The Official Restaurant Week hosted by Dine Tampa Bay kicks off in a little over a month and is held here in the Bay Area from August 16-30th. As part of the kickoff to restaurant week, we were able to not only attend the Foodspotting Event at Datz (See previous post), but we were also invited to attend an exclusive tasting at The Melting Pot.
Allison and I headed on out to the event (which was scheduled from 6-8), but we quickly realized our timing was off seeing as there was bumper to bumper traffic and we ended up arriving 15 minutes late. We were in luck however because we walked in at the same time as our new Foodspotting friend, Carlos Eats. Our counterparts, Rob & Ryan, got to enjoy the Datz event in his company, so we had lots to look forward to in the night ahead of us: new friends, new food and lots of social media action.
We made our way to a private room that had three, large tables in it. Two had been taken by other guests of the event, but one table was completely open. Our clan decided to go for the empty table, so we could enjoy ourselves and hog the fondue! When the waiter came over, he explained how the menu would work for the night, and we quickly began making our choices. Let me just say that there was FAR too much food to be eaten by an average- sized human being. I am still full from all that we ate.
Our first course consisted of three different cheese fondues: Spinach and Artichoke Cheese Fondue, Tomato Cheese Fondue, and Cheddar Cheese Fondue. Accompanying the cheeses were a selection of “dippers”. These included fresh veggies, apple slices, and bread bites. I went straight for the Tomato Cheese Fondue (as it seemed to me most logically to sound like it would taste best). To my assumption, I was right (as our table later agreed) and I scraped that bowl CLEAN!
Second course was a choice of salad. I opted for “The Melting Pot House” while Allison went for the “California” which had candied walnuts, gorgonzola cheese and balsamic. When it came to the entrée, our goal was to choose THREE selections from a paragraph of what seemed to be FIFTY- FIVE! We decided (as a team) to divide and conquer by trying a little bit of everything. After a lot of back and forth, I chose the Atlantic Salmon, Teriyaki Marinated Sirloin and the Citrus- Infused Pork Tenderloin. Allison was quick to jump on the Filet Mignon, White Shrimp and Honey Orange Duck Breast.
So let’s break the third course down a bit. You had two cooking options: oil or Mojo broth. I opted to cook every piece of my meal in the Mojo except for the one piece of salmon I tried to deep fry using tempura batter.. It ended up turning out MUCH better than I had imagined. Once you cooked your food, there were dipping sauce options as well. The waiter explained that the “Green Goddess” sauce was by far the most popular. I mean, it’s made up of sour cream, cream cheese, and chives. Could ANYONE really not like it? Let’s be real.
There were also other dipping sauces for the cooked food like a tangy, sweet & sour sauce (which went great on ALL of my choices), a plum sauce (Allison and I didn’t love) and a curry sauce, which no one at our table used. After devouring my choices, I moved on to Allison’s leftover options. I LOVED the citrus pork cooked in the mojo with the sweet and sour sauce as a topping. Her filet mignon was delicious too, however, I did NOT care for the duck. It wasn’t my style, but I can’t figure out what it was. Maybe the consistency? I don’t know! I also snagged a lone spinach and artichoke ravioli from one of Carlos’ buds, and it was pretty delicious. We were also able to fry up some veggies during this course, so obviously, we threw some potatoes and Green Goddess stuffed mushroom caps in the mix to “go green”. NOT!
After stuffing our faces and joking (but not really joking) about how we needed elastic band pants next time because there was soooooo much food, they introduced us to dessert. We were given three sauces to dip in: Peaches N’ Cream Chocolate Fondue, Flaming Turtle Chocolate Fondue, and Yin Yang Chocolate Fondue. Allison and I were given a platter that included dipping items like marshmallows, rice krispie treats, fruit, pound cake, and biscotti. Oh yea, and after a few minutes of dippings different sweets and treats, the waiter brought out slices of cheesecake for the table to share. WHATTTT?!! I mean, someone MUST have tipped him off that we were coming and cheesecake is my ULTIMATE FAVORITE! Everything from dessert was delicious, but seeing as I had NO SELF CONTROL during the earlier dipping sessions, Allison and I just couldn’t finish our dessert.
All in all, the event was so legit. The food was delicious, the Melting Pot Staff was great and we couldn’t have asked for better company to join us on our Fondue escapades. We really enjoyed the event and will definitely be heading back to The Melting Pot again in the future.
P.S. This post title was named during the meal, as we called out our new friends at our table when they didn’t follow proper Fondue Etiquette.
-Nicholas and Allison