After the first course at the Melting Pot, I knew that I was in for a treat. The restaurant, which bills itself as “something different” absolutely lives up to its name both in terms of customer service and in food experience. While not a good choice if you’re looking for a quick, inexpensive place to take the children, the Melting Pot provides a relaxed, lounge type atmosphere and a leisurely, delicious meal.
When a guest first walks in the door, they are greeted with the smell of cooking meat and a cheerful host or hostess who confirms the reservation, asks if any celebration in particular brought them to the restaurant, then leads them to their table and introduces the server who will be handling the meal. The atmosphere is dark but not oppressive, and the sleek, modern lines of the furniture make the restaurant seem spacious and welcoming.
Servers at the Melting Pot take a very active role. Because the fondues are prepared at the table, each server is responsible not only for carrying food to customers, but explaining ingredients and mixing them in the proper proportion in the fondue pot. The most popular selection on the menu is the Big Night Out which consists of four courses and enables the server to get to know the customer quite well and interact quite a bit while he or she is preparing food.
The first course of the evening is a cheese fondue. After browsing the extensive wine list and making a selection, deciding on a cheese fondue flavor can be difficult but rest assured that every item is wonderful. The server brings the cheese and other ingredients to the table and makes the fondue, then provides bread, apples, and vegetables to dip. The bread is good, but the apples are the real standout here- crisp Granny Smiths which pair perfectly with the sharpness of the cheese.
After a salad course (which, to be honest, is a let down after the cheese fondue and perhaps a waste of good stomach space), the server brings out the main dish- plates of meat, vegetables, and one of many oil based fondues flavored with herbs, spices, and other seasonings as well as a wide variety of dipping sauces and condiments. Each item gets cooked individually in the oil, the cooking time lending itself well to a slow paced, leisurely meal.
And if that was not enough, the chocolate course is an unparalleled way to end the experience. After selecting from a variety of chocolate combinations, including milk chocolate, dark chocolate, cookies and cream, etc, the lucky guest is treated to a tray of cheesecake, brownies, fresh fruit, and marshmallows to dip. Truly a wonderful way to top of the meal.
The Melting Pot, while slightly costly and by no means time effective, is an experience which must be tried at least once. The dining experience is like no other and does in fact provide “something different” not to mention delicious.