After hearing great reviews from others, we finally decided to try this place for my birthday dinner. I was very excited & went into the experience with a positive attitude. When we arrived on a Sunday at 7:00 pm & the place was nearly empty, this should have been the first clue to find another restaurant. We were seated at a small table that I suspect was meant to be intimate & romantic. Our server came & was polite & accommodating.
We decided to skip the vat of cheese in an attempt to keep it somewhat healthy. Our salads were unremarkable, just average. We figured that the entree was the big deal, so we anxiously anticipated the beef, shrimp, & lobster tail add on. The server returned with a boiling pot of oil & our raw meat, along with a small bowl of veggies - 3 mushroom caps, 4 small cut up red potatoes, 4 broccoli florets. There were 2 batter options for us to bread our food in & a myriad of sauces in which to dip our food. The server explained the procedure in a rapid fire & almost bored voice & then vanished.
This is where things really went downhill! The table was so small, there was no room to carefully avoid cross contamination of raw & cooked meats & veggies. The pot is too small for two people to cook their food without knocking into one another. This causes the batter to fall apart & off of each portion. I burned myself several times trying to navigate the impossibly small table & keep raw food from touching everything. This was a huge pain in my [--] & an even bigger pain in my stomach later when we returned to the hotel! I will most certainly never return. You know the dinner is a huge disappointment when, on your birthday no less, you can't even bring yourself to have the chocolate fondue dessert course. I just wanted to get the hell out of there before I ended up in the hospital from food sickness or had a scar from the vat of boiling oil on our unnecessarily small table! As we left, we looked at the oil pot on the table, boiling away with a ton of black bits churning around, and couldn't help but remark to one another, "That's probably what's happening inside of our stomachs right now. Ugh!"
Now, we did have fun, not because of anything that this restaurant did, but because we had so much fun laughing about how hard we were working to make our own dinner for the low price of $120.00 of our American dollars! This concept is a good idea in theory, but in reality it was one of the most absurdly expensive bad dining experiences of my life & certainly not a good birthday dinner. One of the most hilarious aspects of this experience is how serious & pretentious the management & clientele take this place. Are you kidding me?!?! We laughed & laughed at the attitude. Who do they think they are kidding? Obviously a lot of people because I've read & heard so many great reviews about this place that I began to wonder if I was actually in the wrong place or something.
No, I won't be returning ever. We will stick to going to Malones or Portofinos for our fine dining in Lexington, where we can relax, enjoy one another's company, and have our meal prepared for us, not by us. In college, I worked in food service, both serving & cooking, I know how this is supposed to work & The Melting Pot is just a gimmick....a genius one at that...hmmm...let's see, we'll charge them outrageous prices for small portions & then we will have them cook their own food at the table. No pesky trained kitchen staff to pay, just prep work. Just act stuffy & above it all & the young, upwardly mobile will flock here to prove that they can throw their money away. This was one of the silliest & worst dining experiences I've ever had.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.