The Melting Pot bubbles over with vegetarian fondue selections

When you're looking for a special-occasion restaurant, not many chains fit the bill -- but the Melting Pot is an exception. Colorado has four locations of this fondue-based eatery, and although most of the menu is meat-centric, it does include a four-course vegetarian dinner that will suit the most particular palates. It also boasts a new menu with new ways to order -- from one dish to four, with cocktails to match.

See also: - Elway's Downtown makes veggie sushi to order - Rudi's rolls out new gluten-free bread at Root Down dinner - TAG|RAW BAR's vegan omakase dinner is awesome

Lots of people who visit the Melting Pot in Littleton are celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, graduations or other special events -- but don't be afraid to just walk in. The historic building that houses the restaurant is an old library; some lovely modern touches offset the classic architecture, and the deep booths are conducive to an intimate meal no matter how large your party.

Pictured above is the Good Earth Vegetarian four-course meal, which features edamame, portobello mushrooms, asparagus, Thai peanut-marinated tofu, spinach-and-artichoke ravioli, wild-mushroom sacchetti, the Melting Pot's assorted dipping sauces (from sweet-and-sour style to intense horseradish) and a plateful of veggies -- potatoes, broccoli, carrots and more. After they're simmered in the vegetable-broth-based fondue, the assorted bites will fill you up much faster than you'd think fondue could.

The cheese fondue starter comes with vegetables and bread for dipping; you can get a traditional cheddar style (pictured), Swiss, or a "fiesta" style with jalapenos and salsa. No matter which you order, it's melted at your table to create a thick, creamy cheese sauce perfect for dipping. The house salad is a mix of romaine and iceberg lettuce, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, croutons and sliced egg, pictured here with tangy house dressing. Fresh spinach, baby portobello mushrooms, red onion, Roma tomatoes and burgundy shallot vinaigrette make up the spinach-and-mushroom salad -- order it without bacon for a completely plant-based experience. You can go with the vegetable broth for your entree, or try a coq au vin (minus the coq): burgundy wine, fresh herbs, spices and mushrooms. There are also Caribbean-style and bourguignonne-style broths. Dessert options include several chocolate fondues, and the dark-chocolate version is divine, but very rich. You get cheesecake, poundcake, brownies, bananas, strawberries and marshmallows to dip in the chocolate.

You can start dipping daily at 11 a.m.; visit meltingpot.com/littleton/welcome or call 3030-794-5666.

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