If you are looking for the perfect spot for a date night in Los Angeles, then Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar in Beverly Hills is the place to go. The newest Fleming’s location in the heart of Beverly Hills epitomizes the very best in casual fine dining: that is, food and drink of the caliber of the best restaurants in LA, but with an atmosphere that is contemporary, relaxed, and convivial.
Flemings is a wine lover’s paradise, with one of the largest wine cellars in Los Angeles, but with none of the snobbery sometimes found in fine restaurants. The servers’ knowledge of wine is impressively extensive. With its selection of 100 wines by the glass, known as the Fleming’s 100, the staff will guide the wine novice to labels that they will enjoy in a welcoming and friendly manner, while staff members are also able to have a conversation with wine connoisseurs about the 80 reserve wines Fleming’s has on offer.
One of the latest innovations that Fleming’s has added to enhance the wine lover’s experience is to bring an iPad to patrons’ tables complete with an app containing extensive information about Fleming’s wine list. The app provides a description of each wine, gives suggestions for ideal pairings, and also allows patrons to email themselves their selections of wines for future reference.
Our server for the evening, Eric, who graciously attended us, had received extensive training as a sommelier prior to joining Fleming’s, and we enjoyed learning about the hundreds of wines on offer and discovering new labels with which we weren’t previously familiar. The goal of Fleming’s staff is to help patrons select wine courses that they are truly going to enjoy based upon their personal tastes, and also that will perfectly complement their meals.
As an example, Eric recommended that we try the unique pairing of a Moscato d’Asti fortified sparkling wine with the sweet chile calamari appetizer ($15.50). The sparkling wine, which was sweet with notes of apricot, perfectly complemented the flavors of the spicy calamari, which was lightly breaded and tossed in a sweet chile sauce with just the right amount of “kick.”
Fleming’s menu has something for everyone. It offers traditional steakhouse dishes, but always with something a little unexpected and delightful. As an example, the Modern Caesar Salad ($9.95) is topped with fried capers and crisp prosciutto chips, and the unexpected bacon flavor is quite savory.
As part of the Taste of the Season two-course prix fixe menu ($49.95), we sampled the filet mignon with salmon duo. The filet mignon was topped with a divine warm rosemary and goat cheese mousse and paired with a delicious pecan-crusted Scottish salmon topped with Dijon mustard tarragon sauce. The dish was served with seasonal asparagus. Eric suggested we pair this with the Trefethen “Double T” Napa Valley ‘10 ($18.25 per glass, $73 per bottle), a rich and voluptuous cabernet merlot blend that had just the right intensity to complement the surf and turf dish.
The sliced filet mignon ($22.50) in the Small Plates section of the menu is a popular favorite. Served with shiitake risotto, chili oil, and drizzled with porcini butter, it is so tender it melts in your mouth.
Fleming’s menu offers plenty of comfort food. Notable standouts include Fleming’s Potatoes ($11.50), a specialty of the house with cream, jalapeños, and cheddar cheese. The potatoes are served as a savory casserole, and the baked cheese topping is reminiscent of an au gratin recipe, except that the potatoes are whipped. The buttery sautéed mushrooms, a unique combination of shitake and portabello mushrooms, are an ideal side with any of the steak offerings on the menu.
Last, but certainly not least, for dessert, the out-of-this-world lava cake is not to be missed. The intense cake has a delicious raspberry chocolate sauce that pours out when the cake is cut. This decadent favorite is a dream for dark chocolate lovers. We enjoyed it served with freshly whipped cream and vanilla ice cream. The cake is rich but not overpoweringly sweet.
Fleming’s offers a truly memorable evening in a welcoming, contemporary setting. The fact that Fleming’s has earned multiple awards from Wine Spectator magazine will come as no surprise, and the dining is an experience you won’t soon forget.