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This Is No Outback Steakhouse: Fleming's

Dec 10, 2007
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Wine Flights, goat cheese and wine spread

Cons:Bill can rack up fast!!

The Bottom Line: Fleming's was a surprise hit for me, but ranks right up there with Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and Charley's.

Some restaurant brands are well known as chain restaurants. Others don’t go advertising the fact that they are associated with other restaurants. Such is the case with Fleming’s Steak House. I had heard much ado about this restaurant that was knowingly a chain restaurant. That didn’t spark much controversy with me- Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse is also a chain and their meat is phenomenal. When I saw on the back of an Outback Steakhouse gift card that it could also be used at Fleming’s, I was quite surprised. Unsure of how I felt about this, I was slightly apprehensive about trying them out, but I ended up more than pleasantly surprised- I was stuffed!

Fleming’s is a national chain that serves some of the best steak I have ever had. Although they are associated with Outback Steakhouse, they are definitely not one in the same. The difference starts with the prices and ends with the desserts, and of course, everything in between. Outback Steakhouse isn’t a bad place to go if you are looking for casual, family dining and a high protein dinner. Fleming’s is most definitely a step up from casual, although they don’t have a specific dress code you will probably want to put on a nice dress and some heels if you are a lady, a shirt and tie if you are of the male gender. They will not turn you away if you have on jeans and flip-flops, but you could feel slightly uncomfortable.

The menu at Flemings is quite simple. High quality prime beef is what you will find here, but there are a few other items on the menu to look out for as well. Appetizers are aplenty here, with seared Ahi tuna, bruschetta, shrimp cocktail and calamari making up a portion of what is offered for starters. Salads are also offered, however they are portioned more as an appetizer than as an entrée option. With a classic Caesar and Mozzarella & Sweet Tomato as my favorites, there is as a wedge salad and Fleming’s House Salad.

While the appetizers are, well, appetizing, the steak options are quite filling in themselves. With several different cuts to choose from, all very high quality and not like you might expect to get at the Outback, I settled on an 8 ounce petite filet mignon. It was quite tasty and needed no additional seasonings or sauces, as far as I was concerned. Cooked to my liking (medium rare), it came out perfect.

Fleming’s also has a nice seafood menu, with a Tuna Mignon, King Crab Legs and Lobster Tail as some of their mouth watering options, if you like seafood. I liked that there were additional menu choices, other than just red meat, to accommodate dietary needs. They also offered a bread and tasty spread options that included a red wine/goat cheese spread that I could have eaten all night.

Flights of wine, anyone?
I love a good flight, especially one that includes three glasses of wine, and I’m not talking about flying first class. Fleming’s has a variety of wine flights that feature three two ounce pours of your choice of wines. Arranged in a cool, stainless steel holder, the three glasses are delivered in the way you would expect a plate carrier to be, only for wine instead of dinners. Their wine list is extensive, ranging from basic, lower priced wines all the way up to Opus One type quality. They claim to have over 100 different wines by the glass, which a great way to learn about different wines and what you like, especially if you take advantage of the flights offered.

While Outback Steakhouse may be a family restaurant, if you are going to Fleming’s, I would consider calling a babysitter first. Not what I would consider kid-friendly, I did not even ask to see if they had a children’s menu, as I would not consider bringing my three year old here. The lighting is dim and the music is fairly hip- it could easily be a setting for a subdued birthday party or a romantic date venue. The restaurant was decorated with magnum bottles of wine all over the place, which was only slight tacky, but the decor was otherwise unremarkable.

So far, my experience at Fleming’s has been a wonderful one. The service has always been second to none. On my first visit to the restaurant, I was offered a tour of the restaurant, including the kitchen and wine cellar, which I was quite impressed with. The entire staff took to making sure that all my needs were met and that they exceeded my expectations- definitely a step up from Outback!! While I saw a few faces during my dinner (the wine steward, food runner, hostess, server and someone I perceived to be a manager of some sorts), I was always greeted with a smile.

Overall Thoughts and Recommendations
If you are thinking the same way I did about Fleming’s being a chain restaurant, you are thinking that it’s just an expensive label put on Outback Steakhouse’s steaks, but I was wrong. Way wrong! The menu items are absolutely delicious and worthy of the price you will pay (average about $70 per person, including limited drinks). The service and atmosphere were perfect for a romantic evening out, when you just want everything to go well- not the waiting for a server to come take your order or your steak cooked wrong. This is definitely an above and beyond type restaurant. If you are looking for an evening out with a loved one, or a fun wine tasting night with some friends, Fleming’s Steakhouse is surely one to consider.

Recommend this product? Yes

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