Growing up in Littleton, I often saw the Melting Pot as we drove by.
To me, it was the ultimate date night place. A place you went for your anniversary, or for prom, or for a super special occasion.
And I certainly didn't think that children were allowed. It just sounded like a place just for adults (though, as a child, that's how I felt about most restaurants that weren't Chili's or Applebee's).
Even after moving back to Littleton almost four years ago - this time with my own husband that I could go out on a romantic evening with - I still hadn't gone.
You see, I'm actually not a big cheese fan, and I wasn't sure how much I would love spending $100+ on a meal that had a lot of cheese involved (or so I thought). But after years and years of hearing how much people loved it, when we had the opportunity to check it out earlier this week, I knew it was something I just couldn't pass up.
I was a little nervous about bringing my boys, but when I heard that the Melting Pot has a special "Kids Eat Free" promotion at our location on Tuesday's - as well as, a fun magician who goes around to each table - my initial impression was that this was an "adult only" venue, changed pretty quickly.
We invited my parents to come along - the extension deadline for taxes was the day before, which was a big deal for my accountant dad - so we thought it would be the perfect way to celebrate the end of this very busy time of year.
We honestly had SO much fun. I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed myself. So I thought I'd share my thoughts and experiences with all of you - and hopefully, you'll see how this is not only a romantic place for a dinner - but a really fun place for the whole family!
When we first arrived, we drove down into the parking lot - they had valet parking (which was free with a validated receipt) or self-park. Since we knew we were about to indulge in lots of decadent food, we opted for the self-parking and walked right up.
The Littleton Melting Pot location is so neat. It's in an old building (I believe it's an old library?) that just has so much character. Although it's off of a busy road, when you walk into the surrounding area, it feels like you've been whisked off to a place nowhere near where you are.
We were immediately greeted by the hostess, who was so friendly. As soon as we walked in, I was overwhelmed by how DELICIOUS it smelled. I was starving at that point, but the smell of the restaurant was unlike anything else.
We were seated pretty quickly at a large booth in the back of the restaurant. Each booth has curtains that you can keep open or closed - I thought that was kind of fun!
After my parents arrived, our cheerful waitress came over and brought us the menus. She asked if any of us had been there before, and since only my parents had, she went on to explain how ordering worked. I was definitely interested to learn about it because I had a hard time finding a menu online!
She was good at answering all of our questions and explaining how The Melting Pot worked. Up until that point, I honestly thought it was all about cheese and chocolate fondue. But that's only the tip of the iceberg!
I was impressed with how professional all of the staff was and how they were quick to answer questions and help. We never felt like we were being rushed or asking dumb questions.
Before we went into the Melting Pot, I really wanted to see what they had on the menu. I honestly wasn't sure how it met.
When I went to The Melting Pot website, all I could find wasthe mention of a four-course meal - but it only mentioned one kind of cheese (and since it boasted of gorgonzola, one of my least favorite kinds of cheeses), I wasn't very excited.
However, they have a large menu with LOTS of options - several cheese options, salads, cooking styles, and meats and vegetables.
If you are getting the four-course meal, you essentially will choose a salad to start with.
We all got different salads. I got a strawberry one (sans feta), and it tasted really great.
After the salad, we chose two kinds of cheeses for our table. It was hard to decide what cheese to get. They all sounded delicious! However, because we wanted to omit the alcohol, the waitress told us that anything wine-based would taste a little odd without the alcohol, but the rest of them could be easily replaced with broth.
We ended up going with Wisconsin Cheddar and Spinach Artichoke:
I was actually really surprised at how much I loved the Wisconsin Cheddar. As I mentioned, I'm not usually a cheese fan - especially not cheddar - but I thought it was amazing. I ended up eating that most of the night.
I especially loved dipping apples in it!
The spinach artichoke was good, but I wasn't sure how well it paired with all the foods they included. It was great with the bread - not as much with the apples.
They give you a nice platter of things to dip in it, which was fun. They were willing to bring out more if we needed them, as well.
You then get to choose the meats or vegetables that you want to cook after your cheese fondue. They have a couple of pre-arranged options, or you can build your own. You get to choose what bases you want them to bring out for you to cook them in - we chose the Court Bouillon - which is free - as well as the Bourguignonne, which costs extra... but it was delicious!
I was glad we got both of these because they were totally different styles of cooking. The Court Bouillon was nice for the boys, because it was a little easier (and probably safer) for them to use.
They also bring out red potatoes, broccoli, and mushrooms with every meal.
They were both very different styles of cooking - the Bourguignonne was oil based, and it came with panko and a tempura that you could dip your meats and veggies in. The waitress gave us the tip to fill a mushroom with the Green Goddess sauce, cover it in tempura, and then put it in the Bourguignonne.
It was easily my favorite thing I ate that night.
Speaking of sauces, they bring out a bunch of different sauces that you can put on your plate - I preferred the sweeter ones, though they have one that is gorgonzola based, another that is horseradish based, etc. Definitely something for everyone.
The only "complaint" I really have is that I would often get confused about how long I should put the meats and veggies in to cook, and I would sometimes lose track of how long they had been in there. The waitress told us all the cook times at the beginning, but it was just a lot of information to take in. I would love if they left a little time chart on the table. There were several times I thought something would be done, and it wasn't, so I had to put it back in.
I felt SUPER full after just a few pieces of meat - though lately I just get full really easily. However, everyone else seemed to eat everything on their plates.
Fortunately, I was able to feel a little less full by the time dessert came around. I mean, there is always room for dessert!
Much like with the cheese, they give you several options for the chocolate fondue. It was so hard to pick! Here is a picture of the menu:
We ended up choosing the Flaming Turtle, as well as the Cookies 'n Cream Marshmallow Dream. They flambe'ed both of them, which the boys thought was so cool.
They were both very decadent, but they were SO good. I especially loved the Flaming Turtle one. The marshmallow one was a bit like a s'mores inspired experience.
They bring out a plate of yummy treats to dip into the chocolates. There was a great variety to choose from, and I really enjoyed this part of our meal.
Ours boys definitely enjoyed the chocolate the most :)
The Melting Pot also has an extensive drink list, but since we don't drink alcohol, we skipped that part of the evening :)
Everyone is given a different colored set of fondue sticks, which I thought was really helpful. If you have more than just a couple of people, it gets kind of crazy when everyone is cooking their meats. I could barely keep track of mine knowing what the color was!
When I was reading reviews online, a few people mentioned that you should expect to be there about 2.5-3 hours. I thought this seemed like a long time! However, we got there around 5, and we left at 7:30, so it definitely is a longer experience. However, we didn't feel like we were sitting around waiting. There was constant food in front of us, and it was so nice to not feel rushed.
So if you are planning to come for an entire four course meal, definitely have the expectation that it's going to be a longer night!
It was really fun to have them mix up the cheese right in front of you. If you have allergies, this might help put you at ease to know exactly what they are putting into your food.
I enjoyed cooking my own meats, and I just thought the experience as a whole was a lot of fun. A couple of times we probably put too many skewers into the pots, but it was all good, and we had a really good time visiting with one another while eating our food.
The Melting Pot is certainly not an inexpensive place. I don't know that we would come here just for the heck of it on a regular basis, but I definitely know that we will be back for those special occasions that it calls for.
The bill for our entire table was around $220 - that was for four, four-course meals (we each got a salad, two cheese fondues, two chocolate fondues, and our own plate of meats to cook). And that was with the "Kids Eat Free" promotion. However, I definitely feel like we got our money's worth. It's really such a unique and fun experience. It's really so different than most dining experiences.
I would imagine they have different specials throughout the year, and you don't have to get the four-course meal when you go in. Just feeling like some cheese fondue? No problem. Only time for dessert? You can just order that. This can make it a little bit less expensive.
As I mentioned, the Melting Pot is a great place for kids - which surprised me, because it seems so sophisticated.
However, they have a great kid's menu, and on the night we went, they had a magician who came around and did tricks. Our boys absolutely LOVED this part of the evening.
At the Littleton location, they have a "Kids Eat Free" promotion, which I think is awesome! Here are the details:
"Every Tuesday from 5:00pm until 7:00pm. Kids 12 and under eat free with the purchase of any 4-course meal from our menu. One child per paying adult. Magician Dennis Michael will entertain and delight kids of all ages." - You can click here for more details.
For our boys' meals, they offered to either bring out a smaller pot of cheese for them, or they each could get their own personal bread bowl with cheese. We opted for that, and they loved having their own bowl to dip their foods in!
For the first course, they were able to pick a salad or a fruit cup. Since they really don't love salad all that much, they got a fruit cup, which I thought was great.
They each got to choose up to four meats or pastas to be brought out as their main course. Oliver chose Ravioli as one of his options, and he loved that the most!
I love how they make the experience for the kids very similar to that of the adults. I think it's a great way to include them and expose them to a new experience - just making it a little bit more kid-friendly. I loved the "Kids Eat Free promotion", and how it makes it a little easier to justify bringing them along.