Feasting on Fleming's

The whole purpose of starting this blog was to get free food. Kidding! (kind of) Really though, food obviously being a passion of mine, I wanted to share my dining experiences and food knowledge with others. So imagine my delight when frequent contributor Kate and I were invited to attend a dinner for Chicago food bloggers - the best and the brightest only obvs - at downtown steak house Fleming's.

While there are Fleming's locations across the country, I had never heard of the restaurant and was flattered to accept the invitation.

Kate and I met there, in the cozy downstairs lounge, on a chilly night, and while we waited for the other "web writers" to arrive, we partook in deliciously light homemade chips at the bar and I ordered their Basil Lemondrop martini. I am a sucker for a cocktail menu. The drink was just tart enough and the muddled basil added a great herby flavor. Not only pretty to look at, it was one of the better new cocktails I've tried in a while and didn't commit the sin of being overly sweet.

Soon enough, the bloggers were in the house and the managing partner, Curtis Nordeen, walked us all upstairs to a private dining room, overlooking the beautiful Medinah Temple Building (now a Bloomingdale's home store).

In addition to the City Veg, bloggers from Blue Kitchen and Chicago Gluttons joined us around the table and Curtis outlined the evening. Basically, we'd be tasting anything and everything - from a seared Ahi Tuna appetizer to their Chipotle Cheddar Mac and Cheese.

Kate's going to take us through the night with her poetic descriptions and our photos.

One of the first things served to us was this monstrous tower of delicacies from the sea. Claws of crabs and lobster as well as shrimp as big as your fists tumbled from this tower

Another shot of the Seafood Tower and our fellow bloogers. Shannon just created this word. It’s a new term for food bloggers. Get it?

Arguably one of the best things of the night was the Lobster Tempura. It was lobster. Tempura-ed.

This is their creamed spinach. Just now I was trying to remember why it was so good. Me: “Wasn’t it prepared like two ways or something?” Shannon: “You’re thinking of the final episode of Top Chef.” Me: “Eh.”

This steak was so good that the camera couldn’t even handle taking its picture

I drank a lot of wine and was having trouble holding the camera still. But this is Shannon eating New England Clam Chowder and the awesome view from the private dining room

Our waiter hooked up Terry from Blue Kitchen with a wine flight to match his meal. I wish I had thought of that…But I was doing just fine on my own.

Early in the evening Shannon ordered me to be her “voice of meat.” I took the charge seriously and ordered the Surf and Turf as my main. My steak was wrapped in bacon.

This was a crowd pleaser. A chocolate lava cake that was passed around the table at least twice. This was the end of the evening and we were all BFFs and it’s possible that we were even sharing a spoon. BFFs.

You may be wondering what the cost would be for all this decadence. To me, it seemed like a very fair way to price steakhouse food, but then again, I'm not in steakhouses often(enough). Fleming's was offering a great value on a 3-course winter prix fixe menu for around $35 and they always have over 100 wines by the glass.

So, after almost 4 hours of eating, talking, sharing food, and Kate worrying about her cholesterol, the night was over. And I was sad for it to end. The best part about the whole event (and yes, it was an event) was meeting people who got it - Fleming's staff included. And at the risk of sounding cheesy(I'm just going to go for it...) this evening just reinforced that for me, breaking bread with good company and good wine is one of life's true pleasures.

Thanks to Fleming's!


steaktart said...

steak + bacon = shangrila on a plate.

kjp said...

don't forget the side of lobster!

opie said...

i'm jealous. i wish all my meat came in a tower.

Kelly said...

Yum Yum Yum Yum