My whirlwind tour of Miami Spice menus across Miami continues. It just keeps getting better!
Next was dinner at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse in Coral Gables. In a rare move, I'm going to disclose the bottomline right here--FABULOUS. Read on!
Last Saturday I chose Fleming's as the restaurant of choice to celebrate a very special occasion--my mother's 70th birthday.
In communicating with Autumn, she assured me the staff would make the evening special. For some reason I didn't ask for details because initially I was worried the "special touch" would be a cookie cutter "bring the cake and staff sings Happy Birthday". Autumn's confidence left me intrigued and I was looking forward to the dinner with peace of mind.
Upon entering and giving my name, an entourage of staffers immediately greeted me and wished my mother a Happy Birthday. The decor was modern but not cold and uppity. Instead it was warm and inviting.
|Christine and mom|
We were ushered through the dining room and seated at long table with two individual long stem red roses and birthday confetti sprinkled atop the white table cloth. Scanning the room, no other table resembled ours. As we were seated, I noticed another personal touch--a birthday greeting card signed by the staff members we met this evening. Fleming's thought of everything. As a marketing professional, I'm a believer that little things can make a big difference. The accoutrement was well appointed and only the beginning of my mother's giddiness the entire evening. And we hadn't even ordered a drink yet!
Andrew Preston was our waiter and instantly we felt like long-time friends. His service was outstanding. It's not just the timing of the food delivery that ranks a restaurant's service, but a waiter's uncanny ability of knowing when to interrupt to check on the customer. His timing was impeccable.
Studying the Miami Spice Menu, Fleming's offered a wine pairing to complement the meal, also for a discounted price. Three wines for $15.95. Genius.
For the small plate starter, the choice was Seared Ahi Tuna or the Filet Mignon Skewers. Mom and I ordered the skewers. The skewers were tender, succulent and the gorgonzola bacon fondue was heavenly. Andrew shared the secret ingredients for the skewers-- "the marinade is ginger and vanilla but not just any vanilla. These are Tahitian vanilla beans". The wine pairing was a bright, aromatic, elegant Vina Leyda Pinot Noir bursting with cherry and berry flavors.
Next was the salad. Now my mother is a fussy salad eater but she devoured the Fleming's salad with candied walnuts and dried cranberries, favorite ingredients in our home made salads. I ordered the pear salad with goat cheese. Light, flavorful and a perfect summer salad.
|Fleming's Salad with candied walnuts and dried cranberries|
|Summer Salad with pear strips and goat cheese|
For the main meal, I was torn between the seafood stew or the filet mignon chunks atop mushroom ravioli.
"When in Rome, do as the Romans do". So I went with the steak, a rare treat for me. Along with the entree was a choice of Red Diamond Merlot or Riff Pinot Grigio. Kudos to the wine manager Eddie Everett for the fine selection!
|Filet Mignon chunks atop mushroom ravioli|
After indulging in the breads, the appetizer, and the salad, the entree portion was just right. So when desserts were doled out, there was no hesitation, no regrets. We enjoyed an assortment of desserts from creme brulee, carrot cake, walnut turtle pie, cheesecake, and fresh berries. All of our favorites. Now my sister is the Julia Child of cakes in our family but she stunned us with her admission that Fleming's carrot cake was better.
Normally I gravitate away from the chocolate desserts for their excess sweetness and overpowering chocolate flavors. However, the Walnut Turtle Pie was amazing. It melted in your mouth, was not too sweet and the subtle chocolate flavor teased the palate seducing you to the next bite. This is a dessert no one can resist!
|Serving plate of variety desserts|
To top off the evening, Mionetto Prosecco Sparkling Wine was served with the dessert. As you can see in the photo below we enjoyed it all and didn't leave a crumb on the dessert plate.
|Finishing our sparkling wine after devouring the desserts|
You'll also notice in this photo on the left the handsome wine storage room. Fleming's backbone is steak and wine. The wine list is so extensive, instead of a hard cover menu, the hostess presents you with an iPad that digitally stores and lists the variety wines including vintage years.
In summary the Miami Spice menu portions were perfect, the food was flavorful and the service was outstanding. Be sure to ask for Andrew Preston, who works Tuesday-Saturday. The additional touches were very much appreciated.
Miami Spice runs the months of August and September so there's still time to partake and enjoy. Fleming's is a hit with locals, visitors, families and hipsters alike. That evening the restaurant was packed so be sure to make your reservations early.
Thank you Autumn, Juan Carlos, Eddie, and Andrew--Thank you Fleming's for an absolutely memorable evening!
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar (2005)
2525 Ponce De Leon Blvd.
Coral Gables, Florida 33134