Stable, DC’s only Swiss restaurant, has been closed for indoor dining since the pandemic hit in March. The H Street spot has gotten by thus far on takeout and outdoor pop-ups with crabs in summer and fondue in fall. But now, after much consideration on how to serve indoor diners safely, chef/owners David Fritsche and Silvan Kraemer are ready to reopen their doors on Thursday, November 12 thanks to a little Swiss ingenuity. A rear dining room has been converted into an Alpine wonderland with five private wooden chalets for small groups. In front, there’s extended outdoor seating for 20 guests on a patio kept cozy with heaters, blankets, and plenty of glühwein and melty cheese.
“We had to come up with an idea to open Stable eventually—we won’t make it on takeout,” says Kraemer. “We looked at curtains and dividers, but it’s not who we are, it’s not what Switzerland resembles. So why don’t we build ski chalets? There’s nothing more Swiss than that.”
The two Swiss natives designed the little cottages to look similar to ones in their homeland, and worked with a friend and woodcrafter to build them. Two of the chalets seat six, while the rest are made for four—and all are appointed with festive winter decor. Guests can order from the regular a la carte menu of Swiss specialties, such as venison with spaetzle, or opt for set meals of fondue or raclette (with homemade bread for dunking). Swiss wines, schnapps, and seasonal cocktails amp up the mountain vibes. The same menu is available to diners outside.
The owners have also transformed the front of the restaurant into a Swiss market for grab-and-go shoppers. Fritsche, who formerly worked at the Swiss Bakery in Springfield, will offer homemade pastries and breads. You’ll also find wine, bottled cocktails, and homemade cordials. The restaurant plans to retain their full takeout menu, which includes fondue and raclette kits—and optional machine rentals for making them.
Stable isn’t the only restaurant getting creative with their private seating. Ryan Ratino has created “winter lodge” cabins outside his Michelin-starred 14th Street restaurant Bresca, which reopens for dining-in on this Thursday.
Stable. 1324 H St., NE