We spent 5 days in the Gaslamp Quarter and ‘wined’ and ‘dined’ at many different places (see previous blog); The Melting Pot was our favourite. Keep in mind that we did not get to try every restaurant in the area but the food, the service and the fondue experience at The Melting Pot was great.
Four Course Fondue
The Melting Pot has one, two and three course options plus individual entrees but the Four Course option is the way to go (and if you check in on Four Square you might find a deal, we did). It does seem confusing at first with all of the choices but our server was very friendly and helpful. Each table is set up with its own built in burner. We were lucky to have made a reservation and had a great booth in the dark, back corner.
The first course was a Cheese Fondue which was served with vegetables and bread for dipping. The cheese choices included Cheddar, Fiesta, Wisconsin Trio, Spinach and Artichoke, Traditional Swiss and a special for the month Brie and Bacon. Our server heated the pot then came back to add the ingredients.
We chose the Cheddar which included Aged, medium-sharp cheddar and Emmenthaler Swiss cheeses, lager beer, garlic and seasonings. How can cheese not be delicious? Especially with garlic and beer in it? We actually ate all of the vegetables but left some of the bread so as not to be too full after course #1. Course #2 was a side salad. I chose the California salad – mixed greens, Roma tomatoes, candied pecans and Gorgonzola cheese with Raspberry Black Walnut Vinaigrette. Jeff chose the Caesar salad. Both were very good. Other choices included Spinach and Mushroom salad, a house salad with boiled egg and ranch dressing and the monthly special Strawberry and Almond salad.
For the main course the options for cooking style included: Seasoned Court bouillon, Mojo, Coq au Vin and Bourguignonne. We chose the Mojo, a Caribbean-seasoned bouillon with a distinct fresh garlic and citrus flavor. Six sauces were provided as well – curry, teriyaki, ginger plum, drawn butter, “Green Goddess” and Gorgonzola with port. The Green Goddess was a blend of cream cheese, sour cream, onions, chives and parsley. It was my favourite. Jeff liked the garlic and ginger in the teriyaki glaze.
There were 10 main course options to choose from with various seafood, fish, chicken, beef, duck, sausage and vegetables in each. One of the options was vegetarian. I chose the Fondue Delight
(Premium filet mignon and a succulent cold water lobster tail paired with all-natural breast of chicken, Pacific white shrimp, and wild mushroom sacchetti) but substituted wild Mahi Mahi for the filet mignon.
Jeff chose The Classic (Angus sirloin, Memphis-style BBQ pork medallion, Pacific white shrimp, herb-crusted all-natural breast of chicken, and teriyaki-marinated sirloin). He really enjoyed the teriyaki sirloin and the chicken while my favorite was the lobster. I was surprised because lobster is not usually my favourite but with complete control over the cooking I could make sure it was not overdone and chewy. The Mahi Mahi was bland even with the citrus broth and could use something extra added to it.
We did not really have room for dessert at the end but since it was included why not?! There were seven chocolate combinations plus the special White Chocolate Creme Brûlée and the option to create your own mix. We chose Flaming Turtle, milk chocolate, caramel and candied pecans flambéed tableside.
We stuck mostly to the fruit which included strawberries and bananas but tried bits of the cheesecake, Rice Krispie squares, marshmallows, pound cake and brownies. The fruit was actually our favourite and digging the pecans out of the chocolate was also yummy.
The pricing for the 4 course experience depended on what combination of cooking styles and protein we chose but none of the options exceeded $44 per person. We enjoyed cocktails, a 2 hour plus, 4 – course meal with a good bottle of wine (which we brought from the Ojai Vineyard for a $15 corkage fee) and our bill was $135 US. A great experience!
Jeff & Tara Ciecko of CK Golf Solutions write two blogs on their website, one is their 19th Hole Blog where they share personal experiences and the Biz Blog where they share business best practices and golf industry related opinions. They have owned CK Golf Solutions for 5 years and provide marketing, social media and business services to the golf and other industries.