Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Melting Pot - A Fondue Dining Experience

Last Saturday we went to celebrate our wedding anniversary at The Melting Pot, which is one of my all time favorite restaurants.  It is quite a drive from our house (which is probably a good thing!), so we only go there for our anniversary and maybe a birthday - so once or twice a year.  

Fondue style dining is certainly not for everyone.  You cook your own meat, and have to share the cooking broth with your fellow diners, but it makes for a very interactive and fun dining experience.  I love the variety of food, and the fact that you don't have to eat anything you don't want.  We chose the Big Night Out fondue special.  The Melting Pot changes the theme of the Big Night out every few months.  The current theme is French and it's on until March.

The Melting Pot Big Night Out France.
The cheese fondue was a combination of Brie, Fontina, Gruyère and Raclette cheeses, with bacon, onions, white-truffle cream and topped with fresh chives.  If you have never tried it, this may sound strange but Granny Smith apples dipped in any cheese fondue is unimaginably delicious!

The Melting Pot's cheese fondue with veggie dippers.
A good cocktail enhances the flavors.
Next up, Salade Niçoise.  Not the traditional Niçoise i.e. minus the tuna.  This originally included olives, but I don't eat them (I don't eat beets either, but I didn't know it included beets). The salads are always fresh and tasty - I love the way many of the ingredients in The Melting Pot's salads are delicately diced.
The Melting Pot's Salad Niçoise. 
Finally, the meat course.  I don't understand how ravioli is French, but anyway... This is a dish of raw meat (like I said, not for everyone), and if you are a vegetarian there are vegetarian menu options.  So left to right, shrimp, duck, filet mignon, peppercorn NY strip steak, and chicken, and of course ravioli.
The Melting Pot meat fondue selection.
One and a half minutes later, and you have a tasty, tender bite of steak drizzled in your favorite sauce!  We also choose Coq au Vin as our cooking style.  Coq au Vin, Melting Pot style, of course, is a combination of fresh herbs, mushrooms, garlic and spices simmered in Burgundy wine.
Filet Mignon topped with teriyaki sauce and a little gorgonzola.
Last but not least, the indescribably scrumptious White Chocolate Crème Brulée Fondue! It was wonderful, but it is very, very sweet, so if a sugary chocolate isn't your thing, you may want to try a regular milk chocolate or dark chocolate fondue instead.
The Melting Pot's White Chocolate Creme Brulee Fondue.
A brownie bite dipped in white chocolate crème brulée 
The dippers for the chocolate fondue are varied and tasty.  You get one slice of cheesecake, some pound cake, brownies, marshmallows, strawberries and banana.  You can dip these into the chocolate, or drizzle them with chocolate.
Dippers for the Chocolate Fondue.
The Melting Pot dining booth - for two.

A great thing about the menu is that you have the option to pick and choose what kind of fondue you want - you don't have to have all of them, like we did here.

You can select the cheese fondue and a salad, or a cheese fondue and a chocolate fondue.  Or a meat fondue and a salad.  Take your pick, there are many options.  Also, the dippers and sauces are bottomless, so feel free to request more apples, bread and gorgonzola sauce!

The Melting Pot has a great selection of wines, and they make fabulous (and strong!) cocktails.

They cater to parties and large groups of people, with longer tables and more burners than you see here.  All in all, it's worth it to go even just once.  It's truly a fun and memorable dining experience.

Be sure to make reservations before you go, because they are usually fully booked, especially in the evenings.  Visit their website here - The Melting Pot

- The Sassi Wench