Posted by: dinainsuburbia | October 6, 2008

Melting Pot Fondue Restaurant, Farmingdale (and a link to a great fondue recipe)

Last night my cousin and I headed over to The Melting Pot, a franchised fondue restaurant on Route 110 in Farmingdale.  I’ve been to The Melting Pot before in New Jersey so I knew what to expect.  As my cousin was taking me out for my birthday (going down as the longest birthday celebration ever) she went ahead and made 6:30 reservations.  Maybe it’s because it was a Sunday, or because the place is really popular, but I didn’t think we needed reservations for two people so early in the evening.  But, we did! 

I was amazed when we walked in how many were waiting for tables.. with the state of the economy and the (yikes) stock market, you would think more people would eat their Sunday dinners at home!  Thankfully for our economy, the restaurant was packed and my cousin and I were forced to park all the way in the back (gotta get that exercise in somehow).

We decided to share the Signature Selection Entree for Two which includes a cheese fondue course, a main cook-your-own course consisting of fillet mignon, teriyaki-marinated sirloin, shrimp, chicken, and salmon (on the menu it says fish fillet, so I assume the fish selection is seasonal), and a chocolate fondue course.

For the cheese fondue we decided on the standard cheddar cheese fondue (neither of us like swiss-cheese-only fondue, and my cousin wasn’t into the fiesta cheese with nacho option).  The waitress prepared the fondue table-side by mixing together wine, garlic, spices, a splash of what I think was Worcestershire sauce and a mix of shredded cheddar and swiss cheese.  The ingredients came together quickly and bubbled away on the cooktop in the middle of the table.  Starving and happy for melted cheese, (because seriously, what can be better)  we aimed our spears at the dippers (bread, green apples, and a small bowl of raw carrots, celery, and cauliflower).  The cheese was tasty, but the dippers were disappointing.  Maybe it’s just me, but I wanted CRUSTY bread to dip into the cheese… not soft, mushy bread.  The veggie selection wasn’t the best either! How about some broccoli and some steamed baby red potatoes.  Come on Melting Pot, step it up a notch!

Of course, we ate the ENTIRE BOWL of cheese!  The dippers were merely vehicles for the cheese, not tasty on their own.  After we obliterated the cheese, the waitress brought out the main course, a platter of raw meat and fish, a bowl of veggies and potatoes, a cooking pot filled with stock, broth, and mushrooms (we chose the Coq au Vin cooking style) and a scary assortment of dipping sauces.  While they call it fondue, what you are doing is basically poaching your food.  I’ve never been one for poached chicken.  I just don’t like the consistency of it.  The fillet mignon was good, but why would you want to poach fillet mignon?  The teriyaki-marinated sirloin didn’t taste very marinated to me, but how could a marinade survive being boiled in red wine?  My favorites were the salmon and shrimp, which tasted delicious after being poached in the wine and later dipped in the green-goddess dipping sauce.

For the chocolate fondue, we went with the Flaming Turtle, a combination of milk chocolate, caramel, and chopped pecans flambeedtable side.  I still can’t figure out what they used to flambe the chocolate.  I didn’t taste any alcohol in the chocolate.  The dippers went very well with the chocolate: marshmallows, rice krispie treat squares, strawberries, bananas, brownies, pound cake squares, and a slice of cheesecake.  We were so full from the previous two courses that we left half of our dessert uneaten (the horror)!

So, what’s my verdict?  The Melting Pot is a fun, date-night place, but they don’t serve haute cuisine.  Next time, I’d probably order two cheese courses (soft bread and all), skip the main course, and get a chocolate fondue. 

Or.. make a fondue at home!  I’ve had a lot of luck with Rachael Ray’s fondue- it’s easy to make, delicious, and it gets rave reviews. 

Rachael Ray\’s Easy Cheesy Fondue

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Responses

  1. Celery dipped in cheese? Weird….

    I wasn’t a huge fan of the main course at the melting pot either. The steam from the pot wafted in my direction for an hour and my bag reeked of it for days- yuck.


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