Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bison Fondue at Walliser Stube, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise (Alberta, Canada)

Walliser Stube at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise serves fondues and Swiss-German dishes. What does Lake Louise have to do with Switzerland and why does Chateau Lake Louise have a Swiss restaurant inside the restaurant? So Lake Louise is where Canadians first delve into mountaineering and after one fell to his death while climbing, Canadian Pacific hired professional mountain guides from Switzerland to lead guests.

The restaurant is divided into a few dining rooms. The one we were in is pretty casual. You can get a set menu with appetizers and fondue or you can order a la carte.
Bread service

The non-fondue menu changes seasonally and appetizers may include things like Rabbit and Cornish hen pave wrapped in leek, with sweetbreads
Some are pretty much mainstays, though, like the "Jager" Forest Mushroom Spatzle Skillet (housemade spatzle/dumplings, sauteed wild mushrooms, arugula, onion, gruyere cream sauce, emmental gratin
The dish is quite rich and satisfying.
Main entrees include dishes with local trout, local Alberta beef rib tenderloin and bison rib eye, and Wiener Schnitzel. But, I had to try the fondue. I'm sure most of you have had fondue before at The Melting Pot or some other place. There's the well-known cheese fondue, and there's also the meat fondue cooked in beef bouillon, served with a variety of sauces as shown on the left. My favorite is the herb and garlic sauce.

The cheese fondue is made of Gruyere, Emmental, Appenzeller cheese, and white wine. The finishing touch is of your choice, with the traditional choice being Kirsch, a type of cherry brandy. I, of course, chose black truffle! Black truffle shavings in my cheese fondue, yum.
Truffle Fondue

It's the best cheese fondue I can remember having, most likely because I was picking up truffle shavings with my bread. I ate every last shaving. It's quite a lot of cheese for 2 people.

The cheese fondue is served with baguette pieces, vegetables, and potatoes

The meat fondue choices include beef tenderloin and bison tender (or a combo of both). Naturally, I chose the local Alberta bison.
The bison meat was lean with a subtle gaminess. Personally, I really enjoyed it.

Dessert had to be chocolate fondue, of course, served with fruits, brownies, and marshmallows.
Chocolate Fondue

I love the interior, including this old wooden staircase
There a lot more options at Walliser Stube other than fondue, including a traditional raclette, and the local fish and meat as mentioned above. It's unusual to find fondue other than at the ubiquitous The Melting Pot, though, so I was glad to try it here. It reminded me how fun fondue is, and where else are you going to find fondue with local bison meat?

Walliser Stube at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
111 Lake Louise Dr
Alberta, AB T0L
(403) 522-1818
Walliser Stube on Urbanspoon


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