Friday, January 25, 2013

Newport Beach Restaurant Week Dinner Review: Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

It's that time of year again!! It's Restaurant Week in gorgeous Newport Beach, CA and let me tell there are some pretty fancy-shamancy restaurants here that I have been dieing to try. *drools*

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term Restaurant Week, it's when baller restaurants offer a 3 course prix fix meals (at a more affordable price) so that the average restaurant connoisseur can enjoy fine dining at it's best.  Each participating restaurant has the choice to offer lunch and/or dinner and fall in the $20, $30, or $40 price bracket. Sounds tempting huh? And with over 70 restaurants to choose from it's difficult to pinpoint which spot to hit up, though I had been eyeing on two spots that one of my best friends had been raving out.


Black Tie attire was not required, but why not get all dressed up?! I rushed home to get all dolled up for this night and wore my favorite Cynthia Steffe dress, which I snagged for more than 60% the retail price new with tags! Additionally many of the makeup products I used that night were also items that I purchased this past weekend from IMATS so stay tuned on that upcoming post. But... onward to our star!

This post will feature our first destination--Flemings Prime Steakhouse (Yum!) and lets jump right in!

We began our meal with the Fleming House Salad, which is a beautiful tossed salad with candid walnuts and cranberries. A beautiful piece of artwork and tasty too!



Well... actually we began with fresh bread accompanied by two delicious spreads. The right is a parmesan cheese and cream cheese blend and the left a sun dried tomato concoction. Both were so flavorful and delicious. This photo actually reflects our second helping! We couldn't help it, it was sooo tasty :)


And now the showstopper.... the filet minion cooked medium rare.  Beautifully seared on the outside and tender on the inside.  Both my husband I ordered this and thoroughly enjoyed it.  The item on the left is some type of potato cake, which was nice surprise considering we weren't expecting it.


We were each given a side choice, so we decided to get one of each and sample them. Here's the oh so garlicy garlic mashed potatoes.


And the side of grilled asparagus...


But to my surprise, my favorite item of the night was the dessert. The Tahitian Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee was out of this world! Definitely safe room for dessert because it is light but decadent all at the same time. And combined with their home-made mascarpone cream (not pictured), it was heavenly.  


Overall this experience was delicious and the epitome of how food ought to look and taste. However, I was very disappointed in the customer service. Perhaps they were understaffed as Restaurant Week does tend to draw a larger number of consumers to the business and the ratio to wait staff may not increase for that timeframe; however I expected more considering quality service goes hand in hand with quality food.

Our waitress was non-existent and it did take quite a while to get our food (especially between our salad and entree). But unlike most restaurants where someone would provide waiting customers with a status update on the food preparation, our server did not and only appeared when we ordered our food, received our steak and at the end to give us a check.  Honestly, we're not really that needy but I felt more obligated to tip our bus boy as our glasses of water were always filled and he actually brought out most of our food!

Nevertheless I would return to celebrate for a special occasion because the food is that good and a fantastic value for restaurant week promotion. A filet minion usually costs the same amount as the restaurant week deal itself ($40 per person for the dinner special). So to get an appetizer, side, entree, AND dessert for the price of an entree is a steal!  I guess you can't have it all, but thankfully our customer service experience was the exact opposite on our next fine dining trip, which you'll have to wait to find out where we went :)


What type of restaurant would you want to explore with a discounted price tag?



Yours Truly,

Irene

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