Friday, August 24, 2007


So last night was the night I have been waiting for for five years, ever since I discovered a place called The Melting Pot exists. Michael told me he would do whatever I wanted for my birthday with my family so far away, although I must say, for having to work, Judy made a great show of it on Wednesday and yesterday--we actually spent more than half the day together.

But again, I digress.

So, I wanted to go to the Melting Pot. We were both working yesterday and it seemed like a good thing to do. So I told Michael to make reservations and off we went.

I was a little put off when we first got there, because the hostess was really slow. I figured maybe this was the course of the whole evening... How wrong I was!

When it was our turn to be seated, she took us to a table where there was a big bouquet of balloons secured to a bar of chocolate with gift certificates, plus a bouquet of roses. The room we were seated in was quiet and secluded and Michael and I were able to sit side by side instead of across from each other. It was so cozy and magic, I got a little misty eyed.

Our fondue master came right over and showed us through the menu and gave us some time to look over what we wanted. We decided to go for the "lobster fusion" 4 course meal, and I was so excited, I could hardly sit still. I was swooning.

We started with their Mediterranean cheese fondue, which was gruyere and fontina cheeses melted in white wine with dates, shallots, and garlic. OH MY GOD. I don't even really like cheese all that much--but I love fondue--and I could have sipped this straight from the pot. The crudites were bottomless, although we didn't need to get refills, and we were given a dish of apples, a dish of vegetables, and a dish of bread. It was so damned good. The apples were crisp and tart and cold against the hot and mellow cheese. Ooooh...

As I took in the ambience (or as we laughingly call it ambi-ants in deference to a family member's mispronunciation), I got all misty eyed again. My husband and I, grown ups! Ahhh... So of course, they came by with a digital camera and took our picture!! :-) Which they gave to us in a REAL picture frame--lovely silver frame with their logo in the corner. It is now residing on my bureau with the roses.

I had a good Caesar salad, though to be honest, there wasn't anything outstanding about it, but who cared?! The salad was an afterthought. And then the main course arrived.

The meat fondue begins with a pot of vegetable stock, and then you can select different things they add to it for flavor. We decided to get the Coq au Vin fondue, which was red wine, mushrooms, garlic, fresh herbs, and spices. Our meat plate had a lobster tail, filet mignon, chicken, sirloin, pork, shrimp, and ravioli. There was also a full dish of vegetables that we threw right in the pot. We put each piece of meat in for between 90 seconds and 2 minutes and then we could either eat it right out of the pot or use one of the 10 different dipping sauces.

To say it was divine would be an understatement. It cooked up so beautifully, and it was so much fun to share a quiet conversation and some amazing food. We couldn't even finish it. So we just chucked everything that was left over in the pot afterwards and brought it all home.

Then came the dessert fondue!!! We could scarcely choose between all the chocolates, but finally decided on the Yin and Yang, a swirl of white and dark chocolates. It came with a plate of strawberries, bananas, almond biscotti, poundcake, cheesecake, brownies, and marshmallows. Michael bartered for the cheesecake, which I smothered in chocolate for him and which he loved. I got the strawberries in return. We split everything else. It was scrumptious.

Sadly, all good things come to an end, and the night was over, but I cried all the way home, I was so touched by the experience. Not only had Michael told them to give me "the works" and surprised me with the personal touches, but we were treated just like everyone else in the restaurant--no better and certainly no worse. For the spouse of a disabled person, that was the best gift of all: to go out with my husband and be treated like we were average.

It's been a great birthday, all in all. I've been pampered and spoiled by everyone since last week when Paula and Terri took me to tea and the first cards and gifts began arriving this week. This weekend Joe will be down to prepare me the Queen's birthday cake from Eating Royally, and then it'll be back to being good and regular Susan again. My mom sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers fit for a queen--sunflowers and irises. Purple and gold look so regal together. They are gracing my dining room, where they add a certain panache to my table. My sister got me a pedicure, plus a signed book, plus the "Best of Dog the Bounty Hunter" DVD's. My dad sent me Lost, seasons 1 and 2 on DVD and a card that made me cry. Hank and Sheila sent me a gift card for new clothes. And Joe is bringing me something tonight that he was dying to give me on Sunday, but I wouldn't let him. :) So more to come. In spite of all the crabbing I do, I wouldn't trade my inner circle for all the gold in the Federal Reserve. Magical, every one of them.

3 pearl(s) of wisdom:

Talmadge G. said...

What a sweet story.

I think you have a real winner for a husband ... you should keep him.

Kate/Susan said...

I agree. I think I'll hang onto him. :-)

nettiemac said...

What a wonderful story --- and we have a Melting Pot here and I have yet to go....

I'm so glad you both had a great time!!!