Dining at The Melting Pot is one long tableside presentation. The evening begins with servers laying out the menu built around four courses of cheese, salad, entrée and chocolate. They’ll prepare the cheese and chocolate fondues at the table, stirring in wine and spices, while instructing you on the proper cooking times for your pieces of meat (2 minutes) or fish (1 ½ minutes); and they’ll probably crack a joke about your “search and rescue spoon.”

But the best piece of advice by far was this: “Dinner at The Melting Pot is more like running a marathon than a sprint. People think that it’s not a lot of food when we come out with small plates, but we keep bringing more and more…it adds up.”

Truer words were never spoken. As we settled in the cozy semi-circular booth and huddled around the single electric stovetop, our server wheeled in plate after plate of delectable dishes and we found the need to pace ourselves in order to keep up.

First came the cheese fondue ($17 for a pot for two). We went with the house favorite Cheddar Cheese Fondue with a light American lager beer base, garlic, mustard powder (for a bite of flavor), and an 80-20 blend of medium-sharp Wisconsin cheddar and Emmenthaler Swiss cheeses. The beer base never quite cooks off, so the cheese holds a slightly hoppy quality that we found intoxicating. Some of the dippers are carrots, cauliflower, French honey wheat and rosemary breads. The tart Granny Smith apples chunks were a delicious contrast between the sharp, warm cheese and the tangy fresh juice that erupts in your mouth with each bite. You’ll run out of cheese before dippers, so pick your favorite ones and stick with them.

Entrées ($20 to $29) run the gamut of meat, fish, vegetables, and stuffed pastas. You dip these into various broths such as the citrusy “Mojo” broth made with Caribbean-seasoned bouillon, garlic and citrus juices; or the “Bourguignonne,” which is the French name for the European-style fondue made with canola oil and Burgundy wine. We chose the “Coq au Vin” option, a blend of burgundy wine infused with fresh herbs, spices and mushrooms, which they carried to our table using a “romulator” – a giant metal clamp that keeps the broth hot and the contents from spilling.

Our server then wheeled in a plethora of dipping sauces. Half the adventure is mixing and matching your favorite ones with the meats and veggies. The Pacific White Shrimp was especially good when smothered in the “Ginger Plum” sauce, which is made with a blend of red and green bell peppers, ginger and a hint of plum that makes the shrimp pop with flavor. The “Green Goddess,” a combination of cream cheese, sour cream, onions, chives and parsley, works well with several dishes, but made the mushrooms caps particularly savory. My personal favorite was the herb-crusted chicken slathered with either the smooth, yogurt-based curry sauce that added a mildly spicy bite to it or the “Gorgonzola Port” sauce whose rich cheesy blend left me licking my lips.

If there is any place to live by the quote “Life is short, eat dessert first,” the Melting Pot would be my first choice. The chocolate fondue ($17 for a pot for two) includes all your dipping favorites: squares of pound cake, brownies, marshmallows crusted in Oreos or graham cracker crumbs, Rice Krispies treats, cheesecake, banana slices and the requisite strawberries. Fondues come in all tastes and colors from original milk chocolate to cookies ‘n’ cream (dark chocolate and marshmallow cream with bits of delicious Oreo cookies) to banana foster (bananas swirled in white chocolate, a hint of cinnamon and flambéed tableside). Dessert was worth the trip alone and the quality of the chocolate fondue outweighs any store-bought fountain. We left, sweet tooth satisfied. Oh, mon dieu!

The Melting Pot

10374 W. Sample Rd., Coral Springs, FL



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