August 10, 2012 by Gina
I’m taking a bit of liberty with Adventure Friday today since the kids and I haven’t gone anywhere fun in the last few weeks. We’ve been on the road every weekend visiting family and I’ve been working a bit more during the week. But, Brian and I had our own adventure last night and actually had a date night! While we were on our date, we realized that the last real date we went on may have been this time last year when we went out to Travail in Robbinsdale, Minnesota (a FABULOUS restaurant that has been nationally recognized). Some couples go on a date every month or quarterly – we’re hoping to get out more than once a year from now on! How pathetic?!
So we took our “new” Mazda 5 that we picked up yesterday and headed to downtown Minneapolis. Our destination…the Melting Pot restaurant. We had heard from many friends that this restaurant has great food and is a lot of fun so we thought we’d try it. We also had a “Living Social” deal for the restaurant. For $47, we would receive two glasses of wine, a cheese fondue, salads and an entrée fondue pot. This would normally cost $94 so the “Living Social” deal was a great way for us to give this a try.
We arrived and we seated at our booth. Our first thought upon arrival was that the atmosphere at the restaurant was very odd for a restaurant with an expensive menu. We could have been at a Perkins or Country Kitchen. There were balloons at tables for guests’ birthdays. Since I’m gluten-free, I did receive a gluten-free menu which was very detailed and looked similar to the normal menu, rather than a printed piece of paper. Our server asked if this was our first visit to the Melting Pot but when we said it was didn’t explain much so ordering was a bit confusing.
Regardless, we received our first course, the cheese fondue. We opted for the traditional swiss pot with Gruyère and emmanthaler cheese in a white wine base. The cheese was terrific but wasn’t hot enough until the very end of the appetizer. Our salads were fresh and tasty, but dripping with too much dressing. We weren’t expecting much for the main course, but were pleasantly surprised when it arrived – Angus sirloin, chicken, pork and shrimp and vegetables for dipping in the Mojo broth (cilantro, garlic, lime and orange added). The main course was a lot of fun – it took us awhile to cook our meat in the fondue and we had fun connecting and laughing without our children. The pork, chicken and shrimp turned out moist and tasted great coming out of the fondue pot. The Angus sirloin was chewy and tasteless despite not being cooked for long. I just don’t think beef should be boiled which is basically what a fondue pot does. We enjoyed all the dipping sauces that accompany the meal.
We passed on dessert – we were both full and being pregnant, there just wasn’t any room in my belly for dessert. It looked fabulous when we saw the rice krispie treats, brownies, marshmallows and strawberries coming down the aisles. After our Living Social deal, a non-alcoholic drink and upgrading to the Mojo broth, our bill was $24 plus the tip. If we had to play full price for the meal, it would have been $125. We did not feel the atmosphere, food and service were worth the full price. Despite having a fun time together we will not be repeat customers to The Melting Pot. The food quality was okay, the atmosphere wasn’t anything special and our server was boring and brought our courses REALLY close together.
But date night was a success and we had fun! Have you tried a different restaurant lately?