Friday, January 28, 2011

The Melting Pot

Looking for something to do this weekend? How about a big night out on the town: A meal at a fancy restaurant, followed by a show at the theater. It’s cheaper than you think, courtesy of the Melting Pot restaurant and the fabulous Fox Theater.

Besides amazing fondue and wine, the Melting Pot offers special dinner-and-a-show packages for certain performances at the Fox. $100 per person gets you a three-course meal at the restaurant’s midtown location (walking distance from the Fox, so no extra parking or cab fees), and a seat at the show of your choice in the first 14 rows of the orchestra section. 

The meal starts off with the legendary cheese fondue, offers filet mignon and lobster as the main course, and ends with the chocolate fondue desert. This weekend, you can catch the classic rivalry of the Jets and the Sharks in the musical “The West Side Story.” 

Until about a month ago, I was a Melting Pot virgin. But now that I’ve tried it, I cannot wait to go back! Everything about my meal there was amazing. We started off with a rare bottle of wine, which alone would have made my night. The cheese fondue was simply perfect and came with plenty of bread and vegetables for dipping. 

Unexpected to me, the entrée meat and veggies came raw, and we cooked them in a little pot of coq au vin—a burgundy wine based broth seasoned with herbs, garlic, and mushrooms. There are lots of options for cooking your entrée (bouillon, bourguignon, etc.), and lots of proteins to choose from—different cuts of beef, seasonal seafood, chicken, duck, you name it. Each takes only about 1-2 minutes to cook. The best part of this course is the sauces, especially the Green Goddess, which makes for excellent stuffed mushrooms. 

Now on to the desert: The chocolate fondue came with fresh fruit and different types of sweets for dipping, like cheesecake and rice krispies treats. 

THE VERDICT: Let’s do the math: The three-course meal at the Melting Pot alone costs around $80, and most show tickets start at more than $20 (for balcony seats, mind you). So even though it sounds like a lot, $100/person is a pretty good deal. If that is too pricey for you, check out the Fox Theater’s other restaurant partnerships for dinner-and-a-show packages.