December 12, 2005

Still scraping

We were talking about raclette, the cheese that came in from the cold.

In Switzerland, melted raclette is served rather simply, with boiled potatoes, pickled onions and cornichons; in the French Alps around Grenoble, the custom is to pile on cold cuts as well.

Raclette cheese plate at Ptit Bistro.jpg Chacuterie plate B1.jpg

What's been missing, until now, is a way to enjoy raclette in Belltown. Small appliances to the rescue: a French kitchenware supplier, Tefal, makes a table-top raclette grill (sold in the US as T-Fal); it's perfect for the home or, better yet, an intimate evening at a cozy neighborhood cafe.

Laurent and Danielle Baldini, at Le P'tit Bistro, may be newcomers to Belltown but they're veteran ambassadors of Grenoble’s mountain hospitality. Their raclette is accompanied by potatoes baked with shallots and herbs and by a mound of air-dried ham, boiled ham, smoked meats, cured meats and sausages plus a mixed green salad, not to mention half a pound of cheese.

Inserting cheese into raclette grill1.jpg Pouring cheese onto plate1.jpg

You put the cheese on a non-stick tray and slide it under the grill to melt; pour it over the potatoes one chunk of cheese at a time for a festive (and filling) meal.

Raclette dinners are priced at $23.50 per person, including all the charcuterie. Trick might be to order one with, one without (cheese only, $13) for a terrific night out that doesn't break the bank.

Ah, much has improved for those isolated Alpine farmers since the invention of the snowplow: now they can market raclette year-round!

Le P'tit Bistro, 2616 2nd Avenue, 206-728-4141
Le P'Tit Bistro on Urbanspoon

Posted by Ronald Holden at December 12, 2005 10:53 PM

This sounds like a great little place, looking forward to trying it out!

Posted by: Robert Hess at December 14, 2005 6:30 AM