Thursday, May 20, 2010
I already loved the fabulous happy hour specials from 5 until 7 (see post from last Summer) and now Flemings has stepped up with some new menu items that frankly knocked my socks off ... never mind the absolutely delightful new cocktails!
Starting with the cocktails, I was especially struck by the "C-Squared" - mint leaves, cucumber and agave nectar muddled then shaken with Square One Cucumber Vodka, white cranberry juice, a splash of lime and a drop of Angostura bitters. Wow. Yum. Yay! Seriously, this is the perfect summer cocktail ... cool, refreshing, not-too-heavy or sweet. I also adored the "Farmer's Daughter" (how much fun is that to order) - muddled strawberries and basil (a favorite combination of mine) shaken with Kettle One vodka, cranberry juice and lemon juice. The basil provides an edge that prevents it from being just another pretty/fruitty drink. Very refreshing/Yay once again.
As delightful as the cocktails were, the new menu items matched in terms of creativity and bold, fresh flavors. I am borderline obsessed with the Lump Crab Louis Wraps - two butter lettuce cups filled with jumbo lump crab (really fantastic quality jumbo lump), avocado, shredded boiled egg, sliced juicy cherry tomatoes and bits of bacon. So fresh-tasting and just a delightful combination of flavors and textures ... only a drop of the intense thousand-island dressing on the side is required. I could eat these every day.
There are also several items featuring mushrooms including the Roasted Mushroom Ravioli - three ravioli filled with Portobello and Shitake mushrooms topped with a porcini butter sauce. The pasta was light and cooked perfectly with the rich flavor of roasted mushrooms balanced by the sauce, which somehow seemed "light" even though it was a butter sauce. I was glad it wasn't a heavier cream-based sauce because that would have been too much for the delicate pasta to bear. There are also Sauteed French Green Beans with Shitake mushrooms and "porcini essence"- the earthy element of the mushrooms amping up the beans for sure.
Another member of the mushroom theme is the Porcini-Rubbed Filet Mignon - a gorgeously prepared filet is dusted with finely ground porcinis and then topped with a silky gorgonzola cream sauce and served with perfectly prepared asparagus. Again I must note that the sauce was not heavy - it was simply light and delicious yet with big flavor - a truly delightful combinatino alongside the smokiness of the incredibly tender filet. I forgot the last time I ordered a filet ... I remembered why I should work it into the rotation every now and then.
There is a new Pepercorn Steak as well - a 12 oz. strip coated generously with peppercorns and seared to a fantastic crust. But the most interesting part of the plate is the new "F17 Sauce" served in a shot glass on the side. I'm not a steak-sauce kind of girl but this sauce had such a kick of interesting flavors (a proprietary blend of 17 ingredients including molasses, orange juice, honey and chipotle peppers); it really worked with the pepper-y, sturdy beef for a whole new way to enjoy a strip. Scrumptious alongside were the new roasted baby carrots - pretty little spears of carrot with golden raisins and almonds. mmmm.
I also must mention the beautiful Salmon Nicoise Salad - a beautifully-grilled Scottish Salmon filet, totally-addictive truffled deviled eggs, salad greens and thin slice of Rosemary crostini topped with a kalamata olive aoli. Who wouldn't love this?
There are two new desserts as well including a insanely good bread pudding unlike any you've had before, created with thin-ish slices of custard-soaked brioche, a light creme anglaise beneath and chantilly cream on top. And there's a carrot cake that is among the most moist and intensly flavored I've encountered. There is a refreshingly thin layer of cream cheese icing and then just a splash of a pineapple-caramel sauce that was the perfect compliment to the cake as a whole.
I look forward to trying the Tillamook Bay Petrale Sole as well and it seems that Flemings has created these wonderful new menu items with a restrained hand, dispelling the notion of "heavy steakhouse eating" with dishes that are simply big on flavor. There is something for everyone, any night of the week so even if you come for your big steak, blue cheese mashed potatoes and chocolate lava cake on Saturday night, you can return on Tuesday for something completely different but just as divine.
Posted by Jodie Eisenhardt at Thursday, May 20, 2010