Friday, November 14, 2008

Melting Pot: South American Wine Dinner

You can find some excellent value wines in Argentina and Chile, both whites and reds, including wines with less common grapes such as Carmenere and Torrontes. I recently had a delicious opportunity to attend a wine dinner with all South American wines. The food also had a South American flair. Overall, this was a very good dining experience, as usual for this restaurant.

The Melting Pot hosted this four-course dinner paired with four wines, and it only cost $48 per person, which I think was an excellent value. We sat in the more intimate Lover's Lane section, a perfect place for a date or romantic evening.

Our first course was the Zesty Aztec Cheese Fondue (a zesty cheddar cheese blended with beer, horseradish, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, bacon and scallions). I really like that the server creates the fondue in front of you, and will omit any ingredient that you dislike, or add a bit more of something you enjoy. For example, I love bacon so my server added a bit more bacon to the fondue. I enjoyed the taste of this cheese fondue, especially on slices of green apple. The crisp, cool apple just goes so well with the hot and spicy cheese. I think the apple actually goes well with all of their different cheese fondues.

This fondue was paired with a Terrazas Torrontes Reserva from Argentina. Now, I have not really been a fan of the Torrontes grape, often finding it too bland or with funky flavors that turned me off. But this wine pleasantly surprised me. This wine has seen so oak and its fruit flavors showed quite well. I detected some peach and melon flavors, with a bit of a floral nose. It was a crisp wine with a moderate finish, and was quite a pleasant drink. It stood up well to the fondue and this is a wine I would drink again, and do recommend it.

For our second course, we had the Ranchero Cobb Salad (Romaine Lettuce, tomatoes, chives and sliced egg served with croutons and peppercorn ranch dressing and sprinkled with aged cheddar cheese). A good salad with fresh ingredients and a nice mix of textures and flavors.

Our next wine was the Casa Lapostolle Sauvignon Blanc from Chile. It is made from 85% Sauvignon Blanc and 15% Semillon. Another very good wine with fine citrus flavors, some minerality and a few floral notes. Very crisp, light and pure. Only a hint of grassiness and it reminded me more of French than New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs.

Our main course, the South of the Border Entrée, was a large platter of Filet Mignon, Tequila Citrus Shrimp, Peppered Duck, ‘Brazilian’ BBQ Pork, Sirloin Steak, and Picante Chicken. It was cooked with the Mojo style and accompanied with potatoes, mushrooms and broccoli. There were also eight different sauces for dipping. All of the meats were quite delicious and we have fun trying all the different sauces, seeing which ones best went with the various meats. The sweet apple bourbon butter went well with the pork, and the beef was tasty with the gorgonzola port. A number of the meats were spicy, yet not too hot. I love getting such a wide variety of different meats, which is why I always get this type of entrees when I dine here. Though you could always get just chicken or beef, why not go for the smorgasbord?

We received two wines for the entree, a Casa Lapostolle Merlot from Chile and the Bodega Luigi Bosca LaLinda Malbec from Argentina. I did not care for the Merlot though my wife enjoyed it. The Malbec though impressed me, with lush black fruit flavors and black pepper spice. It paired well with many of the various meats, though I could have drank it on its own.

Though I was fairly full from the rest of the meal, I still was able to work my way through dessert, Bananas Foster Chocolate Fondue (white chocolate blended with rum, Dulce de Leche, cinnamon and bananas). Who can refuse a chocolate fondue? Fresh fruit, marshmallows, pound cake, brownie, cheesecake, and more for dipping into the hot, gooey concoction. This is the perfect ending to a delicious dinner. And I am sure it would help two people on a date grow closer, putting them into such a pleasurable mood. Or it is a way to make a horde of children very happy.

Service was excellent, as usual. I have long been a fan of The Melting Pot and this dinner was no exception. I continue to recommend this restaurant, for families, couples and everyone. I have plenty of friends and family who have enjoyed this restaurant as well. So why not take a chance and make reservations. Tell them the Passionate Foodie recommended it.

The Melting Pot
213 Burlington Rd.
Bedford , MA
Phone: 781-791-0529

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not south American food at all!!