Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Diners, Drive-ins and Dives Road Trip - The Melting Pot

Apologizing in advance for the blog post title once again as The Melting Pot was never featured on the Diners, Drive-ins and Dives ("DDD"), but as I mentioned in my DDD road trip plan post, I needed to fit in a nice meal somewhere in my 3-day road trip; absolutely no burgers, no fries, no sandwiches allowed. None of that. I refuse.

I've always wanted to try The Melting Pot. It is a chain restaurant in the States that only does fondue. I know there are probably a lot of fine dining restaurants in Pittsburgh that are way more fancier and is not, well, a chain. But I didn't care. I wanted fondue at The Melting Pot.

We didn't make a reservation and thought it shouldn't be a problem on a snowy, Sunday night, but was shocked when we were told that we would need to wait an hour and a half for a table. Thank goodness it just so happens that there were two seats at the bar, equipped with fondue burner.

We chose to go all-out and went for the "Big Night Out", a four-course menu catered for two.

Evidently, my boyfriend enjoyed the bar as the NBA All-Star game was on. *HI KOBE*

1st Course: Fiesta Cheese Fondue - Cheddar cheese with lager beer, jalapeno peppers and salsa made as spicy as you like. Our server asked us how spicy we would like it and we said "medium" (playing it safe here just in case). 

There were nacho chips, bread, vegetables, and apples for dipping. 

I couldn't really taste the lager beer but could taste the spiciness in the cheese. We were offered more sides too just so we can finish the cheese. Although I couldn't taste the beer the cheese fondue was still really, really delicious - it was extremely cheesy (not "watered down"), hot, thick, and I love the kick from the jalepenos. 

The one complaint I have was that it took really long for the cheese to heat up - I think The Melting Pot should invest in stronger burners. But no sweat, we were in no hurry as we were on vacation and we were both watching the NBA All-Star game. 

2nd Course: Salads - Caesar Salad. 

My boyfriend had this and it was like your typical Caesar salad.

Spinach Mushroom Salad - Fresh spinach, baby Portobello mushrooms, red onion, chopped bacon, and Roma tomatoes with a warm Burgundy Shallot Vinaigrette. 

I liked this salad because I like the vinaigrette, which was actually more like a dressing as it was pretty thick.

3rd Course: Coq au Vin - Flavours of fresh herbs, mushrooms, garlic, spices and burgundy wine. This is the broth that we cooked our meats in. 

Lobster Indulgence

Cold-water lobster tails, peppercorn-crusted NY strip, chicken Provencal, Roasted-Garlic Shrimp, Maple Leaf Farms Duck a l'Orange, Ratatouille & Goat Cheese Ravioli.

and Fresh Vegetables.

A variety of dipping sauces - curry, gorgonzola port, ginger plum, and green goddess (a blend of cream cheese, sour cream, onions, chives & parsley).

I enjoyed every single item on the plate especially the lobster tails which were cut into perfect bite-size pieces. The steak was tender, the shrimps were fresh - I even enjoyed the chicken which was moist and not dry. 

It was the perfect portion for two people; the plate may look small but remember we also had the cheese fondue and salad before this.

By the way it gets really hot eating fondue after awhile. Glad I wore short sleeves! I was also getting a free facial at the same time.

The Damage (before dessert):

4th course: Chocolate Fondue - Cookies & Cream Marshmallow Dream - Dark chocolate topped with marshmallow cream, flambéed, swirled together and garnished with crushed Oreo cookies.

Flames are always exciting!

Look at that hot, oo-ey, gooey chocolate + marshmallow + oreo cookies goodness!

Dippers include strawberries, bananas, cheesecake, rice krispies, marshmallows, pound cake, and brownies.

I wish I was there again. Right now.

I loved our "Big Night Out" dinner; although the salad was nothing special and had nothing to do with fondue, it still served as a nice break from all the fondue action that was going on.

I wish Toronto has a fondue restaurant like The Melting Pot

Melting Pot on Urbanspoon

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