Especially with a 9-year-old in tow, we think of dining out as an outing – we bring card games with us (Rage, anyone?) and whenever dinner is an actual experience, it’s even better.
The Melting Pot sets itself up to be romantic, with dark wood booths and low lighting. The ever-present sound of fondue pots bubbling makes for a relaxed atmosphere.
On this occasion at the Arlington Melting Pot, the best thing about our experience actually was our server, Drew. He belongs in a higher end restaurant and was gracious, had the perfect balance of familarity and professionalism, and kept up with us at a great pace.
I’m a fan of cheese, so a meal where you start by dipping food into cheese is kinda my idea of perfection. We had the Wisconsin Trio Cheese Fondue to begin, which, I have to admit, was completely delicious. It went incredibly well with the bread and apples, although I’m not one for raw veggies (because, let’s be honest, the bubbling of the fondue pot can only mask so much).
For the salad, the dressing was a little heavy on the Spinach Mushroom Salad, not really providing the palate relief needed after drowning in a vat of cheese. But don’t skip the salad – you need the ruffage after the fromage.
The main course at the Melting Pot is the weak spot, although what do you expect when a restaurant has you cook your own food? It’s difficult to get the timing right for all the various meats and veggies, and the only thing that really turns out well are the shrimp. I eat that “goddess” sauce on everything, though – delish!
We finished with the Irish Cream Dream chocolate fondue. Oh my. Get this and ask them for an extra plate of bananas. This was so, so good, and I’m not even really into chocolate! What I love is that they bring you limitless “dippers” – little bites of pound cake, brownies, strawberries, rice krispy treats. YumYumYum.
This is an expensive night out – just be ready for it, but you have to view the Melting Pot as an event, not just dinner. Also, they offer really great deals – Girls Night Out and Monday Military Nights, as well as a FREE CHOCOLATE COURSE just for signing up for their little club. Um, yes please!
Best for: People who like to dip things. And who like cheese. And chocolate.
Worst for: Picky eaters and germaphobes: this is a community pot, my friend.