The Melting Pot – Boca Raton Celebrates 40 Years of Fondue
Throughout the years, I have spent special evenings at The Melting Pot to celebrate family birthdays, or to share a unique night out with friends. There is no other communal dining experience as wonderful as fondue, and no one does it better than The Melting Pot. Originally opened in 1975, the fondue restaurant franchise is now observing its 40th year, or ruby, anniversary.
Invited by the charming co-owner of the Boca Raton location, Jere Cook, I joined local journalists, broadcasters and food bloggers at a media dinner to commemorate the milestone with a special anniversary menu. First, we all raised a glass of sparkling Zonin Prosecco to toast the occasion.
The traditional Swiss warm cheese dish, fondue, dates back to the 18th century, and became popular in the U.S. in the ‘60’s. Typically, two types of cheese are melted together with wine in a “melting pot” called a caquelon. The dish is served at the table to be shared by everyone using long forks.
At The Melting Pot, each guest receives a different set of color-tipped fondue forks, so they can be easily identified from other fellow diners sharing the pot. Each guest to uses their long, two tined forks to spear a cube of bread, and dip it into the melted cheese. The fork is twirled around over the pot to prevent drips, then placed on a plate and eaten with a separate dining fork.
Before we could dip, we had choices to make for our cheese course, such as a Spinach & Artichoke Cheese Fondue or Fiesta Cheddar Cheese Fondue. With selections made, our waiter poured a glass of beer into our pot, on centered, low-heating plates embedded in the table, before adding the cheese mixture. Aside the cubes of assorted breads, a variety of veggies and green apples as well as cured meats were made available for dipping.
My favorite CHEESE FONDUE combination was the piney aroma and sharp flavor of Rosemary Bread blanketed in the savory and creamy Bacon Brie.
While new pots were brought in for the main protein course, we were offered a selection of salads, such as The Melting Pot House and Caesar.
Originally, the restaurant only served a delicious Mushroom Salad. The plate would arrive covered with a heaping mound of sliced Baby Portabella Mushrooms and topped with Italian House Vinaigrette and Parmesan Cheese on a bed of Iceberg and Romaine Lettuce. Although it has been off the menu for many years, those in the know can still ask for it. On my recommendation, one of the guests had and loved it.
Considering the occasion, I ordered the Anniversary Ruby Salad, a Spring Mix topped Glazed Pecans, Dried Cranberries, Goat Cheese Crumbles, and Red Beets drizzled with a Berry Balsamic Dressing.
Although I have had a great Beet Salad, I am not a big fan of beets, and definitely, not the canned type.
For the main fondue course, there is a choice of Steak Lovers, -Pepper-crusted Angus Sirloin Medallions, Filet Mignon, and Teriyaki-marinated Beef, or Poultry Combo, -Chicken Breast, Duck Breast and Memphis BBQ rubbed Pork Tenderloin. And, then there is the Seafood, -Lobster Tail, Scallops, Salmon Filet, White Shrimp and Black Sesame-crusted Ahi Tuna.
The uncooked proteins are boiled in the fondue pot, by guests, from a selection of cooking styles using seasoned broth or canola oil, such as Court Bouillon, Bourguignonne, or Coq au Vin, -Burgundy Wine infused with spices and Mushrooms.
To accompany the meats and seafood courses are raw vegetables, such as mushrooms and potatoes, and three signature condiments. These sauces are Sweet and Sour Plum Ginger, Yogurt Curry, and Teriyaki, which I believe could be updated to pair better with the more sophisticated entrees.
Unlike my fellow diners, I am completely inapt at cooking. So, my proteins ended under-cooked to avoid a well-done outcome. No worries, there will be dessert. The Cheese Fondue and Chocolate Dessert Fondue are my absolutely favorite courses.
Our choices continued to get more difficult, especially for the CHOCOLATE FONDUE course. How to choose between Cookies N’ Cream and, the anniversary special, Molten Lava?
We ordered incredibly well with the Flaming Turtle, – milk chocolate, caramel and candied pecans flambéed tableside. Our dessert was accompanied with fresh strawberries, blondies, bananas, pineapple, rice krispie treats, marshmallows, pound cake, and brownies for dipping.
Melting Pot Boca Raton also boasts an award-winning wine list, specialty martinis and hand-mixed cocktails.
The newly renovated, two-story slate and stacked stone Boca Raton restaurant provides diners with loft seating under vaulted ceilings and private booths.
In honor of The Melting Pot’s anniversary, the Boca location is offering, for a limited time, a special 4-course dinner for $40.00 per person, which includes a $20 Dip Certificate towards a future visit.
The Melting Pot of Boca Raton is located at 5455 North Federal Highway, Boca Raton, FL 33487. For reservations, call: 561-997-7472, or visit: http://www.meltingpot.com/boca-raton