That '70s Meal

Fondue makes a comeback at The Melting Pot

The cheese stays smooth and viscous almost to the bottom of the pot, although the sides get caked with hardened goo, as do those spots on your shirt where the stuff runs off the celery (the cheese has much better adhesion to the bread cubes).

Entrées can be ordered as individual collections of meats and vegetables or as "fondue for two"--cheese fondue with special entrée selections. The fondue comes in three different heat baths: vegetable broth; canola oil; and coq au vin style, a bath of hearty Burgundy with garlic and herbs.

The Pacific Rim fondue for two includes an eclectic mix of teriyaki sirloin speckled with sesame seeds, shrimp, peppered pork tenderloin, chicken, duck breast and pot stickers. All the meats were fresh (the duck was alluringly sweet and the sirloin was surprisingly rich), and cooking them in the coq au vin gave the meat cubes a subtle herbal breath. The only item that didn't seem to adapt well to a non-oil scorching was the pork-stuffed pot stickers, which flexed like silicone between the teeth after a couple of minutes in the Burgundy boil. Vegetables include mushrooms, potato wedges and yellow and faded broccoli florets. Dipping sauces include horseradish cream, curry and a stiff chunky green goddess that tasted great inside the celery stalk.

Easy does it:  The Melting Pot sells fondue; bring your own burn cream.
Stephen P. Karlisch
Easy does it: The Melting Pot sells fondue; bring your own burn cream.

Location Info

Map

The Melting Pot

4900 Belt Line Road, Ste. 200
Dallas, TX 75240

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: North Dallas

Details

972-960-7027. Open for dinner 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday; 4 p.m.-11 p.m. Saturday; 4 p.m.-10 p.m. Sunday. $$-$$$$

Fiesta cheese fondue: $10
Pacific Rim fondue for two : $52
Seafood trio fondue: $18
Amaretto meltdown: $10

4900 Belt Line Road, Suite 200, Addison

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Though maybe not as healthful as broths, the hot oil does have its advantages. In hot oil, the shrimp, fish and scallops form a thin outer crust that seals in the juices and flavors. The hot-oil fondue version also includes a pair of batters (sesame and tempura) that we found completely pointless. These batters are so thick and pasty that it's difficult to create anything with them but a massive dough ball with a meat surprise inside. Better to let the oil kiss your meat directly.

Melting Pot desserts fester with a variety of liquid chocolates including the flaming turtle, chocolate and caramel set ablaze at your table; and yin and yang, a wavy swirl of half dark and half white chocolates. We gave the amaretto meltdown a try, a white chocolate amaretto mix that is also set on fire at your table. The flame flickers blue and then recedes before dying in a muted puff. Things to dip include marshmallows, strawberries, bananas and pineapple. The delivery also includes cheesecake, pound cake and brownies. But stick to dipping the fruits. They're far better than the baked goods when dipped into chocolate and are less likely to catch fire in the flambé.

Service is generally good with well-briefed servers heavily ladling out the "hot" cautions and don't dos. They even try to sell you jars of garlic and wine seasoning, though hawking a pair of heat-resistant gloves and a welder's visor might be more apropos.

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