Monday, April 7, 2014

The Melting Pot on the Plaza by Chris Becicka

Cheese Whiz


Calm down.  It’s OK.  Not to worry.  You haven’t missed it YET. 
I’m trying to quell the savage cheese loving beast I live with.  He’s salivating over National Cheese  Fondue Day and worried he somehow, in the cold months of winter, missed it.
Again, calm.  Calm.  Focus.  For although National Cheese Lovers Day (January 20) is past, there is still . . .

April 11th

If you’re already a member of the Melting Pot’s Club Fondue, you’ve received the magic email that gives you specials in the month of April at the restaurant which has the creamy, decadent meal down to a fine art.  Luckily, National Cheese Fondue Day has kinda morphed into a month at the Fondue Pot’s Plaza location so I went early to taste and test – primarily because this is a place that’s fallen off my radar over the years.

What I discovered the other day, once downstairs, is a cozy yet big enough restaurant with spaces for families, celebrations, happy hours, and romantic trysts.  This must  be one of the few restaurants with many curtain-enclosed booths for two and a policy for no interruptions should you wish that.  Our threesome passed on that and sat in a large booth with two oblong heating trays embedded in the table top.  The fondue pots sit on those and all the many accompaniments surround the melted cheese (or chocolate) concoctions.  Long skewers and silverware and small plates are provided and no one seems to notice when your cheese drips on the tablecloth.  
However, if you drop your bread or veggie into the cheese pot off the skewer, I’m told that in France, one must perform a dare devised by one’s companions.  Wonderful, fun custom – to which I replied that we were in Missouri as I valiantly tried to separate the now fully loaded hunk of bread from its gooey surroundings. 
Although you can order salads or individual entrees or even a “four course experience,” we opted for two fondues:  a zesty cheddar made with PBR, 20% Swiss, and some other stuff.  It was full bodied and ohsocheesy.  The other we ordered was the Quattro Formaggio, which is not always on the menu.  This is four different cheeses (Butterkase, Gruyere, Parmesan, and Fontina) which blended together perfectly with a bit of Chablis, pesto and marinara sauces, etc.    I have to say this one was my favorite, with each bite tasting a little bit different due to the sauces.
Despite being full, we yielded to our persuasive (and extremely personable) waiter, Alex, for chocolate fondue as well.  Two kinds.  One milk, one dark. Oh yum.  Dippers included marshmallows, pound cake, brownies, strawberries and other fruits, blondies – all delicious, especially in the dark chocolate with candied orange concoction. 

Oh, did I forget to mention the cocktails?  Along with many wines, there are many, beautiful and tasty.
Here I must say we were NOT going to drink, but somehow managed to down three different ones, the most spectacular being the yin and yang which was dessert in a glass.  The “love martini” with its heart-shaped strawberry slices was much lighter, still delicious. 

Since The Melting Pot is back on my radar, next I’m going to try their fine looking happy hour.  They’re truly a whiz with cheese.

The Melting Pot
450 Ward Pkwy, Kansas City, MO 64112
816-931-6358




Melting Pot on Urbanspoon

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