Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

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flemingsI had a terrific dinner recently at the Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in the Dellagio Town Center on Restaurant Row. It featured five courses, including some new menu items, each paired with wine. The variety demonstrated the kitchen’s abilities go beyond merely steak. (Not that there’s anything mere about the ability to do a fine steak.)

We started with an appetizer of lump crab Louis wraps: rich crab meat to be wrapped in crisp leaves of butter lettuce with avocado, bacon, egg and tomatoes. It was served with Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs sparkling wine from Sonoma County.

The second course featured roasted mushroom ravioli, which had portobello and shiitake mushrooms inside delicate sheets of pasta, graced with a porcini butter. Very nice. Even better was the 2008 MacMurray Ranch pinot noir that was served with it. A wonderfully vibrant wine with round tones and lots of black cherry in the mouth.

The fish course was a Tillamook Bay petrale sole, a delicate fish that attained more flavor from the lemon sauce that accompanied it. Crab beignets weren’t quite as interesting as they sound. An Argentina chardonnay, Camino los Lagos, was paired.

Next came the steak, a prime New York strip, cooked perfectly, served with a sauce fashioned out of black and white peppercorns. It wasn’t quite as heavy as a traditional steak au poivre, which suited me just fine. The Wyland cabernet sauvignon, another from Sonoma, was OK, but after the MacMurray Ranch it paled. No problem -- I just requested more of the pinot. A perfect match!

Dessert brought chocolate lava cake, creme brulee and, for something lighter, fresh berries. A port from Fonseca Bin 27 was all the dessert I needed, thank you.

Service was super. The atmosphere was a little more bustley than I look for in a high-end steakhouse, but part of that was due to the unusual number of large groups that were dining there that evening.

Fleming’s demonstrated that it could adapt for the economic downturn by offering bar food, including a killer burger, that allowed diners to eat well for a fraction of a dining room meal. Now that people are moving back into the main room for a full meal, it is ready with some new items to support the steaks that made it popular in the first place. Smart moves, I think; this Fleming’s is definitely ready for your attention.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is at 8030 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando. It’s open for dinner daily. Here’s a link to the Web site. The phone number is 407-352-5706.