Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fleming's: Annual Wine Tastings, New Small Plates

Every September, Fleming's revamps their "Fleming's 100" wine list. Now, what that means for you is that every September, there are multiple wine tasting/pairing events at Fleming's! That included a series of "Opening Nights" on Fridays, where guests can taste 25 wines from their list of 100 for just $25! Not only that, this year we also got a sampling of their new small plates menu.

The first three weeks showcased the same wines across all Fleming's, while the last week featured wines chosen by the local Wine Manager. I made it to this last night to Fleming's at LA Live in downtown LA.

Fleming's Wine Tasting
The wine selection included Kelly Fleming wines from Napa Valley which is owned by Fleming’s cofounder’s wife.

Here are some of the highlights for me:
1. Il Conte d’Alba, Moscato D’Asti, Italy, NV. This sparkling moscato is made from the Moscato di Canelli grape, the sweetness is just right for me.
2. La Croix Gratiot, Picpoul de Pinet, Coteaux du Languedoc, France 2010. Very crisp and clean.
White Wines

3. Meyer Syrah, Mendocino county, 2006
4. Rombauer Zinfandel, Napa Valley, 2009. Suprisingly pretty sweet. Smooth.
5. Justin Cabernet, Paso Robles, 2009. Always a crowd pleaser. Fruity, a bit of tannin for a bright finish.


The middle table was also consistently refilled with a tray of their new small plates items. They had started with some flatbreads then moved up to scallops (these ran out quickly), Filet Mignon Skewers with gorgonzola bacon fondue, ...

.. to New Zealand lamb chops with pistachio-mint pesto!
Lamb Chop
Even when preparing a whole tray of them, they still managed to get the lamb chops medium rare and so tender.

After the wine tasting, we sat down for dinner and to try more of the new small plates menu, i.e. soak up the alcohol and sober up.

I already had my eye on this item: Fleming's Lobster Tempura, soy-ginger dipping sauce, arugula, jicama apple salad ($23.50)
Lobster Tempura
Four lightly battered lobster tails with a sweet dipping sauce! The lobster meat was sweet, moist, tender. Can't go wrong (even though it is an expensive "small plate"). We loved the jicama apple salad too, just a touch of sour to cleanse the palate.

(On a side note, has anyone figured out the lighting here? I can't get my white balance right at this place.)

New Bedford Scallops, meyer lemon honey glaze, baby carrots, green beans, asparagus ($19.95)
Nice texture to the scallops here. As you can see, the small plates aren't all that small.

Wine Flight
Since I was dining with LA OC Foodie aka "the enabler", despite having tasted 25 wines we ordered another wine flight. They charge a taster portion of individual wines instead of a general "flight" price. For the whites we tried an albarino, the Montinore Borealis (Willamette Valley, Oregon), and the Conundrum.
The reds included Duckhorn Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ($20/full glass), 2009 and Yalumba Coonawarra Menzies The Cigar, Australia ($14.75/ full glass).

When I first ordered, we didn't think the small plates would be big enough to fill us up (boy were we wrong) so we decided to share an entree. The special of the day was a surf and turf with grilled shrimp and petit filet.
The shrimp were a bit overcooked and thus weren't as tender and sweet as they could've been, but the steak was juicy and tender.
Loved the sauteed mushrooms!

Stuffed, but we got dessert anyway: chocolate molten cake.
Chocolate Molten Cake

We tasted 31 wines and ate steak and lobster. Until next year!

Disclosure: this visit was hosted

Gourmet Pigs   © 2008. Template Recipes by Emporium Digital