Friday, March 27, 2015

The Good and Bad at Fleming's Steakhouse

We were happy to try Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar after receiving a gift card, since the upscale menu is too pricey for a weekly visit. Even with the gift card, we set out to save some money by heading to Fleming's Winter Park location during Happy Hour, which is daily from 5:00-7:00. The Happy Hour specials are great: $6 for certain cocktails and apps, and $7 for Fleming's burger. 

Unfortunately, we were not able to enjoy the specials, despite arriving only a half hour after Happy Hour started. The tables at the small bar area were already full, so we asked if we could order from the Happy Hour menu in the dining room. We were told we could not. I almost walked out. I know this is standard practice for most restaurants that offer Happy Hour: the specials are only available for a limited time in the bar area or on their patio. The policy still frustrates me. Would you rather have me as a customer who spends some money at your business - and then becomes a loyal customer - or none at all?

After deciding to stay and order from the regular menu, our experience got better from there. Yes, there was some sticker shock, but I expect that at a nice steakhouse. The atmosphere was great, and our server was very attentive. The bread with two different dipping butters was delicious. We ordered from a special three-course menu that featured a salad, an app, an entree and dessert. The Mushroom Asparagus salad was so unique - we have never had flavors like that paired together before, and really enjoyed it. The Butternut Squash Ravioli appetizer sounded so delicious, but we were really let down by the lack of flavor and spice. This dish could have been better with a touch of cayenne pepper or herbs. 

Of course, we had to have some steak, and opted for the Filet Mignon with Roasted Carrots. The shrimp appetizer with chorizo dipping sauce was cooked perfectly and the sauce was delicious. It truly was the best steak we have had in a long time. The Almond Cake was so tasty; we just felt the dark chocolate on top was not needed with all the other flavors on the dish. We would probably return to Fleming's just for dessert and a cocktail - if we could enjoy it during Happy Hour.

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