Fleming’s Steakhouse unveils limited-run specials: ‘Filets of Fall’ and ‘Uncorked’
Businesses have continued to reopen at higher capacity, tiptoeing back towards “normalcy”—whatever that means, these days—as vaccination rates slowly rise. Restaurants, too, are slowly filling back up as excited patrons flock back to their favorite spots.
Even at 5:30 p.m., several tables were already filled when I stepped into the warmly lit interior of the Pasadena Fleming’s Steakhouse location. Though staff and unseated customers still wore masks, the gentle conversation and beginnings of the evening bustle were familiar and heartening. For anyone who would prefer the reassurance of outdoor seating, this location has sleek, covered outdoor patios affording guests a view of Colorado Boulevard and Marengo Avenue.
At Fleming’s, some pre-pandemic offerings aren’t back yet, but seasonal specials “Filets of Fall” and “Uncorked” both nod to previous Chef’s Table menus as well as guest favorite wine dinners. Chef’s Table menus allowed chefs free rein to create dishes they are passionate about; and for “Filets of Fall,” Fleming’s corporate executive chef, Jeremy Lett, has incorporated Korean flavors into two limited-run, Korean-inspired entrées featured on Fleming’s menu until Nov. 22. “Uncorked” gives guests the option to taste three ounce samples of up to four featured wines, reminiscent of the local wine dinners they hosted pre-pandemic, in which guests could enjoy dishes with a custom wine pairing. “Uncorked” can be enjoyed alongside the “Filets of Fall” menu or with any entrée on the Fleming’s menu; however, it is only available when dining in.
The Uncorked tasting flight features three carefully curated pinot noirs and one cabernet sauvignon to accompany your meal. You can view suggested entrée pairings as well as a description of each wine here.
The first wine, the Boën, is the lightest-bodied pinot noir. Easy on the palate, not particularly dry, it’s a great sipping wine; the cocoa and cola notes stood out the most to me. This wine would be a great choice with which to either start or end your meal.
Next, the Balade, is a slightly fuller-bodied wine. This pinot noir is a member of Joseph Wagner’s Belle Glos collection, named after Wagner’s grandmother, Lorna Belle Glos Wagner. The fruity, jammy notes of the blackberry, huckleberry, and plum especially caught my attention.
The final pinot noir, Taylor Lane, is also from the Belle Glos collection. This drier, “Old World,” Burgundian wine, higher in tannins and acidity, is best paired with food and not sipped alone. Aged for ten years, Taylor Lane pinot noir only comes in magnum-sized bottles for better aging. Its robust flavor better suits consumption alongside a sumptuous steak.
The Quilt 2019 cabernet sauvignon, the final wine of the Uncorked collection, is another Joseph Wagner wine. It’s a strongly acidic yet velvety smooth wine that likely best complements a steak.
Filets of Fall
This autumn, Fleming’s offers a rich champagne brie butter and a pumpkin butter as spreads for their bread. The incredible flavors of both butters left enough of an impression that I felt them worth a mention; some customers apparently even keep the pumpkin butter until the end of their meal and request fresh bread to enjoy at the end of their meal.
The prix-fixe menu opens with the harvest salad, composed of fresh, crisp romaine and peppery arugula, sprinkled with dry, crunchy prosciutto and chewy, sweet date bites. The fig vinaigrette wasn’t overly overpowering, complementing and not interfering with the orchestra of flavors; the most acidic bite actually came from the pickled red onions. The earthy, rich, herbed goat cheese brought wonderful depth to the salad.
The filet mignon with sauce Robert is served upon a bed of sautéed spinach and garlic and topped with sweet potato “hay.” The tender filet provided no resistance to the knife, revealing a perfectly pink, medium-rare center. Garlic spinach is a classic pairing to steak, and the sauce Robert enhanced and added interest to each bite without outshining the meat. The sweet potato hay brought a sweet, fun crunch and texture.
While we didn’t try it ourselves, the “Filets of Fall” menu also features a filet with crab stuffed shrimp if a surf and turf option appeals to you.
The “plant-forward” vegetarian entrée comes highly recommended; every staff member I spoke to mentioned the dish. The bulgogi marinade is evident in every morsel of mushroom, creating a savory centerpiece to the risotto. The balance of umami from the mushrooms, sweet and savory from the jammy caramelized onions, and the gentle warming heat of the house-made chili sauce delighted. The roasted cauliflower brought crunch and texture to contrast the creamy parmesan risotto. The pickled vegetables were a bright, crisp note cutting the incredible savoriness of the mushrooms. Whether you’re vegetarian or not, this dish will satisfy both your tastebuds and your stomach. However, meat lovers can enjoy the filet mignon version, topped with thinly sliced, bulgogi-marinated filet and pickled vegetables, perched upon parmesan risotto.
The moist and sticky date pudding, a slight twist on sticky toffee pudding, closes out the meal. The warming spices reminiscent of gingerbread, with gentle added sweetness from the honeycomb brittle and caramel glaze, are meted out by the fresh Chantilly cream. Personally, I tend to find sticky toffee pudding overwhelming, but this date pudding was the exact right sweetness for me. Drinking my hot cup of earl grey tea, savoring my pudding as we gazed out the windows onto the sun setting on Colorado Boulevard, felt like the ideal way to spend a fall evening.
If you’d like to partake in your own “Filets of Fall” and/or “Uncorked” dining experience, you can find and book a table at your local Fleming’s location here.