Monday, April 9, 2012

Fleming's 5 for $6 'Til 7 Media Day!

455 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660

One of the best steaks I have ever had was from Fleming's. It was a bone in rib eye that was cooked to a perfect medium rare. Not only was the steak great, but the sides were spectacular as well. The blue cheese mashed potatoes were very flavorful, and the creamed spinach has yet to be duplicated at any restaurant I have been to since.

So, needless to say I was very excited to experience a media day promoting Fleming's 5 for $6 'Til 7pm happy hour promotion. This great happy hour features 5 different cocktails, five different glasses of wine, and five different appetizers for $6 each, until 7pm every night of the week. As if you could not tell from the packed bar every night, this is a great deal that gets lots of people through the door. Let's see what all the commotion is about.

Starting us off are the five wines offered by the glass, each for $6. No matter what kind of wine you are in the mood for, you will find something that you will like here. I myself am not much of a wine guy, but the Mas Fi Cava sparkling wine was my favorite of the afternoon. It was very refreshing, without sacrificing flavor.

Cocktails are more my beverage of choice when it comes to happy hour, and at Fleming's the five that they offer will be sure to dazzle. I missed my chance to try the Tropical Martini by getting to the event a tad too late. The Tropical Martini features Malibu Coconut Rum, cranberry and pineapple juices, and a splash of Meyer's Dark Rum. Sounds like a trip to the Caribbean in a glass. The cocktail I did try was the Pomtini, made with Smirnoff Vodka and pomegranate juice. Not crazy sweet, and a nice smooth taste.

I am of course partial to food more than cocktails and wine, so I was more intrigued by the appetizer options offered during happy hour. One of the favorites of the group was the Tenderloin Carpaccio. This was served with a caper creole mustard sauce and diced red onion. The sauce really brought out the flavor of the carpaccio. The capers were a pleasant surprise on this as well.

Katie is not really a fan of calamari, so I had this Sweet Chile Calamari all to myself. The breading here was very light, but the taste jumped to life with the addition of the sweet chile sauce and the peppers. Tasty appetizer, and a very generous portion size for $6.

The next appetizer takes us down to bayou country with the Wicked Cajun Barbecue Shrimp. Garlic was very evident here, and so was a slight spiciness. I enjoyed that they provided bread for dipping along with this dish. Can not let good sauce go to waste.

Roasted Mushroom Ravioli was next on our appetizer carousel. These ravioli were filled with shiitake and portobello mushrooms, along with a porcini butter sauce. Very well made, but not as filling as you may think with all the mushrooms and butter on this. Very subtle.

This decadent Baked Brie was baked in puff pastry, and served with candied walnuts and sliced gala apples. Not really my kind of appetizer, but Katie and the others really liked it.

As good as the appetizers were, nothing could top the Fleming's Prime Burger. This is also offered at just $6 during happy hour. The burger is served with cheddar cheese and peppered bacon, then paired with their Signature Onion Rings. The burger was very juicy, the bacon added a great flavor, and the cheese mellowed everything out. Even weeks after this event, I still think about this burger. The onion rings were very good as well.

Special thanks to Lee Healy at Lee Healy Marketing Communications for the invite. Always great seeing you Lee! Also, thanks to everyone at Fleming's who put on this great event for us. Operating Partner Russ Bendel, Chef Chris Hutten, Manager Xavier Quintanilla, and the wonderful servers who attended to us. Thank you all very much.

It was also fantastic meeting up with some of the OC's best food writers again. Patty Mitchell from My Foodie Page, Griffin from Griffin Eats OC, new friend, Minerva, from Much Ado About Fooding, and one of the best photographers in the business, Albert from Photography by Albert  We look forward to seeing you all again in the near future.

Fleming's has really got it all together for happy hour. A great value when you consider you can get an appetizer, a great burger, and a glass of wine for under $20. I can now understand why there is a line forming at the door when they open at 5pm everyday. 

For more information on Fleming's and their 5 for $6 "Til 7 promotion, click here:

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