Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse

One of my favorite steak houses in Boston’s is Fleming’s. The first time I went to Fleming’s, I was incredibly impressed with their quality, cut and taste of meat. It was no surprise that when I saw Fleming’s had a restaurant week menu, I called up my friends and headed out there as soon as possible.

That first time to Fleming’s, I had the Filet Mignon. It was delicious, the best filet mignon I’ve ever had. Better then Capital Grille, better then Burton’s, better than Smith and Wollensky’s, the filet melted in my mouth and left a wonderful taste of seasonings behind. For dessert, I (reluctantly) had their molten cake. (I say reluctantly because I wasn't a big fan of the molten.) I’ve had it at cheap-eat joints and never have been impressed and have even had it at Finale in Boston and was not too thrilled with it. I always thought that the mythical molten just wasn’t my thing. The Fleming’s molten proved me wrong. After the first bite, I realized that THIS is what a molten cake is supposed to taste like. Warm, rich, a liquid center without being gross, the Fleming molten cake was one of my favorite restaurant desserts ever.

For restaurant week, the menu consisted of a few different options. A NY strip broiled at 1600 degrees caught most of our eyes right away while Bryan and Bob opted for the Salmon. For an appetizer, I had the peach soup. I never have had peach soup before and it sounded intriguing. It was served in a thick, tall, martini glass. It was pretty good but also pretty weird. The consistency was the exact same as yogurt with bits of peach and and it didn’t seem much like a soup at all. Perhaps a mismarketed mismatch? I’m glad I tried it but I wouldn’t get it again.

At this point, it would be good to note that I elected to try the wine flight. The Fleming’s wine flight lets you personally mix and match any three wines from the menu (that are sold by the glass) and pay about 1/3 the price. I chose three wines to match my courses. For the peach soup I chose a champagne, a cabernet sauvignon for my NY strip, and a French Alscatian sweet wine for my turtle pie dessert. The waiter commented that it was the most interesting flight he’s seen anyone order (I think he was mocking me) but I felt that the choices were suited to the dishes flavors. Below are the names of the wines:

1. Gloria Ferrer Champagne, California
2. St. Supery Cabernet Sauvignaun, California
3. Domaines Schlumberger, France

The flight came with the wine glasses about 1/3 full (it should be noted the glasses are a decent size and so each pairing lasted me through to the next course) and cost me around 15 bucks total. The St. Supery glass alone would have cost me 17 dollars so it was indeed a great bargain. Fleming’s also writes the name of the wines down for you to bring home in case you want to research your picks (which of course, I did).

Onto my main course. The NY strip was fantastic. I ordered it medium rare and got exactly that. I know Adam was excited when he ordered it rare and it came rare. Too many times, chefs overcook meat these days! The meat was tender and juicy with a wonderful buttery herb sauce basted on top. The filet came with mashed potatoes (these were wonderful as well) and green beans (a bit undercooked). Plenty of food.

For dessert, I had the turtle pie. It was good, nothing too special. Definitely, no molten cake. It had a lot of nuts in it which I enjoyed but Marco thought there was too many. It was supposed to come with some sort of chantilly cream but our waiter (who, I am guessing, was disenchanted with us for ordering off the restaurant week menu) never brought it.

I do think it’s important to mention that a top quality restaurant should never lack in service, style, or flavor during restaurant week, even though the meals are reduced prices. A top quality restaurant should always be...well, top quality no matter how much the costumer is spending. While the food at Fleming’s certainly demonstrated this, our waiter did not. I’ve experienced good service at Fleming’s so I am going to chalk up this waiter’s poor service to maybe a bad day.

Bryan describes his meal as follows: I started out with the wedge. I've been craving a wedge ever since Restaurant Week started. I know, it's probably the cheapest possible thing a restaurant can make, but I just wanted one! It was good. They gave us a nice amount of delicious blue cheese, and the grape tomatoes were nice and sweet.

Despite the server's recommending the steak or the pork chop for mains, I went with the salmon, which was served Oscar-style. I'd never had anything Oscar style before, and thought this would be a good opportunity to try it. I love crab, and I love hollandaise sauce. I must say, though, that it was a bit much; It was delicious but extremely rich. The salmon filet itself was nice. There were a few bites that were quite salty, but I think that's because they salted the outside unevenly since the dish as a whole was not too salty.

The sides that came "family style" were also very good. The mashed potatoes were fantastic. They were topped with peppercorn butter, and were just delicious. The green beans weren't much to write about.

My dessert was decadent: the turtle pie. Rich and gooey with a nice addition of walnuts, it hit the spot. It would have been nice to have some of the crème chantilly; but, as Peter said, our waiter didn't think he needed to bring us any. Nevertheless, the dessert was delicious.

Overall, our experience at Flemings was great. The food was very good (the steaks incredible) and the portions were good as well. No one left hungry. I’m excited to go again to try another wine flight (and another waiter) but next time, I’m sticking to the molten for dessert.

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