No compensation was received for this post. I was invited as a guest of The Melting Pot which facilitated the writing of this post.
The Melting Pot is hands-down one of our long-time favorite restaurants, and while this upscale, gourmet dining experience has traditionally been reserved for our sporadic date nights, we spent a relaxing Sunday evening sharing cheese and chocolate with our kids. If you’re unfamiliar with the franchise, with restaurants in 35 states across the US, Canada, and Mexico, it offers families an engaging, delicious experience which includes a selection of fondue cooking styles and unique entrees paired with The Melting Pot’s signature dipping sauces.
The photo where I cut off my husband’s head because I had a macro lens!
Before you decide to visit The Melting Pot, be sure you plan to spend 2 to 2 1/2 hours at the fondue restaurant. This is more than just a meal…it is an experience that you don’t want to rush through. And while I definitely find the restaurant to be kid-friendly, I have a few tips that will make the meal both enjoyable and memorable:
1. Talk to your child/ren about the dining experience ahead of time. The very first time I brought my kids to The Melting Pot was during a week my husband was out of town. Along with showing them photos of the experience, I talked to them about the “pot” that we would use to cook with and some of the food items they could experience. Just the mention of dipping desserts in chocolate was enough to create excitement.
2. Consider giving your child/ren a small snack before visiting the restaurant. Since this meal is an experience that isn’t typically rushed, the food comes out in courses. If your child is adventurous and enjoys dipping fruits and veggies in melted cheese then you might not need to worry about a snack.
3. Bring a few small toys, books, or coloring supplies to keep your child/ren entertained. Even the most well-behaved child could become antsy during a 2 1/2 hour meal, so I like to bring along some of their favorite toys and books to keep them occupied in between courses.
As I mentioned above, the very first course you’ll experience is the Cheese Course and it is my favorite! The sole reason why I have never been able to commit to a Vegan diet is my sheer love for cheese. Each location offers a handful of cheese fondue selections which are served with artisan breads and seasonal fruits/vegetables for dipping. If you enjoy the traditional Swiss delicacy, I recommend the Classic Alpine Cheese Fondue which is a blend of aged Gruyere, Raclette and Fontina cheeses.
In between courses, you’ll be offered your choice of salad paired with one of restaurant’s signature dressings. Each salad is freshly prepared and light…the perfect “intermezzo” between courses. I always opt for the California Salad because their Raspberry Black Walnut Vinaigrette is unlike anything I’ve tasted!
Regardless of your age, the third course is the most exciting. Where else can you cook your own food and then customize your dips to your liking?
While each location may vary slightly, the entree menu includes a variety of meat, seafood, and vegetable options which can be ordered solo or in combo. Select your cooking style (I recommend the Coq Au Vin) and then cook up your entree along with an assortment of fresh seasonable vegetables. Despite the fact that nothing takes more than 2 or 3 minutes to cook, this is the course you’ll spend the most time on.
Savor every bite…experiment with the dipping sauces (I could eat the entire dish of Green Goddess on my own)…have fun!
The final course is the most decadent so be sure to save a bit of room because chocolate has never tasted so good. Dark, Milk, and White Chocolate Fondue options are available and each are paired with a selection of fresh fruit, blondies, brownies, marshmallows, Rice Krispies Treats, and cheesecake. While I tend to maintain the status quo, I decided to be adventurous on our last visit.
I opted for the Chocolate S’mores Fondue which includes the traditional marshmallow and graham crackers.
The most exciting part of this dish is that it is flambéed!
Several years back, The Melting Pot switched from their “Big Night Out” to more local-centric Fondue Features. Each individual restaurant offers, in addition to their regular menu, a seasonal selection of special items. For example, our local restaurant in Irvine, California is offering a Bourbon Bacon Cheddar Cheese Fondue, a Seasoned Pork Tenderloin with Fig & Gorgonzola Sacchetti, White Chocolate Crème Brûlée. Additionally, each location periodically hosts special events like their Girls’ Night Out. Along with offering a specially-priced, 4-course menu, each restaurant often offers specialty drinks/cocktails and hosts giveaways on those special nights.
Special Fondue Offer: Through March 31st, if you like The Melting Pot on Facebook you’ll receive a pot of cheese or chocolate fondue for 2 for just $7!
National Cheese Fondue Day: April 11th is just around the corner, and The Melting Pot wants to celebrate by gifting you with a box of six Signature-Chocolate Covered Strawberries with any purchase of $60 or more. Simply sign up for their Club Fondue (which is free) to claim.
Images: Rockin’ Mama unless otherwise noted.