The Melting Pot
I recently stumbled upon a restaurant which gave me an experience quite unlike any I’ve ever had. I'm talking about the fondue restaurant The Melting Pot, and last week, my boyfriend and I dipped and nibbled our way through four courses at its Midtown location, 754 Peachtree St NE, Ste 100, Atlanta, GA 30308.
On the quiet evening we went, it felt like we had the place to ourselves, which I’m sure is unusual for a trendy date spot like this. We sank into our deep booth, ordered our cocktails, and prepared ourselves to enjoy a night on the town.
When you think about fondue, your initial thought is usually either cheese or chocolate, and while those treats are decadent, a fondue meal is an entirely different array of flavors.
If you’ve never been to a fondue restaurant like The Melting Pot, here’s what you need to know:
All meals are cooked in front of you, right in the middle of your table, by either your server or you!
Most diners usually go for the 4-course menu, from which you have your choice of cheese, salad, entrée, and (the best part) dessert. Entrée choices include steak, duck, pork, seafood, vegetarian options, and more. The uncooked meat comes to you and you cook it in your choice of oil or broth, as well as additional sauces and seasoning.
The servers are stellar at explaining the process. If you’re a newbie like us, your server becomes your best friend!
Several things were memorable about the meal. Our cheese choice was the spinach and artichoke dip, melted right in front of us by our server, into which we dipped tortillas, apples, carrots, tomatoes, and cauliflower. This was an excellent choice; their recipe for it trumps any I’ve ever had.
For salads, I usually order Caesar salad, but upon the recommendation from our server, I tried the house salad and was certainly not disappointed (the vinaigrette was superb), though the sweetened cashews in my boyfriend’s Caesar kept mysteriously disappearing to my plate!
For our entrees, he ordered the Pacific Rim and I ordered the Fondue Fusion, both of which include meat and seafood (duck is my favorite). And then it was time to get cooking!
It was truly a hands-on experience. Once we got the hang of the skewers, we speared the pre-sized hunks of meat and popped them into our pot of bourguignonne oil. The sound the meat makes when it touches the oil just made my mouth water, and the pop and sizzle of hot oil adds a thrill of excitement to the experience. I even fried my broccoli.
Cooking each bite of the entrées, you should give the seafood about 2 ½ to 3 minutes to cook per skewer, and the pork, poultry, and beef should get about 3 minutes, depending on how well-cooked you want it; we actually used a timer on our phones. (Be sure not to eat directly from your metal skewers because the prongs will be hot!)
After the meat is cooked, you have a buffet of sauces and seasonings to dress it with and bring out even more flavors. Ginger plum sauce was great with chicken and shrimp. A yogurt-based curry sauce was excellent with vegetables. Teriyaki was great for the meat, of course, and the Green goddess signature sauce paired well with everything!
Once we’d eaten every scrap of the entrées we could manage, we were presented with the dessert menu, which filled us with a combination of pleasure and pain. We were beyond stuffed, but there was no way we were missing the chocolate! Immediately, the Flaming Turtle jumped out at me, with its fresh fruit, blondie and brownie chunks, Rice Krispies Treats, marshmallows, and pound cake. Thankfully, we could take it to go; it would be a sinfully perfect midnight snack.
All in all, I highly recommend checking this place out. When you go, expect to have a roughly two-hour dining experience, so plan accordingly. And go with friends, so you can chat, eat, drink, and be merry!