Wednesday, March 29, 2023
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Fondueloo at Melting Pot Austin

Food & Wine Versatility

The night’s early hours seemed to forecast doom. Pretensions were abound and the constant up-sells were helping the Melting Pot lose credibility. I wondered if this location had opened its doors for the first time that morning, but later discovered they were into their first ½ year stretch.

After reservations were delayed for 20 minutes and a move to our 2nd table, we were seated in the bar area (basically onstage with no privacy-“I forgot my ukulele at home”) with 1 burner to serve our food-heating needs (“Nobody brought an extra camping stove, either”). We needed a 2-burner table. Upon reaching our 3rd table in half an hour, we seem to be planted. A sip into the 2001 Norton Malbec, the night finally began to sail.

I had spotted the 2001 Gardine Chateauneuf-du-Pape on the wine list to keep in mind for the evolving arsenal, so the evening could only get better. Our waiter eventually calmed down, found his groove, and let us just ‘be’. Great conversation proceeded to drive our meal. Talks of San Francisco and Missoula. Talks of life in general. In the fondue-ring, we had the battle of the meats versus the fish. I wasn’t sure how we would all move from the cheese course to the salad to the fondue-ring, as we all seemed to fill-up, but we were all strong. We knew we could do it.

As the early part of the evening drifted from our minds, it became a good night. We were celebrating the birth of a life. We were celebrating proposed matrimony. I always find the focus of food, wine, and conversation to be clear, when left to its own accord, in a simple and warm way.

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