Christmas lights twinkled up and down Main Street on Mid-America Mall. The temperature was in the 30s. And people on their way to the Memphis Grizzlies game at FedExForum and "Dreamgirls" at the Orpheum bustled about at Bluefin restaurant.
It was a perfect night to try the Creamy Crab Fondue with Crispy Wontons appetizer.
Oaklee Grant, a server acting as hostess that night, said the fondue, which costs $12, is very popular.
When I think of "fondue," I think of the fondue set my mother bought back in the 1960s. Everybody dipped a piece of bread on a long fork into whatever was in the central dish, which contained hot, creamy cheese. I think we used it only twice.
Stevan Lazich, the floor supervisor, brought out the Bluefin fondue, which didn't resemble the fondue of my childhood. This fondue was thicker, surrounded by a mass of wontons in a chafing dish. It looked like an entree or at least a small plate. Lazich said it was enough for two.
I shared my order with Leo Felix and Marta Obrotsa. Everyone thought it was delicious.
"I'm a crab expert," Obrotsa said. "Love me some crab."
Felix simply said, "Wonderful."
The fondue, which is made with blue crab, scallions, white onions, lemon, cayenne pepper, bell pepper, celery, mozzarella cheese and mayonnaise, was created by Bluefin executive chef Nick Scott. "I guess it was about a year ago," he said. "Kind of came out of the need to have a familiar appetizer everybody would relate to. I didn't want to do a crab cake because everybody has a crab cake. We kind of took a crab cake and adjusted it."
His crab fondue "pretty much took off right away."
I told him about my experience with fondue. His fondue is "definitely not a traditional fondue," Scott said. "I wanted it to be somewhat of a dip, but I wanted it to have a bit more body, texture to it."
Bluefin Edge Cuisine & Sushi Lounge, 135 S. Main; 528-1010.
-- Michael Donahue: 529-2797; firstname.lastname@example.org