Girls’ Night Out

by Cate on August 7, 2007

Last week, amidst birthday celebrations, a coupon arrived in my e-mail box from The Melting Pot for a free dessert fondue. Doesn’t take much more encouragement than that, and I at once got a ferocious craving for their Mushroom Salad. Ninety-percent thinly sliced mushrooms tossed with a light vinaigrette, it’s one of the highlights of going to The Melting Pot, excluding the fondue, of course. A quick e-mail to The Neighbor Wife and a Girls Night Out was planned.

The Neighbor Wife and I have a routine when we go … appetizers, salad, dessert. No need to stop at the entrees, we have our priorities and focus on the fun stuff. A quick scan of the salads produced an uh-oh. The Mushroom Salad, while still on the menu, sounded different. I asked the waitress and she explained that they changed nearly all of their menu items, from appetizers to dessert, just yesterday. Wonderful. Although the description was a little different, I was still craving mushrooms and ordered the now newly named Spinach Mushroom Salad. Totally different than the old one. Heavy on the spinach leaves and super-light on the barely existent dressing, I ate all the mushrooms and was barely satiated. The Neighbor Wife ordered their Caesar Salad, another revamped menu item, and disappointment soon followed. It had Parmesan encrusted pine nuts in it, which lent a surprisingly sweet bite to the salad, a completely unexpected taste for a traditional Caesar Salad.

Luckily although they have revamped their Cheese Fondues, that course went off without a hitch. When ordering our dessert (White Chocolate Chambord), it arrived with more changes… this time with the dippers. They no longer have pineapples, but instead it has been replaced with biscotti. The biscotti was not crisp and the almond flavoring overpowering.

With something like a sweet dessert fondue, we’ve found that the less-sweet dippers work best. Things like cheesecake and marshmallows, while good separately, are just overkill with the fondue. We loaded up on more bananas and poundcake as dippers and did everything but lick the bowl.

When our server delivered the check, she told us about the restaurant’s commitment to St. Jude’s. Although they donate to St. Jude’s year-round (and give patrons the opportunity to donate by adding to their check), twice a year, they actually give a speech to patrons to verbally encourage donations (100% of patron donation goes to St. Jude). If you choose to donate, however big or small, The Melting Pot gives you a certificate for a free fondue dip on your next visit, which is a $16-18 value. Besides gives to a good cause, you get a nice perk out of it, and we forked over a small donation.

As we were leaving, the owner stopped to tell us about their official Girls’ Night Out. Once a month, you can go and order exactly what we did (salad, appetizer fondue, dessert fondue along with a glass of wine) for the flat fee of $25, a total bargain. We didn’t need much coercion and now have a standing once-a-month official Girls’ Night Out.

Even though a number of things have changed, it still made for a great night out. Kid-free, relaxing, good food and a little bit of respite from a crazy day.

A year ago today… farmer’s market finds, pups and food.
Two years ago today… nothing.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly Mahoney August 7, 2007 at 2:50 am

I hear that place is pretty cool. And I agree, no need for a main course, I usually have an appetizer in soup for much cheaper. I have a chocolate fondue fountain, so I don’t generally get it when I’m out. Cheese fondue looks like something I’d like to try, though.

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Anonymous August 7, 2007 at 10:17 am

Sounds like my kindda evening!!!

The Sister In-Law

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Tonia August 7, 2007 at 12:15 pm

I love going to the Melting Pot & really wish we had one closer than Columbus. Lucky you! I think I’m going to have to drag out my fondue pot now.

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Sarah Caron August 7, 2007 at 5:55 pm

I’ve been wanting to try he Melting Pot, but there isn’t one nearby (yet) . . . hopefully soon. That sure sounds like a fun evening . . . I miss girls night out — it’s been too long for me.

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Claire August 7, 2007 at 11:32 pm

SOunds like fun! Mushroom salad sounds WONDERFUL! I’ve never had fondue, but I know it’s fun. I hate it when menus get changed. BTW, did you get my ARF entry this week?

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Erin August 8, 2007 at 8:34 pm

I love the melting pot! I actually hate seafood but every time we go I totally eat all of the shrimp that comes with the Coq au Vin (burgundy wine based) fondue. So So good! And how amazing is it dipping cheesecake into ridiculously rich chocolate fondue. It should be illegal.

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Stephanie August 9, 2007 at 5:04 pm

That sounds like such fun! I wish I could get away for something like that…but these guys would just collapse if I left for long!

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