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Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
455 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Date of Visit: 25 May 2002
While roaming around the pasture one day, the ChiefMeatInspector heard mooing about Fleming’s Steakhouse. He listened while other like-minded carnivore discussed their favorable dining experiences at Fleming’s. So he called the ChiefCowEater and a visit was scheduled for 25 May 2002. There are several Fleming’s Steakhouses nationwide and we selected the one in Newport Beach, CA.
One thing that is quite obvious upon entering Fleming’s is the noise level. It was evident that people were either having a lot of fun or moderate pandemonium was taking place. We arrived at 7:00 PM, only to find that the reservation they had for us was for 6:30 PM! The restaurant was packed, and there were a dozen people waiting for tables. Fortunately, they were able to seat us immediately in a booth near the open kitchen.
Their menu features entrees that are the staple of most premium-quality steakhouses: Filet Mignon, 8-ounce and 12-ounce; Rib Eye and New York Strip, both 16-ounces; Porterhouse at 22-ounces. There were some specials for the night, including a 40-ounce Porterhouse and a bone-in New York Strip.
We started out with one order of shoestring potatoes ($5.95). When the server brought it, it was piled so high with just-fried, golden brown potatoes that, when set on the table, I could not see the ChiefMeatInspector sitting across from me! (Please keep in mind that this fact is not necessarily all that bad.) Hot from the fryer and lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, they were exceptional...and enough food for a herd of six heifers!
Fleming’s wine list is good...and pricey. This happens to be one of the NoCowTipping Points of the Dead Cow Society. We have no influence, clout, or power, but we will always rant and rave against what we feel are excessively high wine prices. To start, we ordered a bottle of 1998 Heitz Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($67.00).
Next came The Wedge ($6.50), which is iceberg lettuce accompanied by tomatoes, red onions, and crumbled blue cheese. Many steakhouses do some version of this salad and it is always good. There is something exciting about the pairing of iceberg lettuce and robust blue cheese. We recommend not eating it all at first; save some to enjoy along with your savory steak. It was now time for another sampling from the wine cellar. Reviewing their Reserve wine list, we chose a 1998 Random Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon ($68.00; rang-up at $70 but waiter corrected overcharge when asked) to accompany our entree.
The ChiefMeatInspector whipped out his sharpened Henckels and sliced off a 22-ounce Porterhouse ($31.00), medium. To compliment the Dead Cow, he ordered sautéed spinach ($4.95) with brown butter and sweet red onion. True to his past, he requested that the spinach be sautéed with massive amounts of garlic. The Fleming’s kitchen crew were more than willing to oblige his garlic request. The ChiefCowEater ordered the 16-ounce New York Strip ($27.50), medium-rare, and fresh button and portabella mushrooms sautéed in butter with whole garlic ($6.95). We finished with fresh-brewed coffee ($1.95) and a delicious chocolate cake ($6.95). We were two happy men.
We would definitely return to Fleming’s. It is a top-notch restaurant with superb food.
ALL RATINGS FOR FLEMING’S PRIME STEAKHOUSE