The Melting Pot

This past weekend, we celebrated the 4th of July at...The Melting Pot in Red Bank, NJ!

The Melting Pot is a fondue restaurant, but the way Alex described it to me, it also had an aspect of Asian-style hot pot. Huh?  Do you...cook food in boiling cheese?

Turns out there are cheese and chocolate fondue courses, and the entree really is like hot pot, but in a selection of broths.  We had a four-course dinner with lots of poking and prodding and bobbing in broth and it was a load of fun!

First, we shared a Classic Alpine cheese fondue course, which was Gruyere, Raclette, and fontina cheese with white wine, garlic, and lemon juice.  The dippers included bread, grapes, cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots.  The cheese fondue was prepared table-side by our server (who embodied the qualities of a good waitress: loud, enunciated well, and knowledgeable).  Though it was a little too strong in the wine department, it was fun to dip the bits in the cheese.

For the main course, I got the Land & Sea plate...and what came to the table was a small rectangular plate of cubed chicken, steak, and shrimp.  No more than a couple of bites.  Definitely not what I had in mind when I think of American-sized entree portions, but in hindsight, it was perfect because we left full but not stuffed-to-burst.  You skewer your meats on the fondue forks, sink them in the bubbling broth for 2 or more minutes, and then pull them out to eat!  They had a few dipping sauces that were delicious, but I particularly loved the yogurt curry (yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and curry powder).  I was a little anxious about doneness of the meats so I left mine in about 3-4 minutes, but everything turned out well.  I was surprised that the chicken and shrimp still retained a lot of flavor even though they were cooked by boiling, and the steak was great with the gorgonzola sauce.

Finally, in the most beautiful preparation, we had the Yin Yang chocolate fondue with pound cake, strawberries, bananas, pineapple, brownies, blondies, and marshmallows.  While there was nothing remarkable about the taste of the fondue itself, you really can't go wrong with melted chocolate and sweet snacks.  Overall, a huge success and a very fun dining experience!  If I didn't have a little bit of sticker shock at the menu prices...I'd be back in a heartbeat!