Posts Tagged With: special occasion

The Melting Pot


We celebrated Valentine’s Day early this year with dinner at The Melting Pot. It had been quite a while since our last visit, so we thought it would be fun to go again. The Melting Pot is a fondue restaurant and what they call a “unique interactive dining experience.” That’s because you have to work for your food, cooking it yourself at the table.

You can choose a four-course meal which starts with cheese fondue, then salad, your entree and chocolate fondue dessert. Although I love the cheese fondue, we opted to just have three courses so that we weren’t overly full by the time dessert arrived.

But if you do want to partake of the cheese fondue, there are several yummy selections: Spinach Artichoke Cheese, Fiesta Cheese, Cheddar, Wisconsin Trio and Swiss.

For the second course (first for us) try the House Salad with The Melting Pot’s signature sweet and tangy salad dressing. I love this dressing. It’s probably my favorite part of the whole meal. Good thing is that you can take home a bottle if you like.

Entrees include chicken, lobster, salmon, shrimp, Filet Mignon and even a vegetarian option. We decided to share one platter of chicken and one of Filet Mignon. The entrees are cooked in one of four oils or broths. There are several batters to coat your pre-cooked meats, tempura-style, and several dipping sauces for after cooking.

The dessert course is well worth waiting for. There are a variety of chocolate options: Cookies ‘n Cream with Marshmallow, Bananas Foster, Flaming Turtle, Chocolate S’mores, Yin & Yang (white and dark chocolate together) or plain chocolate. And just for fun, add a shot of liqueur. We had milk chocolate with a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream in which we dipped strawberries, pound cake, cheesecake, marshmallows, brownies and bananas.

The first Melting Pot opened in Maitland, Florida back in 1975, when the fondue craze was probably at its peak. That location has since closed, but there are many locations across the United States, including one in Maui. They’re branching out now into the rest of North America with a location in Edmonton, Canada and one coming soon to Mexico City.

So whether you’re looking to celebrate an anniversary or birthday, or want to have a special night out, and don’t mind working for your food, The Melting Pot is a unique restaurant experience. It’s not just fondue, it’s Fun-due!

Dates of Visit:  February 12, 2012 

Categories: Eat | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Hoyt House Bed & Breakfast

The Hoyt House, Amelia Island, FL


Although my experience with Bed & Breakfasts in Florida is very limited, I think I’ve found the place that surely sets the standard.  It’s the Hoyt House on Amelia Island.

This lovely home stands on the corners of 8th Street and Centre Street in downtown Amelia Island, in the heart of the town’s historic district.  It’s not the oldest of the mansions on the island, built in 1905, but it is quite beautiful and has a colorful history.  And we can thank the newest innkeepers, Myrta and Deborah, for creating what I consider more than your average bed and breakfast.

Their motto is “To Exceed Your Expectations” and indeed they do with extras that you don’t get from other B&Bs in the area, or probably anywhere else: concierge service, flat screen TVs with DVD players in the rooms, an extensive DVD library, white noise machines to soothe you to sleep, free use of bicycles, complimentary popcorn at 4pm, complimentary beer and wine at Happy Hour in the new pub-style bar, and of course, the made to order breakfast which is second to none.

Deborah prides herself in using fresh, organic ingredients from the local Farmer’s Market to create her breakfast delights.  French pressed coffee, your choice of juice and gigantic sticky buns accompany the three-course breakfast.

The Hoyt House has 10 rooms, all decorated differently.  We stayed in the Oliver Room, Room #3, downstairs on the side of the house farthest from the street with a view of the pool.  This room is decorated in soft pastel colors and can be configured with one king sized bed or two twins.

The well-kept grounds do include a pool, hot tub, gazebo and hammock, but an unusual cold snap kept us from enjoying those amenities.

With off street, onsite parking you can park your car at the Hoyt House and walk to all the restaurants, shops and the history museum which are only blocks away.

Being on the main street unfortunately has its downside.  8th Street leads directly a nearby paper mill and trucks do drive by often and can be quite loud.  The Hoyt House does seem to be quieter inside and the white noise machines help tremendously to keep the truck sounds to a minimum at night.

I would highly recommend a stay at the Hoyt House.  Deborah and Myrta have created a very inviting and comfortable inn.  They spent several hours with us talking about how they came to own the Hoyt House, the history of the house and their plans to continue improving and enhancing the property.

Thank you Myrta and Deborah for your hospitality.  We hope to come see you again soon.

Dates of visit:  January 4, 2011 to January 6, 2011

Categories: Florida, Sleep | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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