Friday, April 17, 2009

The Melting Pot

Don't you just love fondue? We've discussed this previously and you know I love it. So here's the deal: Bob went to Amsterdam and Germany last month. And every time he goes out of the country, Jenny (my oldest and bestest friend in the whole entire world that I've known since I was one year old and that I've gotten into more trouble with than anyone can even imagine and...whew! If that isn't a run-on sentence,I don't know what is! Oh wasn't even a complete sentence.) and I always say she's going to come over and spend the night. Well this time we did it! We had a "sleep-over!"

Jen came over on Sunday afternoon and we decided it was only right for us to be really good to ourselves. We thought we should treat ourselves to a special dinner. Who deserves it more than we do? Right? So we have both always wanted to go to The Melting Pot. Here was our chance! We made reservations and when she got here on Sunday afternoon we were off to do all things fondue!

We went to The Melting Pot, located in Easton. You look around and are like, "okay, where's the restaurant?" We stepped through the doors and started down the steps. We entered a different world. At the bottom of the steps is the hostess station. A really nice young lady greeted us and confirmed our reservation. She then led us through a maze of aisles and tables in this underground land. We stopped at a booth and were instructed that our server would be with us in a few moments. (I am thinking to myself, "Whatever you do, don't get drunk. You'll never find your way out of here and will spend the rest of your life wandering around the aisles looking for the end of the maze, asking diners for handouts so you can sustain your energy.")

A few moments after we were seated our server arrived. A very nice young lady that I am sorry to say whose name I have forgotten. (Give me a break, guys. I'm old and this was a month ago!) Moving away from my shortcomings, (and don't even start with me about the quality of the pictures to come. It's dark in that cave!) Naturally we began our meal with girlie drinks. I will spare you the details. Let me just say I only had one 'cause I wanted to see the light of day again.

Did I say we had decided to treat ourselves? Well that we did! We went all out. We threw caution to the wind. We ordered just about the most expensive thing on the menu! Woohoo! We were divas looking to be catered to! It was awesome! There are some pretty darn good things to be said about wild abandon. But then again, there is that moment when it comes time to pay the bill. Ouch. It should be noted that a dinner at The Melting Pot is not for the faint of pocketbook. But it is fun for a splurge. And you are talking about a dining experience, as well as a meal.

That said, let's continue. We began our meal with the Cheddar Cheese Fondue. This is aged, medium-sharp Cheddar and Emmenthaler with Swiss cheeses, lager beer, garlic and seasonings. Each cheese fondue includes fresh breads, vegetables and apples for dipping. Our vegetables were fresh carrots, cauliflower and celery.

Sidenote: There is a pad in the middle of the table that your server turns on to heat when she brings the fondue to your table. This baby heats up instantly and it is hot, hot, hot! Do not touch or you will be making the acquaintance of your local medics.

So back to the fondue. The Cheddar fondue was just delicious. Jenny and I were digging in like they were going to take it away from us! The apples were especially good with this fondue. Plus, I had the pink fork so it tasted even better! Our server was very attentive and asked if she could bring more bread, apples or veggies.

Next came our salad. We had a Southwest salad, which was the special at that time. Oh my gosh was it good. And I don't generally rave about salads. But this was just so fresh and crisp and yummy. A really good choice!

We chose the seasoned broth fondue for our main course. Here is our splurge. We ordered the Surf and Turf, which was twin lobster tails, filet mignon and portobello mushrooms. The vegetables with this were fresh broccoli, mushrooms, onions and chunks of parboiled potatoes. It was served with a trio of dipping sauces; teriyaki, curry and a gravy-like sauce.

As you can see, it looks gorgeous. After a few tries, we nailed the potatoes. You really need to cook those longer than the 2 minutes that they tell you. The vegetables were fresh and really good. I will say this about the surf and turf. It is pre-seasoned by the kitchen staff. Both Jenny and I found it way too salty. If/when we return, we will definitely request our main course dippers be served unseasoned. This was unfortunate because the three (yes, 3) lobster tails were lovely. If they had not been covered in the seasoned salt mixture, they would have rocked the house. The portobello mushrooms looked to have been just recently sliced, and the chunks of filet made your mouth water just to look at them. But again, they were seasoned way too heavily. That part was a disappointment to us. And as we cooked them in the seasoned broth, of course the broth gets saltier and saltier. A major drawback for this otherwise lovely dinner.

The above mentioned dipping sauces were a pleasant surprise. The teriyaki was quite good. I'm not a big curry fan, but this wasn't bad. And the gravy-like sauce (I wish I could remember what the details were on this because it had some kind of a reduction) was my favorite. It complemented the steak and mushrooms beautifully.

If you are a believer that the best part of dinner is dessert, well you will not be disappointed by the dessert offerings here. What we chose was just the basic milk chocolate fondue. And we were so not disappointed here! The dippers themselves would have been a great dessert. We had sliced strawberries, marshmallows, sliced bananas, brownie bites, cubes of pound cake, squares of rice krispie treats, and a piece of cheesecake topped with a cherry. It is suggested that the cheesecake, poundcake and brownie bites be placed on your plate and the fondue drizzled over them because they tend to break up when dipped in the hot chocolate. All of the others were dippable.

After Jenny and I duked it out over the rice krispie treats, we commenced with the dipping. Okay, I have to stop here and admit to you that we actually swooned. Webster defines "swooned" as: to enter a state of hysterical rapture or ecstasy. Yep, that's pretty much what we did. Suffice it to say we ended the meal on a high note!

I am sorry to say that this picture is lousy; but it will give you an idea of the ecstacy of the dessert known as milk chocolate fondue. I think I was food drunk when I took it ;-)

The Melting Pot
4014 Townsfair Way
Columbus, OH 43219
614) 476-5500
Fax: (614) 476-5511
Hours of Operation:
Sunday-Thursday Noon-10pm
Friday-Saturday Noon-11pm

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