Opening tonight in Nolita is La Cave des Fondus, an absurdist French fondue basement that serves wine in baby bottles.
When you descend the stairs and unbolt the heavy wooden door of La Cave (the underground of the bistro Jacques), you'll walk into a small tavern that feels like the type of place serfs would gather to gossip about local royalty while getting stoned on cheap wine and hot cheese. Which means you and your date should feel right at home. Everything in this tiny barn of a restaurant seems rustic—the three communal picnic tables (each seat about twenty), the mural of a peasant fondue feast, the low-slung wooden ceiling.
But the more you look around, the more you'll realize things are a bit...peculiar—the Shrek-like painting behind the six-seat bar, the solo tennis racket hanging on the wall and, of course, the wine served in baby bottles (a tribute to a Paris bistro that uses the trick to skirt a tax on wine glasses).
Take a seat, order up each of the three fondues (go cheese then beef then chocolate) and soak it all in as you suckle on your wine teat.
Just like mom used to serve.