Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Review: The Melting Pot

Shira, and I ate at The Melting Pot (1110 N. Glebe Road, 22201, (703) 243-4490) the other night for the first time. For those who have never been, it's an upscale fondue restaurant. They want you to have four courses: a cheese fondue, a salad, an entree fondue and of course, dessert fondue. We tried a bit of everything.

The cheese fondue was delicious. A real winner. They give you unlimited stuff to dip in your pot, which is somewhat generous of them.

Next up was the salad: Shira and I split a mushroom salad. I was really impressed - it was absolutely doused in mushrooms. It was the only time I can recall Shira really liking a salad. Again, impressive.

Next, we got the veggie entree, which basically consists of various vegetables and a bit of pasta you cook in a broth. I have to say, I wasn't particularly impressed. There's only one burner/pot at the table. This means that parties that want both a veggie and meat entree have to make do. Either cook (and eat?) all the veggies, then the meat. Or, oh wait, there aren't any other options.

I'm also not a big fan of the whole cook-for-yourself type restaurants. Flat Top Grill is another one that comes to mind. Frankly, if I wanted to cook my own food, I would have stayed home, and well, cooked my own food. Not to mention, I have no idea how to combine veggies and 6 different sauces to make a meal worthy of an $18.00 price tag. That's why I go out to eat in the first place, because the chef knows what the heck she's doing. Again, if I knew what I was doing, I would have stayed home and done it.

But this is hardly a Melting Pot specific complaint.

The dessert - now we're talking! Man it was good. And they provided all the fruit, cake and cheesecake we wanted to dip in our pot-o-chocolate. This was clearly a winner.

I found the atmosphere to be pretty unique. Take the seating: each booth felt like a private enclave, giving you a sense that you were in your own little corner of the restaurant. It all made for a slow-paced, upscale feel. When you come for dinner, you better have hours blocked off - it's going to be that kind of event. I give them a lot of credit for this. They have picked a paradigm, and they are sticking too it.

Would I go back? For the cheese and chocolate, definitely. For a whole meal with all the fix'ns? Probably not - just too much effort for not enough return.

They get a 7/10 for being so unique - if you like them, chances are, you'll love them.


1 comment:

  1. Exactly! I hate going out just to cook my own food.

    That's probably my only gripe about The Melting Pot.