Pros: Fantastic atmosphere, good menu choices, fun and interactive dining.
Cons: Expensive, impossible to get in without a reservation weeks in advance.
Wow, I've eaten a lot while dining out before, but this one takes the cake! Or, should I say the big bowl of scrumptious melted chocolate?!
My fiance and I dined at The Melting Pot for New Year's dinner 2003. It was the second time we'd been there, and knew if we were planning on spending a lot for a wonderful New Year's, this was the place to do it. Both times we went for dinner and we had a fantastic time. The service, atmosphere, cuisine...everything was just perfect.
From the valet parking attendant to the manager, everyone was very friendly. It almost felt like we were at home dining with friends (except the fact that I don't serve huge four-course meals like they do!). Our waiter actually sat and talked with us for thirty minutes at one point, and the manager came over to join in. No stuffiness or rushing around seen the entire night. They obliged to each request with no hesitation.
We sat at a table by the windows, looking out into downtown Littleton, CO which was still lit up from the holidays. The snow was falling and the tabletop candle was flickering with the gentle steam coming up from our fondue pot. Very romantic.
For holiday and special occasion dinners there is generally a set menu. Both times we dined at The Melting Pot we went for special occasions. Although the menu is set, you still have choices. For instance, the cheese course (first course) was set, but there were several different items that came with it. Generally you get to choose what type of cheese you'd like. (It always comes with the same items, however.)
After the cheese, you had to choose from four different salads for the second course. My favorite it the California. It has a good selection of fresh greens and tomatoes topped with walnuts, crumbled cheese and a light and tangy dressing. I'm allergic to nuts, so they kept them off for me. The mushroom salad also is fantastic if you like LOTS of mushrooms.
The third or main course is the large platter of uncooked meats and veggies. Although it includes veggies, it's not an ideal meal for those who wish to have a vegetarian meal as it is based around the platter of meats. For us the meal was set, but we were able to choose lobster tails or buffalo tips to accompany the chicken, beef,and shrimp selections offered. We chose one serving of each, an easy way to please my seafood loving fiance and keep my own dislike for fishy items to a minimum. A selection of almost a dozen or sauces, including a smooth horseradish sauce and garlic infused butter, were presented as well. There are also a few choices for cooking broths. One being pure oil (never recommended for anyone!), and other being flavored broths. The spicy one is fantastic. Each has some broth, wine and fresh spices added. Smells delicious as it heats! This main course heating process takes longer then any of the other pots to heat, probably because it needs to come to a boil and because the amount of liquid in the pot is at least twice as much as the others. This is a good time to allow food to digest and to take a breather! This was also when the wine was flowing and the conversation turned to New Year's Resolutions for us.
The last course is the chocolate dessert, of course. Although we'd been full since the salad course, the dessert can't be passed up! For this particular menu it was set with white chocolate and bananas foster. The items accompanying the chocolate were bite-sized pieces of cheesecake, strawberries, bananas, poundcake and marshmallows. This was very tasty! I'd also recommend the cookies and cream.
Our quiet, romantic New Year's dinner has never been so perfect. From the minute we arrived until the time we left (escorted to the already pulled up and warmed car by the manager)we didn't have one complaint or concern.
So, you ask, what about kids? There were families with small kids dining at the Melting Pot. Not a good idea from what we observed. Although they offered children's menu items, the parents were constantly reminding the kids not to touch the pot or play with the fondue forks and didn't seem to have much of a good time at all. For such a pricey meal in a wonderful atmosphere, I'd recommend not bringing younger kids here.
When we called to make a reservation we were told the entire menu and the price for the set meal. A plus for those on a budget or who have strict dietary restrictions.
Although it didn't cost this much when we went the first time, the New Year's dinner included a champagne toast and was set at $150 per couple. Generally you'd spend about $50 per person.
The only drawback to dining at The Melting Pot is that you need to call so far in advance. We called several weeks in advance for the New Year's dinner. In the past we've been unable to make reservations for special occasion dates (Valentine's, for example)because we did not call far enough in advance.