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“Fondue with style”

Swiss Haven Restaurant
Ranked #45 of 167 Restaurants in Breckenridge
Cuisines: Swiss
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Large groups, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed July 6, 2014

Great food; knowledgeable, helpful staff; Belgium beers...and they'll even let you play the Alpen Horn if you ask!

1  Thank Len S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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164 - 168 of 377 reviews

Reviewed April 18, 2014

This review has eluded me for well over a month because quite frankly, I’ve been torn. I’m on the fence in regards to this assessment because on some days, I’m on TEAM PATRON and on other days, I’m simply TEAM SWISS HAVEN.

According to the restaurant’s website, “After a long day of skiing or snowboarding, who could ask for anything more on a fresh winter's night other than an evening of fondue fun in Breckenridge, located on South Main.”

Hot food on a cold night sounds yummy, but we live in a world divided into two foodie categories: Fondue Connoisseurs and Non-Fondue Connoisseurs.

There, I said it.

So leading up to my Colorado visit and knowing I would be in the company of six FC and two NFC (this is where I fall in line) during Spring Break, I had to do my homework.

Homework?

Yes, especially if it involves kids because in order to “fondue” it requires lots of dollars.

My first step in the process was to visit Trip Advisor and reviews were all over the board.

My second step was to ‘Google’ the Swiss Haven website and checkout the menu.

Game on!

Now call me “TEAM SWISS HAVEN.”

I’m not sure I understand negative reviews complaining about pricing when anyone can chart and graph the offerings before you go to Breck and enter the actual eatery. (I believe there is even a menu posted outside of the front door if I’m not mistaken now that we’ve been.)

Personally, I found the fondue prices to be in compliance with fondue prices all over the states in various restaurants but at the end of the day, I didn’t feel like I wanted to foot a high bill so I made decisions about what my family would order.

Still on Team Swiss Haven, there are a plethora of non-fondue entrée options and selections on the children’s menu so there is definitely something for everyone. And, there is another thing called "sharing" that can dramatically help those FC lower costs.

Seriously, we had the best of both worlds with NFC and the FC dining as one but with separate checks allowed upon our arrival!

Can’t beat that can you?

Plus, the beer/wine/cocktail list is a “rock star” in the sea of cheese. No complaints and only kudos on the alcohol options as well as the non-alcoholic options. (Our teetotaler friends didn’t partake but we sure did and pours were big).

Awarded “Best Service in Breckenridge in 2011” I authenticate this honor is deserved. The gracious employees know the menu, recommend various options given your dining style and deliver period, but they don’t do the cooking.

Now I return to TEAM PATRON.

The night we dined, the establishment was jam-packed and I mean PACKED. Spring breakers from Texas filled the house, unbeknownst to anyone, the owners allowed a very large table of 15 Italians to get seated near the bar and so deliveries of entrees slowed down quite a bit. No prior reservation had been made, they simply were walk-ins made welcome.

Now back to TEAM SWISS HAVEN.

I believe this is the only restaurant in town accommodating large parties of any magnitude from any country at a moments notice if they can put tables together and supply the space.

I CANT STAND IT!

Now I’m back on the fence.

I endorse flexibility but when you know it’s a “spring break” period and there is already an influx of customers in town, please don’t make the rest of the guests tolerate slow service because now the kitchen is slammed.

In all reality, we didn’t suffer in terms of water refills, drinks orders and extra bread requests but the onset of dishes being prepared slowed to a halt and with small children, some under the age of nine, it became a predicament after an exhausted day on the slopes.

Remember, I'm STILL visualizing the “fun” night they promised.

Ah, fondue. Some people think of it as the flash-in-the-pot dinner party craze of the 60’s and 70’s, conjuring up thoughts of beatnik turtleneck sweaters and expensive orange fondue sets sitting unused for decades but like I mentioned earlier, FC are serious about fondue and when they want their fondue, they WANT their fondue at any price.

Luckily, our family ordered the Brie, Ahi Tuna Sashimi and the Iceberg Wedge for starters to share so we weren’t stretched for hunger pains while waiting for our NFC choices for dinner to grace the table.

Our FC on the other hand seemed strapped. The delivery time on their fondue main courses seemed to take an era.

Actually, I spoke to Claudio Natarelli about our incident because I just wanted to know what seemed to be the “hold up” during the evening. He acknowledged the addition of the Italian guests created quite a bit of an issue in the kitchen as well as the tallying of a few other spring breakers seated without reservations but the state of affairs was under control.

Enough said.

As I scanned the room, tables were full of families as well as couples and many locals having quite the “fun” time, our friends included, and no one seemed to be in a rush to leave. Although the wait staff seemed a bit flustered.

So, while our evening progressed, this is what I learned…

--Fondue is over 400 years old! Written records of fondue date back to the late 17th century, when a bare bones version of the dish calling for cheese, wine and bread for dipping appeared in a Swiss cookbook.

--There’s more than one way to melt a bunch of cheese in a pot. The well-known Neuchâtel Oise version calls for a balanced mix of Gruyere and Emmental.

--A Great Beverage Debate Exists. If you want to know what to drink with fondue, there are two major camps within the Fondue Connoisseur world: Black Tea versus White Wine. Some say black tea is better for digestion. Some say white wine is in the fondue already, so why not have several glasses with the meal?

--Fondue is a flavored dish of flirts. Tradition states that if bread falls off a woman’s fork and into the pot she must kiss her neighbor. If a man drops anything into the pot he has to buy a round of drinks for the table. (Our kids thought this tale was outrageous especially the part about kissing your neighbor because literally the FC’s are our neighbors.)

--Double dipping is not allowed.

In closing, folks around the world enjoy the spirit of meeting around a hot pot sharing a communal meal. They worship the hands-on-element, the light of the flame, and the kindheartedness of the dish. In addition, they don’t seem to mind the heavy price tag of the journey while time seems to be on their side.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank rerwin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2014

Lovely steak and raw veggies for the bouillon fondue and real raclette cheese to melt and eat with potatoes. Delicious, as was the bottle of Malbec. The owner and staff were very welcoming and chatty.

Be warned that though your stomach will be well filled, your wallet will be much lighter when you leave!

Thank Florida_rosbif
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2014

You can only find such an authentic Swiss experience in the Swiss mountain villages of the Alps! Their detail to their fondues are superb. (Try a shot of Kirsch in your cheese fondues!)

Thank Richard R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2014

I was recently in Colorado for a Spring Break trip with my family and, besides some great skiing we were lucky enough to have dinner at Swiss Haven in Breckenridge. It is so rare in North America to feel the authenticity that one feels in Europe (or Switzerland) when dining out.
It was a combination of excellent quality food - from the exquisite carpaccio to the seared tuna appetizer (we shared a number of different ones - all delicious) to the cheese fondue (not as heavy or pungent as in Switzerland, yet made with real Gruyere and Vachrin. To the chocolate fondue we shared for dessert (both a milk and a dark chocolate one!). To the warmth and relaxed manner or the staff and owners. We felt like family, we felt truly welcome, we felt warm, (and full), and we felt as though we would come back to Colorado just to have the chance to do it again... Thank you Alfonso, Carlo and Claudio for taking such good care of us.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Michael P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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