Small Plates, Big Flavor

By Megan McDonald October 6, 2011

Fleming's Memorable Meal.

Sometimes there’s nothing better than dressing up and heading out to dinner on a weeknight, especially when you know you’re going to be surrounded by great company and delicious food and drink. This was the case last Tuesday night, when, after work, we headed to Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar for a tasting of the restaurant’s new small plates menu.

The Fleming’s menu has undergone a bit of a redesign since our last visit—both in terms of its physical layout and the addition of the small plates, which range from $15.50 to $22.95. More on those to come, though—we have to talk about cocktails first!

We began the evening with Fleming’s new Stiletto martini, a “skinny” drink that contains only 99 calories but is so full of flavor that you’d never know the difference. The featured cocktail on Fleming’s “5 for $6 til 7” happy hour menu, the Stiletto is pink and fruity, and all proceeds made from it are donated directly to the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade.  And if you’d like to make it at home, for your next gathering, you can find the recipe below.

After we’d happily drained the last of our pink drinks from our martini glasses, we moved on to the small plate tasting. There had been a pleasant buzz in the room prior to the presentation of the dishes, with everyone chatting and catching up on the goings-on in each other’s lives. But when the food was served, the din was silenced. We couldn’t help but focus on the food.

Fleming's lobster tempura small plate.

First up: decadent, tender lobster tempura and  jumbo shrimp scampi skewers. Then came Meyer lemon scallops and ahi tuna skewers, followed by filet mignon skewers, New Zealand lamb chops and sliced filet mignon—each bite rich, flavorful and perfectly prepared. We also were able to sample Fleming’s new Forty-Six Diamonds wine, a product of Fleming’s director of wine, Marian Jansen op de Haar, and Salvatore Ferragamo’s Il Borro winery (yes, that Salvatore Ferragamo).

Filet mignon skewers.

And as if that weren’t enough, we were also each able to sample a Fleming’s Memorable Meal ($99 for two people). Available through Nov. 15, it’s comprised of spinach salad, beef “Flemington” and shrimp scampi, a roasted vegetable trio and dessert. We didn’t sample the dessert at the tasting, but let’s just say the chocolate cake we were sent home with—moist and seriously chocolately with a decadent fudge frosting—didn’t last long in our refrigerators.

But one of our favorite parts of the whole tasting, aside from the food, of course, was when each guest shared his or her own memorable meal. Some were positive (the experience of cooking with a master chef in Paris, for example, or my own food nirvana at The Olde Pink House in Savannah with my mother this summer), some were negative (think insects in restaurants or terrible service), and some were hilarious—like a man’s shirt being eaten by a stallion while he was catching fish for his dinner on a trip with his wife. All of them, however, were certainly memorable, and the experience of talking about them made the Fleming’s tasting a memorable meal in its own right--because really, there’s not much better than sharing great food and great conversation with your friends and colleagues.

Now it’s your turn. Tell us: What’s YOUR most memorable meal?

Fleming's Stiletto cocktail.

Fleming’s Stiletto Cocktail

1.25 oz. Hendrick’s gin

1 oz. Monin sugar-free syrup

.5 oz. fresh lime juice

5 fresh blackberries

Diet ginger ale

Muddle blackberries with Monin. Add Hendrick’s. Shake; strain and pour into martini glass. Top with diet ginger ale and garnish with two blackberries.

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