Monday, April 7, 2008

Melting Pot

I'm back! What a weekend! It flew by, but we were able to squeeze in a lot over 2.5 days. The theme of the weekend was friendly competition and games, including shuffle board, cards, dice, and a marathon of bowling (nearly 3 hours!) The weekend also included sightseeing, cherry blossoms, stimulating conversation, and a whole lot of wonderful food!

My favorite meal of the weekend was an evening at the Melting Pot, which was not just a meal out-- it was an experience! For dinner, Mal and I, and our 2 friends, Josh and Danielle, ordered two pots of cheese fondue, followed by 2 dinner salads and 2 entrees to share. This seems like a lot of food, but for 4 people, it worked out perfectly.

The Melting Pot allows you to enjoy the process of the meal. The cheese fondue was made fresh by the waitress right at our table, where it was melted and kept warm on a burner. Our booth was somewhat private, but spacious enough for the wide variety of vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, bread, batters, and dipping sauces, which ended up all over our table. Dinner was quite an adventure-- we tried lots of new flavors and cooking styles, enjoyed wine and wonderful conversation, and leisurely dined the night away. (We were at the Melting Pot for nearly three hours!)

My photos uploaded a little out of order. I apologize. Our order of courses at the Melting Pot: cheese fondue, salad, and then the entrees. Sadly, we had no room for chocolate fondue, but next time, I will plan accordingly! :)

As part of our entree course, we needed to choose a couple of cooking styles for our 2 selections, which were the "Seafood Trio" (white shrimp, scallops and fish fillet) and the "Land & Sea" (a collection of Balsamic-marinated sirloin, marinated breast of chicken and white shrimp). We chose the Court Bouillon, homemade, seasoned vegetable broth, and the Bourguignonne, European-style fondue in cholesterol-free canola oil to cook our entrees.

Here's the Court Bouillon...


There were lots of options for cooking in the Court Bouillon and the Bourguignonne-- tons of fresh veggies, chicken, beef, shrimp, tuna, and scallops, which could be cooked in various batters and dipped in a variety of sauces-- some of my favorites were the tempura batter, a sweet plum sauce, a curry sauce that I put on just about everything, and a flavorful blue cheese dipping sauce.


Here's a shot of us waiting for the food on our skewers to cook... the pace of the meal is quite slow at the Melting Pot because each person only cooks two small pieces of food at a time.



Mal and me at dinner...


The cheese fondue was the first course. Our table split 2 pots of cheese: the Traditional Swiss Cheese Fondue (Gruyere and Emmenthaler Swiss cheeses, white wine, garlic, nutmeg, lemon and Kirschwasser) and the Wisconsin Trio Cheese Fondue (Fontina, Butterkase and Buttermilk Bleu cheeses with white wine, scallions and a hint of sherry). It sounds kind of strange, but the nutmeg in the Traditional Swiss Fondue was a-mazing! I've never tasted anything like it. It was such a full-bodied, complex flavor-- sharp, pungent cheese mixed with sweet and spicy nutmeg. All I can say is wow!


The pots of cheese fondue were served with fresh breads, vegetables, and apples for dipping. Each pot was prepared and cooked right on our tabletop.


Mmmmm... cheese fondue! This pot was the Wisconsin Trio.


Wine to complement the fondue...

The four of us split a bottle of Oregon Pinot Gris (my favorite white wine!)


In between the cheese fondue and the entrees, we split 2 salads between the 4 of us. The guys shared a Ceasar salad; the ladies shared a California Salad, which was mixed baby salad greens, Roma tomatoes, walnuts and Gorgonzola cheese, with Raspberry Black Walnut Vinaigrette Dressing. Delish!


All in all, a WONDERFUL weekend! We had such a blast with our friends, and we cannot wait for them to move back to Boston this summer!

Back to the grind tomorrow... good night!

14 Comments:

em said...

I went to the Melting Pot once for a friend's bday, but we only had dessert! That looks like fun though, and the picture of you and Mal is so cute! Mm the salad sounds yummy as well! Welcome home Tina, and have a great Tuesday!

run-roam-recycle said...

Welcome home - sounds like you guys had a great trip! That picture of you two is lovely =]

So as a future Bostonian.. what's your favorite place to eat out there? I don't know about food food.. but I know I definitely fell in love with JP Licks! (we went 3 times in 4 days!)

Jill said...

I've never been to the Melting Pot, I cannot eat cheese! But I guess I could give it a try as it has lots of other yummy stuff it looks like!

Glad you are home, I love your blog - it's realistic and fab.

loveofoats said...

I used to be obsessed with the Melting Pot hehe... What I normally do is skip the cheese (I think it's the heaviest part, plus I'm not a big cheese person) so I have room for the delicious chocolate! ;) Sounds like a fun weekend & cute picture!

Kath said...

Looooooove the melting pot!! I like the one they put the beer in : )

Sarah said...

mmm i love the melting pot! next time you HAVE to save room for dessert! They give little cheesecake bites and brownies to dip in the chocolate (as well as the usual fruit). It is so decadent and delicious! And for everyone in Boston, I heard a rumor that today is free cone day at JP Licks...this could be dangerous ; )

VeggieGirl said...

welcome back, Tina!! sounds like a wonderful trip, and dinner at the Melting Pot :0)

hk said...

sounds like a fun trip and a yummy dinner! I love the cherry blossoms in DC, so pretty :)

Clara said...

oooh what fun! I love long leisurly (sp? haha) with great friends. Heaven!

by the way, you are so photogenic! :)

Carrie said...

Tina (or anyone), when we have rice for dinner, we make brown rice. But with 2 hungry kids waiting anxiously at the dinner table we don't have time to do the traditional rice and have to resort to the boil in a bag brown rice that is ready in 10 minutes. Are we still getting the same benenfits that you would get from the traditional rice that takes like 45 minutes to get ready?

Tina said...

run-roam-recycle,

I have a lot of favorite restaurants in Boston, but one of my favorites is Sonsie. It is wonderful in sooo many ways! Here's the website: www.sonsieboston.com

Also, the farmer's market that I mentioned is right in Brigham Circle, which is just a few T stops away from NU... you could even walk.

Brittany said...

I love the melting pot and I agree with some of the other comments. Next time you go you have to save a little room for dessert. I know with the amount of food for dinner it is hard, but well worth it. Or go strictly for dessert. SO GOOD!

BTW- love you blog!

Meredith said...

I haven't been to the melting pot in forrrrevvvver but this is making me want to go back! I haven't tried pinot gris either and that's going on my list. Any recommendations for a good, but cheap :) bottle?

Tina said...

Meredith,

Surprisingly, I don't have a favorite Pinot Gris. Most of the bottles from Oregon are wonderful and not too pricey.