Has anyone been to a restaurant that was so stinky that the smell followed you home? My boss took me and a couple of his other grunts to The Melting Pot restaurant in downtown Sac, I think it is a chain of fondue places, and the place literally stunk. The décor was very nice, kind of plain and pseudo-upscale, with the Rat Pack genre music playing a little too loud in the background. The waitstaff was unattentive, and seemed to be upset that we didnt have a reservation, although our party registered early and there were plenty of empty tables on a Monday night. Patrons sit at dimly lit tables that have electric heating elements to hold the fondue boilers, and with 20 or so tables, the place was steamy and redolent with the smells of garlic, onions, celery and spices that were bubbling away. The food overall was mostly good, some of the highlights were the California salad with a very sweet but tasty raspberry vinaigrette, and the Cheddar cheese first course. The vegetarian platters were somewhat uninspired and the eggplant pieces took a long time to cook, but the meat-eaters had no complaints. The best was the chocolate course with marshmallows and other small tidbits to dip.
Back to the smell; when you first enter there is a cloying odor of the cooking vegetables and broth that gets stronger as you enter the bowels (pardon the pun) of the restaurant. The smell permeated my clothing, including my purse, and even transferred to my carseats. Everything went through the wash with no ill effects, and the car earned a new pine-tree hang-up. Given the price of the meal, the odor of the place, and the effort it takes to cook everything yourself, anyone in search of an upscale, unique experience of dining in Sacramento may want to consider someplace else.