Restaurant Review: Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar

There is something to be said for consistency and reliability, especially when it comes to fine dining. Fleming’s is a trustworthy answer to meeting high standards in both food and wine quality for carnivorous fare and Atkins-friendly cuisine that is sure to please.

Attracting a solid pre-theater crowd, as well as after-work suits, Fleming’s offers a relaxing venue in the heart of downtown. A dark ambiance offers both intimate booths and smartly dressed tables surrounded by dark wood paneling and offset by a contemporary look: diamond patterned borders adorning the ceiling and wine bottles displayed within the dining room.

Be prepared: the evening will definitely be one of overindulgence. If you cringe at the thought of spending money on a fine dining experience that lends itself to offering petite entrees that appear more like art than food, then this is definitely your spot. Generous portions will be sure not to leave you feeling peckish once you leave the premises.

As you peruse the very notable wine list, which offers 100 classic and boutique wine selections by the glass, nibble on the garlic crostini served with a Champagne-infused Brie spread and a luscious Cabernet Goat Cheese spread. Knowledgeable wait staff will also prepare three 2-oz wine selections as tailored wine-flights. For those who feel more indulgent, Fleming’s offers a Reserve List of 80 excellent ‘reserve’ wine choices (I was pleasantly surprised to see a bottle of 1999 Penfolds Grange as an offering!).

The appetizers offer an assortment to meet all tastes, from seafood to soup and salads. We were tempted by the Lobster Tempura plate for two, a large portion of 1.5 lobster tails cut lengthwise and served still attached on the shell over a bed of crispy rice noodles. Tender lobsters were surrounded by a very light tempura batter and cooked golden brown; even when we left it to cool, its texture remained amazingly light and fluffy…just excellent! The very viscous jalapeno pepper sauce and the tangy lemon-lime tartar sauce complemented the tempura quite nicely.

The Sweet Chile Calamari was a very healthy portion of lightly battered calamari served in a sweet chile sauce with slices of tender red capsicum. Finally, the Warm Spinach and Mushroom Salad was an excellent choice – heated to perfection to allow the baby spinach leaves to still maintain crispness, the salad was accented by goat cheese, red and yellow grape tomatoes, roasted red capsicum, and a red onion balsamic concoction lightly accented by the flavors of soy and cranberry. Superb.

Executive chef Jason Carron and his staff arrive at the restaurant by 10am daily to check produce and hand cut the meat – around 200 lbs per day. This guarantees that the finest cuts are served to customers. Fleming’s beef is corn-fed, USDA prime, wet-aged up to four weeks to preserve and intensify flavor and texture.

The 16 oz. Australian Lamb Chops were phenomenal – three double thick chops broiled to perfection and served with a delectable veal-based champagne mint sauce. The Chef’s Mixed Grill featured a ribeye and bacon-wrapped scallop combination – the ribeye was full of flavor and each scallop was tender and bursting with juices.

Side dishes were filling and hearty – exactly what was needed to complement the prime meats in which we indulged. The Onion Rings are certain to arouse conversation amongst neighboring tables: ten 5-inch diameter Vidalia onions breaded golden to perfection and piled high into a pyramid, served with a chipotle chili mayonnaise. Fleming’s also offers a signature potato dish – scalloped potatoes creamier than mom makes, served topped with a thick skin of cheddar cheese and jalapenos. We also tried the creamed corn, topped with gruyere and parmesan cheeses, and the creamed spinach – a very rich rendition on this steak-accompanying classic.

And, if you have made it this far, you must indulge in an after-dinner sweet. Fleming’s offers a Martini and Specialty Drinks list alongside an indulgent list of traditional favorites. The Key Lime Pie is a generous slice of creamy decadence – a thick graham cracker crust filled with a rich and very smooth tart lime filling. The baked cheesecake is velvety in texture and melts in the mouth – deceitfully light in taste. To be certain that patrons max out on the caloric intake, each dessert is accompanied by a pot of freshly whipped cream.

One thing is certain – if you crave carnivorous fare, Fleming’s won’t disappoint. Even my ex-varsity runningback guest felt defeated by our dinner. Carron and his team should be applauded for an evening that delivered and, after a few days of recovery, left us wanting to come back for more.

Dinner for two with moderately priced wine ~ $150
Dinner Only
Valet Parking Available

Fleming’s Prime Steak House and Wine Bar
217 Stuart Street
(Park Square)
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 292-0808

Other Notes:
An added bonus to this very filling experience? You can experience a consistent menu with the same high quality across different parts of the nation: Fleming’s has over 30 locations across the U.S., although the Boston location is the only restaurant in the North-East.

Fleming’s Private Dining
Fleming’s has three different private dining rooms available for rental at any time. The two Nantucket rooms have seating capacity for 30 people each (combined for 60 people) and the Vineyard room has seating capacity of 40 people. Group menus and Hors D’Oeuvres menus are available. Screen and AV equipment is also available at no charge.

Fleming’s Wine Dinners
Fleming’s also offers specialty educational and entertaining dinners, such as wine and food tastings. On February 8, 2005 at 6:30 pm, Fleming’s is holding a “Mardi Gras Wine Dinner” featuring Hors D’Oeuvres and a four-course meal, each paired with wine.