Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse And Wine Bar
Here is a post from George, aka The Good Wine Guru, about his experience at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar.
Recently I had the opportunity to attend a media dinner at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar here in Richmond as they wanted to show off some of their new Fall menu items. Having never been to Fleming’s I was excited to say the least.
Before the meal began, we were offered a cocktail, the Stoli Bombshell. In support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Fleming’s is offering this cocktail, with 100% of the sales benefiting the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. Whether you’re a pink cocktail drinker or not, it’s a good cause I think we can all get behind. As for the cocktail itself – I don’t typically drink sweet drinks, and I’d be lying if I said I would order this again, but I can understand the appeal of it.
A mixture of Stoli Vanil vodka, lime juice, and sugar free raspberry preserve, the cocktail only has 99 calories, but with almost no taste of alcohol in it, it would be incredibly easy to over-indulge in these and regret it the next morning. That being said, the sales go to a good cause, so I do encourage anybody visiting Fleming’s to order one.
The first item from the menu we tried were the Lump Crab Louis Wraps, paired with a 2007 Sanford Chardonnay from Santa Barbara County. The wraps were comprised of butter lettuce with avocado, bacon, egg, tomato, lump crab meat, and some chives with a thousand island vinaigrette, and were, quite frankly, delicious. These were a great way to start the meal and are definitely an appetizer I would recommend.
The wine was lightly oaked, and was a perfect compliment to the crab meat and the vinaigrette.
Next on the menu was the Salmon Nicoise Salad, paired with the 2008 Conundrum from California. The Salmon Nicoise consisted of perfectly broiled salmon filet with roasted Yukon potatoes, French green beans, truffled deviled eggs, roasted sweet baby peppers, all with a lemon-balsamic vinaigrette. The entire plate was delicious, but my favorite part of it was hands down the truffled deviled eggs. I would eat an entire plate of those if you put them in front of me and while I’m sure I would regret it later, I would love every minute of it while indulging.
The Conundrum was a perfect pairing for this. While the exact make up of the Conundrum is kept a mystery, I got floral notes that I associate with Viognier and Vidal Blanc. This was another perfect pairing and a wine that any guest should consider if ordering seafood at Fleming’s.
The third item on our menu was a Roasted Mushroom Ravioli paired with a 2007 Shug Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Coast. The ravioli was stuffed with portobello and shiitake mushrooms and topped with a porcini butter sauce. I’m hit or miss on mushrooms, especially as the key ingredient, but this was definitely a hit. The earthy flavors of the meal were perfectly complimented by the earthiness of the Shug Pinot. Between the Roasted Mushroom Ravioli and the Lump Crab Louis Wraps it’d be real easy to make a meal out of appetizers, and one you wouldn’t regret having.
For our fourth course we moved into steak, something I had been looking forward to. A peppercorn steak paired with a 2006 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, the steak was cooked to perfection with a nice crust of cracked black and white peppercorns with a side of Fleming’s proprietary “F17” steak sauce. I tried the steak both with and without the steak sauce and while I’ve always been a believer in steak standing on its own without sauce, there’s nothing wrong with this sauce.
Adding a bit of zing to the steak, the F17 sauce was unlike any steak sauce I’ve tried before, and one that I’d love to bottle and keep at home. The Faust Cabernet Sauvignon was nice and full-bodied, holding up great to the bold flavors of the crusted steak.
Next we moved into a showcase of Fleming’s Fall Prix Fixe menu. For $39.95 a person, you can enjoy a three course meal at Fleming’s this fall, and believe me, it’s definitely a great deal.
We were first offered the Veal Osso Bucco served on creamy risotto with roasted autumn vegetables. The meat just fell off the bone and melted in the mouth. I know people have ethical concerns about veal, and I’m not going to get into a pro or con debate on veal here, but I do know that this was some of the best veal I’ve ever had and I certainly didn’t need the knife that was provided.
We also tried Oysters Rockefeller, which had been baked with a sambucca-laced creamed spinach and topped with shaved parmesan cheese and bacon bits. Much like mushrooms, I’m hit or miss on oysters, but this was another hit. These are a great appetizer for the prix fixe menu and one I think I could even talk my wife into, who is very much against oysters.
Finally we had dessert. I typically don’t make it to dessert, but when presented with a trio of creme brulee, well sometimes you just have to soldier on. Three small creme brulees, a chocolate, a banana, and a vanilla, were presented, and I have to say, all three were spectacular. I don’t eat a lot of chocolate, but I would have loved to have another serving of the chocolate creme brulee, and the banana one had just the right amount of sweetness to let you know you were eating dessert without being over done.
The entire dinner was nothing short of amazing, and I would be remiss if I didn’t also compliment the wait staff for doing a great job. We were also fortunate enough to meet the Operating Partner, John Van Peppen, and the Executive Chef Partner, Jay McManus. Both were incredibly gracious and are clearly passionate about what they do.
I could probably ramble on for several more pages about how much I enjoyed Fleming’s, but what it really comes down to is whether you should go and try their new menu. The answer is a resounding yes. If you have a Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in your area, you should absolutely go and try their new fall menu, the Prix Fixe menu, and even give the Stoli Bombshell a try during October to help raise money for a good cause.
I want to thank John Van Peppen, Jay McManus, and the entire Fleming’s Richmond staff for an amazing meal and I do hope you’ll go and visit them very soon. I know I plan to.
- Which is better beer or wine? (frommyexperience.com)
- Top 10 Menu Blunders (toptenz.net)
- Raw Fish with Rice (eatinginrichmond.com)