Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in Newport Beach’s Fashion Island has broadened their bold menu with a new a la carte Wine Country Brunch on Sundays from 10:00 am. to 2:00 p.m. We sampled their fare on a lazy Sunday in July and were pleasantly surprised at the range of sweet and savory offerings and left fully content, with mind and body replenished for the upcoming week.
Sunday Brunch at Fleming’s begins with a basket of warm, flaky housemade biscuits, freshly prepared that morning and served with butter and preserves.
Before you focus on any major decisions about what to eat, brighten your day with a sparkling, handcrafted cocktail or garden-to-glass Bloody Mary prepared table-side from the roving cocktail cart.
The opening photo pictures Fleming’s Bacon and Blue Cheese Bloody Mary (there are three Bloody Mary variations to choose from), the Farmer’s Daughter (Tito’s Handmade Vodka muddled with fresh strawberries and basil) and the Napa Refresher (Square One Organic Basil Vodka and pineapple juice muddled with fresh basil). True to it’s name the Napa Refresher was light and fresh – perked me right up and had me ordering a second!
The Bacon and Blue Cheese Bloody Mary was practically a meal in itself and the other two sound intriguing: Fish and Chips (a jumbo shrimp with housemade potato chip and garlic lime rim) and the Mary en Fuego (Fleming’s chipotle spiced Bloody Mary with Sauza Gold tequila, fresh mozzarella, grape tomatoes and fresh cilantro with toasted cumin rim) is a spicy garden in a glass with tequila, Bam!
Now that you’ve fired up your senses, it’s time to tackle the menu and decide on a starter or entree – and this is no easy task. Starter’s include Lobster Bisque, French Onion Soup, a Wedge Salad, Caesar Salad, and fresh Seasonal Fruit. We asked to split an order of Seasonal Fruit with a flourish of fresh whipped cream. Good thinking because the portions are huge! What struck me about the fruit, besides the serving size, was the generous dollop of Moscato d’Asti strewn with mint with a savory note from the sprinkle of caraway seed.
When selecting an entree, you can choose to go light or dine heartily. Are you famished after a long night and require protein reinforcements? Select from the Classic Entrees: Petite Filet Mignon, Scottish Salmon or Prime Rib with a Trio of Sauces. The menu also includes sandwiches such as Fleming’s Prime Burger with Fried Egg and a Prime Rib Melt. There’s also the Filet Mignon Eggs Benedict (below).
Listed under Brunch Entrées are the more traditional breakfast/brunch dishes which is what we were craving. I tried my best to go light and contemplated a steaming bowl of Steel Cut Oatmeal but my thought process went something like this: I make steel cut oatmeal at home, as well as omelets for that matter, but they aren’t usually filled with blue crab. So, my love of egg and Blue Crab and having someone else prepare an omelet for me won out. The omelet is a French-style folded omelet, crepe-thin and amply stuffed with gruyere cheese, spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes, topped with a generous amount of luscious blue crab meat, and drizzled with a dill hollandaise sauce. I appreciated that the omelet was not oozing with cheese which left room for me to nibble on a piece of the rosemary, brown sugar bacon!
My dining companions opted for recharging with full-on carb heaven: the Brioche French Toast and Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. We had heard that the pancakes were amazing, although even Chef/Partner Christopher Hutten described them as “certainly not low calorie”.
The Brioche French toast is several inches tall and layered in a vanilla and orange custard with brown sugar, butter and walnut streusel. Served with maple-blueberry syrup and country sausage, it was mega in size and could easily serve four people! I recommend dining with another couple or bringing the kids and divvying it up as dessert.
Service at Fleming’s is attentive, although had several encounters with an over-zealous bus boy (usually it’s the opposite), and it was a nice touch when Chef Hutten personally presented the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes and chatted with us and other guests in the dining room for a few minutes. Served with elderflower honey and blueberry maple syrup, each bite of tender, fluffy pancake was sweet heaven punctuated by creamy ricotta.
The entire family is welcome for brunch on Sundays, 10:00 a:m. – 200 p.m. Menu prices range from $7.50 for the seasonal fruit to $38.50 for the Petite Filet Mignon. Fleming’s also offers children’s entrees for those under 12 including egg and cheese burrito, brioche french toast, short stack and filet mignon and scrambled eggs. In addition to the beautiful cocktails, you may also select wine from their extensive wine list using their trademarked Wine Pad, the first ever digital wine list, which removes the intimidation factor and suggests wines based on your tastes.
Edit: 12/27/14 – Sonoma Sundays brunch menu offered from 11am-3pm.
455 Newport Center Drive (Fashion Island)
Newport Beach, CA
For reservations: 949-720-9633 or visit Fleming’s website www.flemingssteakhouse.com