Urban Fondue

Gorgonzola cheese

Image via Wikipedia

Last night was my friend Stacy’s birthday.  For forever she has wanted to go to The Melting Pot for the all fondue meal, I have repeatedly talked her out of it.  But last night was her birthday so when she said let’s go the Urban Fondue I had to say yes.

Let me start by saying that I love fondue or raclette, pretty much any melty gooey cheese thing does it for me so my main objections to this plan were simply economic: even if you skip cocktails, which we all know I wouldn’t, you are in it for at least $30.

The atmosphere is lovely.  Deep red walls glow in the soft romantic lighting, the high backed booths surrounding the marble tables make everything seem intimate.  I had done a little research beforehand and knew the program but others in our small group were confused by the endless options and requirements that came with ordering our meal.  Cheese fondue starters are $11.95 and serve two, they come with bread but for an additional $5 or so you can add sides like sauteed mushrooms or sausage.  We had the Brie and Gorgonzola with Hazelnuts and the Ruby Port Fondue which was made with white cheddar, Swiss and Gruyere with caramelized onions and port.  The pot of Brie cheese was decidedly decadent, subtly flavored and the hazelnuts added a nice bit of crunch.  The Ruby Port fondue was delicious as well but maybe a bit grainy, probably a result of the grinding down of the onions.

The entree’s didn’t go quite as well.  The tables are small and they recommend that you choose only one or two of the “cooking styles” per table.  We went with Seasoned Firepot and though it was supposed to contain everything from fennel to clam broth it seemed rather viscous and bland.  The “entrees” came out ala carte, so we received small plates of raw chicken and beef with lobster each decorated with three sad slices of slightly off vegetable.  I’m sure they checked first but it seems a little unsanitary to cook beef for only thirty seconds when it is sitting right next to chicken which has just started its 3 minuets of cooking.  They say the lobster was fresh but it seemed a bit fresh frozen to me, with the meat being poorly apportioned, stiff and bland.   The beef was of such low quality that even cooking it rare left an impossibly flavorless and chewy mouthful.  We actually need the half dozen sauces the server produced to make it tasty enough to eat.

and oh lord don’t get me started on the cocktails.  Note to the bartender powdered cinnamon should not be sprinkled on bourbon and an old fashioned is not a juice based cocktail nor does it come with lime.

we skipped dessert

I might comeback for happy hour, have a cheese starter and a glass of wine but I would never eat dinner there again.  For $52 dollars before tip I left sober and hungry so we headed over to our local pub to finish celebrating in proper style.


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~ by whatsheeats on December 11, 2010.

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