The Melting Pot Doomed
Melting Pot closes in Hoboken, NJ
After six and a half years – The Melting Pot at 1st & Sinatra in Hoboken closed this past weekend. No surprise, as the location was most typically sparsely occupied, and with prices that aren’t quite “in tune” with the current economic climate. “Fancy high end” in a “strip mall” like corporate retail setting – along with a wine selection with many bottles well over $100 may have contributed. Plus they didn’t quite do a good job of marketing to parents and kids.
But most Melting Pot locations are “franchisee” owned and operated. There are five other locations in New Jersey if you really feel like dipping your stick of meat or fish in a communal pot of fluid.
Melting Pot opens in Hoboken, NJ
The Melting Pot had their “Friends & Family” event last night. Hoboken411 was invited, but had other obligations, so we sent two friends instead. They officially open for business today at 3pm.
A special evening last night was held to commensurate the opening of The Melting Pot. A large crowd gathered to sample featured items off the menu. The various cheese fondue were arranged in the private party room. Which accommodates up to 50 people with projection screen. The fondue present were Wisconsin Trio, Fiesta Cheese, Cheddar, and Spinach Artichoke. One of the reviewers preferred the Cheddar while I happened to enjoy the kick of the fiesta.
Also being passed around was filet mignon, Cajun shrimp, lobster and asparagus, artichoke hearts, and stuffed mushrooms. All were tasty delights but our winner was the artichoke heart. Interesting sauces accompanied these treats.
The finale was two buffet tables with four different chocolate fondue; cookies and cream, flaming turtle, marshmallow dream, and Disarono meltdown. Arranged on the table was a selection of brownies, pound cake, and strawberries. All were sinful sumptuous. Our favorite was a tie between flaming turtle and cookies and cream.
All the staff were very accommodating, knowledgeable, and outgoing. The atmosphere is upscale and elegant. There is space for large groups, dinner parties, and intimate gatherings (in lovers lane.) “Large bar area with two wine vaults showcase the selection of alcohol available.”
We look forward to returning to The Melting Pot and enjoying their offerings. Good luck and best of wishes!
Stopped by and chatted with Kitchen Manager Lindsey yesterday afternoon. She’s fairly certain the Grand Opening date will be Wednesday, October 3rd.
Will keep you eager fondue-lovers up to date if anything changes.
9/6/2007 Update (coming at the
end of September beginning of October):
I created a fresh new entry for The Melting Pot, since the old First Street Bar & Grill (the old Wolfgang Puck failure) is now completely renovated.
The Melting Pot – Hoboken
A couple days ago, I had a chance to spend the afternoon with Owner Nirav Patel and Kitchen Manager Lindsey Wilson, who gave me the rundown of the much-anticipated (and refreshing) change to the Hoboken restaurant scene. See an overview and the progress made below!
The Melting Pot is a hugely successful restaurant franchise that has over 120 locations in almost 40 states across the country. The Hoboken location will make a total of six in the State of New Jersey.
They started construction in early June, and are close to wrapping it up, with final punchlist items and inspections coming in the next week or so. After a couple weeks of training, they should be ready to provide residents with a very unique and interactive dining experience. And that’s just the beginning!
A huge departure from the previous (rather pedestrian) setting, The Melting Pot “turns the tables” and created a very comfortable, intimate and inviting venue. One thing Hoboken doesn’t have enough of, is comfortable booth seating. Melting pot fills the void with many large, richly padded dark chocolate brown colored booths. Interior seating is expected to be about 142 patrons, with another 12-16 at the bar. Additional seating for 30 more customer is planned for outside.
(stay tuned for updated pictures closer to opening)
And it’s not just the seating. The way the booths were constructed allows for a more intimate setting. They even have a “lovers lane” tucked away in the back, to allow couples to spend their special moments together in a more romantic setting, with dim lighting and space for flowers.
Each booth has hookups for the burners to heat the fondue oils and broths. Other accouterments include a lavish glass waterfall, massive tile displays, and artwork framed into the walls.
Diverse Drink Selection
The Melting Pot offers what they claim as the largest wine selection around. Stocking over 2,000 bottles with between 300-350 different varieties (including 70 boutique wines), you’ll be hard pressed not to find a wine that you’ll enjoy. The also offer the “Wine-Vac” which allows them to serve large bottles (such as a port) “on tap” for several weeks without sacrificing the integrity of the vino. Bottle prices for the wine range from the low $30 range to over $500!
In addition to their huge wine selection, 7-10 beers will be on tap, with choices such as Bass, Hoegaarden, Guiness, Stella Artois, Becks, Bud Light and more. This, on top of the many specialty drinks, champagnes, and top shelf liquors on the menu.
The Main Event: The Menu
In addition to the a la carte items you can order, such as cheeses, various proteins and meats, salads and desserts, The Melting Pot offers an all in one “Big Night Out”, which encompasses FOUR courses.
The first is a cheese course, which is made table side to your liking. Currently, they offer a Quattro Formaggio Cheese Fondue, with a mix of Provolone, Asiago, Fontina and Gruyere chesses combined with white wine. You can always customize your cheese fondue with extras such as pepper, garlic and more. This course is served with apples, bread veggies and other items you can enjoy with the cheese creation.
Next, to cleanse the palette, they serve a salad course, offering something along the lines of a chopped Caesar salad. The “Big Night Out” menu changes every six months, to keep things fresh and exciting for regular customers.
After the salad, you pick one of the Featured Entrées available, such as the “Fondue Feast”, which is comprised of various beef, chicken, seafood and pasta selections. Or the “Fusion”, which includes lobster tail, filet mignon medallions, sun-dried tomatos, raviolis and more. There are two methods you can cook your protein choices, either in a hot oil base, or a vegetable broth base.
Plain meat or chicken not enough for you? You can also “dress up” your morsels with tempura or sesame batter for an extra decadent taste sensation. After cooking your meat, seafood, tofu or chicken, you have about five or six dipping sauces to flavor it just the way you want. Cocktail sauce for shrimp, and a garlic sauce for meat is also provided. Other options include pork, duck, Pac-Rim, pot-stickers, vegetarian and more!
No night would be complete without a nice dessert. Many different Chocolate Fondues are “there for the dipping”. From simple Milk, Dark and White chocolates, to concoctions like Cookies & Cream, S’mores, Amaretto, and the “Original” Milk Chocolate with crunchy peanut butter! Dippers include fresh strawberries, bananas, cheesecake, marshmallows, brownies and more!
You can go for the gold by getting an after dinner drink as well, such as an Irish Coffee, cappuccinos and other flavored liqueurs. If you’re not stuffed by this point, not sure I can help you!
Hoboken’s Melting Pot also features a party room in the southwest corner that can accomodate up to 38 guests. Have your bridal or baby shower, corporate event, or birthday party in style. Also features a large projection TV screen that could (if you want) display your favorite sporting event. Ever been to a “Fondue Super Bowl Party”???
The owner and staff of The Melting Pot seem well prepared to wine and dine Hoboken residents. This venue is most certainly a change of pace in Hoboken, and the drive they possess along with the desire to please seems very evident. The re-styling of the interior is a night & day difference to the previous establishment, and you will certainly be impressed.
Even I, who have been steadfastly against Fondue since some previous negative experiences (will not explain here), would be willing to try it again when they open.
Look for them near the end of September! Check back soon for updated pictures and actual Hoboken menu to peruse.
Good luck Melting Pot!
Description – Fondue based restaurant featuring “An Interactive dining experience”, “Family oriented venue”, “intimate settings”, “party room” and more!
Address – 100 Sinatra Drive, Hoboken, NJ 07030
Telephone – (732) 274-2298 (subject to change after opening)