Media Mingle at Fleming’s Steakhouse / La Jolla | San Diego, CA
I was recently invited by Amanda of Wills Communications to join them in a new monthly Media Mingle at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. I chose to attend the dinner on Wednesday night at the La Jolla, CA location (near UTC). It’s in a tricky spot, right across the street from the Hyatt, but luckily I had been to the Melting Pot earlier this year for Heather’s birthday, so I knew right where it was and didn’t get hopeless lost like I did last time I was in the area (yay).
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the event. The last media dinner I went to had a ton of bloggers at it, so many that it was hard to chat with all of them. This dinner was much smaller, with only 7 guests total (2 didn’t show up), so it was a nice, intimate setting which led to a lot of sharing of food and chatter.
We were treated to a few appetizers, small portions of Fleming’s new Fall Prix Fixe Menu, an entree of our choice, many side dishes and many desserts. Let’s just say I was in a major food coma after wards and wasn’t even hungry for breakfast the next morning!
We had three different wines presented to us – one white and two reds. Of the three, this was the one that I actually liked and rather enjoyed. Not being much a wine person, I was surprised that I even liked it. It’s actually one of the wines offered as a pairing for the Fall Prix Fixe menu and was offered as the first wine of the evening: Von Buhl, Riesling Pfalz Medium-Dry Jazz Germany 2008. I’m not sure why I liked it, it didn’t taste too sour or have a really strong flavor to me, as the red’s did.
This is the standard bread & dip they give you at the table. It’s freshly made herb bread with two kinds of dips. The dip on the left is a sun dried tomato butter – with a hint of lime! Jake and I were really surprised by the hint of lime (it was damn tasty). The other dip on the right seemed like a cream cream concoction, but I believe it was feta cheese and champagne infused butter. How crazy delicious!
The first “proper” appetizer we had was the Tenderloin Carpaccio. It came with some crispy bread slices, thinly sliced tenderloin, capers, and a creole mustard sauce. In the middle is a pile of fresh basil with some cheese. This was kind of a “do-it-yourself” appetizer that you had to assemble yourself, but that’s good since Jake and I were able to avoid the capers. The basil added a really lovely note of freshness. The bread was nice and crisp and chewy and the tenderloin seemed like it was spread onto the bread since it was so thin. Yummy.
Next up: Lobster Tempura. There were actually two sauces, but you can’t see the other one because I didn’t even notice it until later. The one you can see is the one I preferred, the red jalapeno pepper sauce. Despite the name, it was actually more sweet tasting than spicy – really good with the lobster. Normally I’m not a fan of lobster (I know, can you believe it?), but this was really, really delicious. Even Jake, someone who doesn’t like seafood, really liked the tempura lobster. The sauce really made this dish for me as well. I also snagged a portobello mushroom – mmmm. Mushroom lovers dream.
The chef also slipped this one onto the table after we had polished off those other two appetizers: Oysters Rockefeller. I think he was secretly trying to make us full before we ever got our entrees (which did happen to a few of the people at the table). This baked oyster dish was topped with spinach and cheese with the oyster tucked underneath. I haven’t had oysters very many times in my life, but I’ve always found them to be super salty, and this wasn’t an exception. While lovely in presentation, I didn’t care for it, but I think it’s because I’ve deduced that I don’t like oysters. We had a little discussion at the table as to what was under the shells – due to the low lighting, some people thought it was bacon bits or perhaps roe. After someone tasted it, we determined it was pink salt!
I didn’t order a salad, but a few people at our table, including Jake, did. I thought, “We’re going to have so much food, I don’t think I need a salad!” I was right, but I still ended up eating a little bit of salad.
Jake got this Caesar Salad – and it looked so good that I had to have a few bites. The cheese shavings were really good. Our host for the evening told us that all of their dressings are made in house and was made that day – a refreshing change. The dressing was light and not “too much” – very well dressed.
One of our dining partners got this Mozzarella and Sweet Tomato Salad with balsamic vinegar. She passed it around and begged us to eat the rest – I took a little bite of the cheese and tomato – I had to save myself for the next courses! The tomatoes were super fresh and sweet. The mozzarella I thought could have been a little creamier – maybe I’m still dreaming about that burrata I had at TusCA this summer.
Fall Prix Fixe Samples
We got sample dishes of both of the featured dishes from the new Fall Prix Fixe menu. The first dish was a small version of the Cioppino. It’s a seafood dish that regularly has shrimp, sea bass, clams and black mussels in a spicy tomato broth with a toasted sourdough crouton. I just got clams and mussels in my dish and I gobbled those right up. I didn’t see any shrimp or sea bass but it’s likely with the small dish it just didn’t make it into the plate. It’s hard to judge on a small dish, but I thought mine could have used more broth – but it still had a lovely flavor going for it.
The other featured dish was a Veal Osso Bucco. This had a veal shank with risotto and roasted vegetables. The risotto was my favorite part – I really love risotto. Jake thought this tasted like a fancy pot roast, which I found kind of funny, but still a good description if you didn’t know how to tell someone what this dish was like.
Entree and Sides
At Fleming’s, you order your entree and you get your sides separately. We each placed an order for the entree and the chef brought out a whole slew of sides. Jake requested a few specific items as well since we were told we could!
This is Jake’s dish, the Double Thick Pork Rib Chop. Everyone’s eyes popped when we saw just how LARGE this pork chop was. I’m pretty sure I have never seen a pork chop so thick before! It also had a julienne of apples and jicama with an apple cider and creole mustard glaze. Jake cut off pieces of the pork chop to share with everyone around the table. The bite he gave me, the outer edge was a touch overcooked, but the inner piece was moist and juicy. I can only imagine what it takes to cook a pork chop of this size.
As for me, I got the Prime Bone-in Ribeye Steak. I almost got the lamb chops, but I thought, “I’m a steakhouse. I’m going to try the steak!”. I got it medium rare. It was perfect. It had that nice crispy char on the outside, was tender and perfectly seasoned. And I only ate maybe 1/3 of it. It looks really lonely on the plate by itself, but I piled a bunch of sides onto the plate.
I’m not going to post photos of all of the sides, just some of them. I’m getting lazy or something.
Fleming’s House Potatoes – house specialty with cream, jalapeños and cheddar cheese. Creamy, good, not spicy (jalapeños always makes me think “spicy” but that’s not always the case). Yummy, yum, yum.
The Chipotle Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese had just a touch of of the chipotle in it to give it that kick of flavor. Really creamy and smooth – I really liked this version of mac n cheese. Also liked the little bread crumbs on top – bread crumbs to me are a good sign for good mac n cheese.
Half & Half – double-cut shoestring fries and onion rings. Simple, down to earth, and quite good.
Not shown: the mashed potatoes, the creamed corn and the asparagus. Yeah. Totally lazy.
We’re all full by now, right? Are you feeling full just looking at these photos? Just wait a minute there, partner. There’s dessert. And a lot of it.
Creme Brulee. Chocolate Lava Cake. Walnut Turtle Pie. (homemade caramel, walnuts and chocolate baked in a chocolate pie crust)
Key Lime Pie.
Cheesecake with Blueberries. Another Chocolate Lava Cake. Dark Chocolate Cheesecake.
Frozen Lemon Gingersnap Pie. (frozen custard with vanilla and fresh ginger, raspberry lemon foam sauce)
Dear god. The only things I didn’t care for were the Dark Chocolate Cheesecake (not of a fan of dark chocolate) and the Gingersnap Pie. The gingersnap pie was a bit too sharp for my taste – but Jake really like the tartness of it. I loved the Walnut Turtle Pie and the Cheesecake was so creamy and so good.
I took a lot of leftovers home. No one else seemed to want any? Probably because everyone was so full.
Remember you can try out the 3 course Fall Prix Fixe Menu this season for $39.95! With this menu you get a choice of appetizer, one of two entree’s and dessert.
Thank you so much to Amanda, Wills Communications and Fleming’s Steakhouse for a really wonderful night!
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
8970 University Center Lane
San Diego, CA 92122
|Sunday-Thursday||5 PM – 10 PM|
|Friday & Saturday||5 PM – 11 PM|