Dante's Down the Hatch is one of those places that rightfully should be fiction. A fondue restaurant with a madhouse-meets-Disney theme and décor, an elusive and eccentric pipe-smoking owner, Dante's has been a destination for 41 years. The story goes that owner Dante Stephensen, traveling around Europe and the Mediterranean while in the Navy, collected quirky ideas about food and culture that would become the inspiration for Dante's. And what of the fondue? There are certain aspects of fondue that don't change much. You scoop up the mixture of Emmental, Gruyère and "other Swiss cheeses" with small hunks of spongy, slightly dry white and brown breads. The main event -- the fondue dinners -- are immensely amusing, totally sharable and only sort-of good. You don't come to a place like Dante's for a culinary experience any more than you go to WrestleMania to watch a sporting competition.
Price: $$$ ($20-$30)