fighting the lack of good ideas

melting pot

Normally I don’t like reviewing chains, but The Melting Pot is different. It’s a fondue place, and is a blast to eat at.

The first time I went was with my wife and parents-in-law the weekend before Thanksgiving. We were looking for a “fun” place to eat, and had been thinking about trying a fondue place for a while, so we went. We ordered a pair of their “Big Night Out France” dinners – two four-course fondue extravaganzas that allowed us to mix and match our “cooking styles” (in other words, the broths in which you cook your meat chunks).

So the cool thing about a fondue place is that you cook your own food at your table. The ingredients are brought out raw, and you spear them and set them in the near-boiling broth for 30-90 seconds (as done as you want). The four-course dinner started with a cheese appetizer round with chunks of bread and fruit to dip. Second was a selection of salads for each person at the table, and then came the coup de gras – the meat round! (My wife would say that the best part is the dessert, but she’s wrong 😉 )

The meat comes out raw and seasoned in a variety of marinades (we had duck l’orange, peppered sirloin, marinated fillet, chicken, shrimp, and lobster tail). There are also a host of sauces that can be added post-cooking to the different meats: far more than I could recall in detail 🙂

Our evening out was a blast – while we were worried that it would be hyper-formal or “too fancy”, it was fun. Fun enough that a couple weeks later I took my wife back for a smaller meal for just the two of us. The second time we went there was a small bit of excitement a few tables away from us: a couple on a date got engaged, and left with stars in their eyes.

Melting Pot is not a place I would recommend on a routine basis – full meals run in the neighborhood of $50 a person – but it is a lot of fun, and definitely worth going to for special events.