Five Things: Fleming’s, Providence
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
It's a go-to power hangout, an anniversary favorite, not to mention where visiting NBA players wine and dine. Sean DeBobes checked in on this popular downtown steakhouse. Here are the five things he wants you to know.
One. Whiskey Rebellion.
The name alone on this cocktail practically had me. I mean, whiskey… rebellion… what’s not to enjoy? And the flavors backed up the enticing name. Start with Jack, add fresh mango puree and mint leaves, and you have a drink that recalls summer but has the backbone to warm you up on these chilly autumn nights. And for those who don't love whiskey, Fleming's has quite a few specialty cocktails on the menu as well as an impressive list of more than 100 wines by the glass. (Prices range from reasonable to a mortgage payment for the bottle, so browse carefully.)
Two. That’s Some Fancy Butter.
Fleming’s strives to impress from the moment you hit your seat. The service all night was thoughtful and assured. Now, let me take a moment to pay homage to a seriously well-executed bread situation. Fleming’s could have stopped at a fresh, warm, house-made rosemary sourdough, but I am so glad they didn’t. Let's talk spreads, here. The first, a Chardonnay and feta mix with cream cheese and oregano was absolutely spreadable glee. The second, a butter mixed with basil and oven-roasted tomato delivered an earthy, hearty flavor.
Three. Seafood Tower.
Talk about architecture I can love. A mountain of shaved ice supports a sumptuous mix of shellfish including split lobster tails, crab legs, lump crab meat and scallop ceviche. The platter was served with traditional accompaniments - cocktail sauce very heavy on the horseradish (my favorite way to serve it) and a creamy hot mustard. The ceviche was exceptional, with small chunks of scallop mixed with shrimp in a hot pepper mix. This entire dish is best served with an appetite for spicy sauces and deep pockets. Ringing in at $50, this delicious course might be a bit pricey for an appetizer, but well worth the money.
The beef tenderloin Carpaccio at Fleming’s is some really superb non-cooking. Paper-thin slices of beef tenderloin were shingled around the plate, interspersed with fine-chopped red onion and drizzled with a complex and wonderful sweet mustard sauce with capers. The dish was super fresh and the ultra-thin beef was accented with sweet and tangy notes.
My entrée was exactly what I had hoped for when I walked through the doors at Fleming’s. Three double-boned chops of New Zealand lamb were masterfully cooked. Chef keeps it simple with a salt and pepper season and a great sear on the outside. Letting this great ingredient speak for itself and accompanying it with a Champagne and mint sauce reminds me once again how much differently a steak house treats a piece of meat. Start with a quality product, subtly enhance, cook with diligence and step away so the diner can indulge. Perfect.
Would I go back? Yes. Fleming’s really hits all the details on dinner; now I am eager to try out the well-appointed bar for some after-work cocktails and snacks.
Hit “Save”: Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. One West Exchange St, Providence, 533-9000. Mon-Thu 5-10pm; Fri 5-11pm; Sat 4:30-11pm; Sun 4-9pm. Reservations strongly encouraged.
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