Saturday, March 7, 2009
Boston Food Bloggers at Flemings, Boston
This past Thursday I had the privilege of being invited to a dinner for Boston food bloggers at Fleming's Steakhouse in Boston. Our hosts, Michael Dearing (Operating Partner) and Jason Carron(Head Chef and Partner) were very generous with their food and time, allowing us to try a good portion of the menu. In addition, it was a wonderful opportunity to dine with the authors of many food Boston Blogs including: BellyGlad, Cave Cibum, The Leather District Gourmet, Forays of a Finance Foodie, Fork it Over Boston, and Grow, Cook, Eat. Clearly a Boston Food Blog community is beginning to form, and it is exciting to be a part of it. Hopefully there will be more events like this in the future.
I tend to avoid steakhouses for a few reasons. First, I prefer a quick grill in the backyard to heading out to a stuffy, simple meal of heavy dishes. If I am going to eat out it is far more likely to be an inexpensive Vietnamese or Thai restaurant (such as Rod Dee) where the total bill will range around $20.00 and we can take the kids. Flemings is definitely not inexpensive, nor is it a place to bring young children (no children's menu). So this night was even more of a treat for me. The reality is that Flemings is a warm restaurant with a menu which veers off from the more traditional steak house fare in a variety of creative ways.
As for the food, we began with an enormous array of appetizers beginning with a chilled seafood tower (crab legs, lobster tails, shrimp). This was followed by a delicious tenderloin carpaccio.The shrimp cocktail and seared ahi tuna were light, while the lobster and vegetable tempura and crab cakes were definitely on the heavy side. My favorite appetizer was the most simple: homemade crostini served with goat cheese that was infused with cabarnet.For a main dish, I chose the recommendation of the chef and enjoyed the New York strip steak on the bone. It was perfectly cooked and seasoned and was enough meat for multiple meals. However, my diminishing appetite may also have been due to the enormous range of side dishes: "Flemings" potatoes, two types of mashed potatoes, sauteed corn, delicious potato strings, onion rings, sauteed mushrooms, sauteed spinach, creamed spinach and, my favorite: chipotle mac and cheese. The chipotle added as smokiness and complexity to the dish. Overall the dishes were good, though again they were quite dense.
It left little room for the desserts: a chocolate lava cake, vanilla bean creme brulee and New York style cheesecake.
Another strength of the evening were the drinks. I enjoyed an unusual lemon and basil martini. The floral fragrance of the basil was a perfect foil for the tang of the lemon. Flemings offers 100 wines by the glass and I enjoyed the light 2006 McMurray Pinot Noir.
Overall, Flemings is a great choice if you are looking for comfort food, for a twist on the steakhouse restaurant and for personal service, warmth, a good steak and glass of wine. For me, while I will remember the meal fondly, I am off to exercise the night away...and then to return to Rod Dee! My son, on the other hand, downed the leftover fries the next day, while my husband happily finished off the steak.