A Brothel With Cheese

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The Bourgeois Pig
111 E. 7th St. (betw. 1st Ave. & Ave. A)

Wandering around the East Village during a blustery winter night in search of a romantic dinner spot isnít usually my idea of a good time. Milling about far from subway stations and between seedy dive bars and slushy gutters ruins the mood. So when a friend recommended The Bourgeois Pigís new location on East 7th Street between 1st Avenue and Avenue A, I thought Iíd never go. But she insisted that the fondue restaurant was so romantic she had trouble not making out with everyone at her table. Sultry? Fondue? Possible Orgy? I was sold.

There used to be two, small Bourgeois Pigs in The Village. Both have since closed and a new location opened up in October. This mega location is larger than the previous two and lies tucked in a dark building on East 7th. Youíd pass right by if it werenít for the ominous pig head mounted outside. The inside looks dark and foreboding. But look a little closer at the candlelit tables, high-back velvet chairs and red upholstered walls and youíll realize itís the secret hiding spot youíve been searching for since you moved here.

One rainy Thursday night, I convinced a few friends to try out the new digs with me. As we stumbled in, it took a minute for my eyes to adjust to the dimly lit space. Small, marble-topped tables, candles and velvet couches and chairs filled the room. The red glow of the neon sign in the back of the place made it feel like a cheap 1970s motel room with rates by the hour, but more at home to Scarlett Johansson than Anna Nicole.

Everything at The Bourgeois Pig is creamy, garlicky, sugary or boozy. The wine is cheap and the cocktails go down easy. The beer, wine and champagne drinks (they donít serve liquor) range from $10-$12. I started off with a girly cocktail of sparkling wine, strawberries and mint ($10). They offer most wines by the glass, but I recommend swilling full bottles (because itís economical, of course). The more you drink, the less you want to leave. You want to sink back into the lusty red velvet cushions and fanaticize about opening a brothel. A brothel with 10 kinds of cheese fondue.

We shared the basic Gruyere fondue ($22) and the Italian five-cheese fondue ($20), which were both served with massive amounts of bread, potatoes, fruit and vegetables. Dipping the crusty bread and aromatic rosemary potatoes into the smooth tangy cheese we felt miles, not feet, away from Alphabet City. When youíre eating at The Bourgeois Pig, itís all or nothing. You canít try to just eat the healthy vegetables (as my dieting friends found out). After all, youíre dipping everything in a big vat of bubbling cheese. And you have to order dessert.
We opted for the dark chocolate fondue with a dash of cayenne pepper ($19). The cayenne added a kick to the rich and creamy chocolate and the dessert came with a full platter of sweet accoutrements. We gorged on pound cake and marshmallows and strawberries slathered in the velvety chocolate and practically licked the pot clean. The Pig has 10 different types of fondue (even butterscotch), and I am determined to come back and try them all. Still buzzing at midnight and open nightly until 2:00 a.m., The Pig should be on the top of your late-night munchies list. And hopefully youíll have more luck with romance than we did. By the time we had finished our third fondue of the evening, we were too full to even consider an orgy. Go figure.

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