Candlelight and grease stains

A recent issue of the Reader was dedicated to eulogizing romance, a thing that died around the time UPS started delivering flowers in cardboard boxes. Or maybe it was when Marlon Brando filmed the butter scene in Last Tango in Paris. I’m not sure. Either way, most people agree that Romance has expired and is waiting ever-so-patiently beyond the grave for its counterpart Love, which is ailing. Any day now.

Of course, none of this is true, and romance is alive and well, and I know that because Fondue Stube on Peterson is still open.

Think about it. Basking in the glow of flickering candlelight (and also the flickering light from a can of Sterno); spearing fluffy tufts of bread on the end of a tiny skewer, a two-pronged version of a shirtless sea god’s pitchfork in miniature; wine-spiked, molten cheese sliding down your throat; platters of raw meats, hot oil dripping down your lover’s chin and into a quivering puddle of bearnaise sauce . . .

Aroused? Physically ill? OK, so, mostly I think fondue is romantic because someone in the 70s said it was. Maybe a last-ditch effort after they saw Last Tango in Paris.