Photo courtesy of Restaurant le Chalet de Gruyères
Restaurant le Chalet de Gruyères
If you visit in the autumn, watch out for the falling apples on the outdoor terrace of this old fondue chalet in the center of the medieval village of Gruyères. Salads are fresh heaps of greens, bouillon is served with or without egg, and platters of AOP-protected (Appellation d’Origine Protégée, or Protected Designation of Origin) dried meats arrive on cutting boards. But since Gruyères is home to Switzerland’s first luxury product, Gruyère cheese, opt for heavy stuff like croûte au fromage (an open-faced grilled-cheese sandwich), gooey raclette served with boiled potatoes, Alpine macaroni and cheese, quiche gruyèrien, and moitié-moitié fondue, made with pungent vacherin and Gruyère cheeses and best washed down with Swiss wines like chasselas. In the winter, don't miss the fondue vacherin, served melted in its original tree-bark packaging, or the chestnut vermicelles atop a bed of meringue and Gruyère double crème.