“How much cheese is too much cheese?”
~~ Charlie, my favorite character on “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”
There are few things I adore more than cheese.
Add eating it with my favorite person at a place I’ve been hankering to visit for years, The Melting Pot, and we’ve got ourselves a nice little evening to write about.
Led to a secluded booth in the back of The Melting Pot in Whippany, N.J., we were excited to see all that the place had to offer, in addition to chic decor.
Starting off with a glass of Riesling and a rosemary-infused drink special, we perused the menu and decided on The Big Night Out feature, which offered a four-course meal (cheese fondue, salad, entree and chocolate fondue) that sounded ridiculously delectable.
The Wisconsin Trio cheese fondue got the pot simmering, if you will, with its tasty blend of fontina, butterkäse and buttermilk bleu cheeses with white wine, scallions and a hint of sherry. We were given raw cauliflower, broccoli and carrots, chunks of bread and tart granny smith apples to dip into the gooey cheese.
Naturally, the bread was the easy favorite.
Next up, I tried – for the first time – a Caesar for my salad course. (I’ve only recently fallen in love with Parmesan, something I’d hated since I was a child), and have to say that the parmesan-encrusted pine nuts drew me in.
If all Caesar’s are this good, I’ve really, really been missing out!
The California salad, with its mixed greens, roma tomatoes, walnuts, gorgonzola and raspberry black walnut vinaigrette, too, was tasty.
As we were finishing up our salads, our server came and set down the pot for our main course so it began to heat up. The scent that wafted from our chosen cooking style (coq au vin, with fresh herbs, mushrooms, garlic, spices and burgundy wine) were intoxicating.
Almost as much as the site of the entree accoutrements set before us, featuring sesame-crusted ahi tuna, shrimp, seasoned Angus sirloin, herb-crusted chicken breast and teriyaki-marinated sirloin – can you say heaven?!
I loved the whole interactive-ness of making our dinner, using the long-handled forks, watching the process of each item cooking, from the tuna that I made perfectly rare to the burgundy-soaked potatoes mixed with the green goddess condiment, it was a fantastic dinner, one of the best, we decided, we’d had in a long time.
But wait, there’s more – dessert!
We chose dark chocolate mixed with dulce de leche and sea salt for our chocolate fondue, and it was incredible. Despite tasty dipping competitors like creamy cheesecake, Rice Krispies Treats, two types of marshmallows, pound cake and brownies, the fresh strawberries were my favorite, hands down.
There’s just something about a chocolate-covered succulent strawberry …
If you ever get a chance to visit a Melting Pot, do so.
Do not pass Go, do not collect $200 – just get there.