Thursday, May 22, 2008

Naples Fleming's Restaurant and the Birthday Girl

Naples’ Fleming’s Special Birthday & Anniversary Delight- The “birthday girl” wanted to celebrate her "birthday week" with dinner at Flemings, so we were happy to oblige her! I was previously at Fleming's in March.

Fleming’s very well priced “Chef’s Complete 3-Course Taste of Spring” Dinner for $33.95, good through June 24 is easy on the wallet. Choose from 3 entrees; Spicy Tempura shrimp, Blue Cheese Glazed Filet Mignon, or Savory Beef Short ribs. You get a choice of one of three salads; The Wedge, Fleming’s, or Caesar Salad, then choose one side dish (eleven to choose from!) and finally choose a dessert (from at least six!). A very filling meal, and the price for all at $33.95, comes in for way less than many entrees alone, on Naples 5th Ave South. We figured we’d try all three, being 5 good eaters, plus other goodies, so we got a round table, instead of a booth, for more surface area.
We started with the Tenderloin Carpaccio (12.50, below), thinly sliced tender beef (below), with accompanying capers, creole mustard sauce, red onions, egg crumbles, and chiffonaded basil. The menu doesn’t say, however it also comes with slices of sliced baguettes, with Swiss and Gruyere cheese, melted on top. Luscious, with the carpaccio and other goodies layered on top! Jeff, our server, knew every dish’s ingredients, and was additionally super helpful on explaining the “taste” of some dishes-making it easy for us to pick home runs! We never ran low on water, wine (a stellar St Emillion Grand Cru bottle, recommended by Sommelier Michael Bevacqua), or had too many dishes at once-pacing is so important!
Appetizer, with Cheddar Cheese/Pinot Grigio Dip, and Roasted Red Pepper/Sun Dried Tomato Dip
The Lobster Tempura (25.95, below), four or five little lobster tails, crispy fried, and accompanied by strips of crisply fried veggies, was quickly devoured! It came with two dipping sauces- a soy-ginger emulsion, and a mild jalapeno-aioli. It looks much better than my photo!
My favorite was the visually stunning Seared Ahi Tuna (13.50, below), high quality tuna, lightly seared, served with a soy-ginger emulsion on top, with julienned jicama, carrot and radish. Tasted as great as it looks!
We capped the apps with the Season’s Best Vegetables (16.95 below- it started with more items, before the photo). All market fresh goodies-we had plump lightly seasoned mushrooms, grilled tomato wedges, grilled parsnips marinaded with apple juice and herbs, baby bok choy, a bed of strands of spaghetti squash, and succulently grilled asparagus. These chefs know how to grill! A vegetarian, or a “meatatarian’s” delight!
Now for the three $33.95 "Three Course Taste of Spring" specials!

The Spicy Tempura Shrimp had four very large crisply fried shrimp, drizzled with a touch of chili aioli, and a good portion of sweet pineapple-mango salsa. served on a sweet pineapple slice. I could be happy with the salsa as a side, unto itself.
My favorite of the three was the luscious Blue Cheese topped Glazed Filet Mignon, served with Cabernet Butter sauce. MMMMmmmm good!
The Savory Beef Short Ribs were a generous portion of melt-in-your-mouth short ribs, slowly braised, with herbs and spices, on top of a properly cooked polenta, made with a touch of tarragon, chicken stock, and as one at our table said “made also with love”.I added a pinch of salt and pepper, and this too went quickly!
I like to cook a Beef Wellington, (or a Salmon Coulibiac) so I had the Beef Flemington (29.95, Notice the pastry "F"), with a large puff pastry enclosing a 4 ounce filet, covered with mushroom duxelle, and a Madeira sauce. A very good marriage of tastes and textures, and enough of a portion to share with others!
The large side order of Potatoes au Gratin, with melted cheddar cheese The enourmous side order of deep fried onion rings! We had three desserts coming with the three $33.95 specials, only to find our eyes were larger than our bellies. The New York style Cheese cake (8.95 if not on the special) had a graham cracker crust, with a topping of shaved white chocolate, and blueberry sauce.
The Chocolate Lava Cake (10.50) had the classic molten chocolate core, topped with chopped pistachios, paired with vanilla ice cream in a baked shell.
I’m a sucker for an old fashioned crumble or betty, so I selected the Peach Cobbler (8.5) for all to share, with firm fresh peaches, peach schnapps, cinnamon and nutmeg, with a brown sugar streusel topping, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
The Birthday Girl and Fred
A Happy Quartet
Rick Poole, Fleming's Proprietor
Oh, there's also a new Sunday Prime Rib Special for $33 as well; Fleming's covers all the bases!

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar - 8985 Tamiami Trl N, Naples - (239) 598-2424

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