A Good Place to Eat in Charlottesville, VA.
A nice place to dine!
If you are ever in Charlottesville, Va. and are looking for a very nice place to have dinner, either with that special someone or a group of good friends, you should try the Melting Pot. It does require that you make a reservation though. The Melting Pot is a fondue place. Three courses are involved with the meals that they offer and it is a rather interesting experience.
Diners sit a tables with a central heating elements on which a pot is placed. The first course involves a platter of breads (two different kinds) and vegetables. The server brings out with these "dipping items" a pot that is then filled with the ingrediants to make a cheese fondue ( a melty, ooey-gooey cheese sauce that is thick and flavorful normally made from a combination of cheeses, spices, and a beer or ale or stout or even wine) that is prepared fresh at your table. They even have a variety of choices of cheese fondue you can choose from. Long forks are then used to spear your bread or vegetable of choice to dip into the cheese. (Be careful eating it though, it is very impolite to stick the fork into your mouth because it is going to be needed to spear more of the dipping items into the pot and that pot is shared with everyone around the table.)
The second course is the main course. Once the cheese pot is removed, another pot is brought out. This pot is filled with whatever flavor you order for your food to be cooked in. This includes spices, alcohol, etc. A platter is brought out full of items for you to dip and cook in the pot. There is nothing fresher than food cooked at your own table. The waitstaff even go over proper fondue manners and cook times for your chosen course. They offer a variety of seafood, like lobster, and even steak or a combination of the two to be served during the main course. YUMMMMM!!!
Then the best part is served last, dessert! A blend of chocolate and other yummy flavors are served fondue style. They combine the liquor portion of the pot by carrying it in a gravy boat, lighting it on fire and pouring it into the pot, so you can roast the marshmellows that come on the platter that is served with the most delicious chocolatey course you can imagine. (I suggest that even if you don't go to the Melting Pot for dinner, at least go for desert and have the Bananas Foster with white chocolate, I am drooling as I type!) Cheesecake, strawberries, bananas, gram-crackers, and marshmellows are served with this course.
They do use a bit of alcohol in every fondue pot, but it is cooked off for all of those you don't drink. They also have a full bar. (A word of caution! In order to get something other than alcohol to drink besides water, you MUST request that your beverage be non-alcoholic!)
It is a bit pricey, averaging about $80 for a full meal for a couple (that does not include drinks) but it is worth it for a special occasion or for a group of friends. Be prepared to be dressed in casual clothes. No jeans please but, luckily no jacket or necktie required.
To maximize your enjoyment of this unique eating experience be sure to arrive very hungry. It may not seem like a lot of food, but it is. The platters are large and even thought, those portions of bread, vegetable, etc. are cut into small cubes, the couple course could easily feed four.
The Melting Pot rotates its special offerings every few months. These special offerings are called the "Big Night Out", and can offer anything from asian inspired spice and seafood, to hot Latin flavors. Three options are always available for the "Big Night Out" which their offering for couples as an homage to that special evening two people get to share every once and a while despite hectic schedules and the never stopping clock.
It might be a good idea to brush up on some proper fondue manners before booking a reservation. But, the waitstaff is very willing to educate you in proper fondue table manners.
All in all, it is a very interesting and tasty adventure as far as food is concerned. Don't miss the opportunity to try it.
More by this Author
A BASIC OVERVIEW FOR THOSE NOT FAMILIAR WITH WICCA Many people do not understand the beliefs behind the practice of Wicca. Stigmas involving the old beliefs that Wiccans are evil witches opposed to the Christian god,...