of which is made with sheep’s milk feta cheese.
Interestingly, Edgar Villongco, Raclette’s chef, is neither Swiss nor a trained chef. Born in Manila, he worked in the Netherlands and Luxembourg for a satellite-communications firm for ten years, and prior to Raclette, ran a scooter shop in Manhattan’s East Village. (He was introduced to the restaurant’s signature dish in the best possible way — by a French girlfriend.)
One last bit of trivia: Raclette used to be home to an artisanal pigs-in-a-blanket shop. If that doesn’t sell you on it, you’re beyond all hope.
— Alex Heigl, @alex_heigl