Santa Clara Square Welcomes the Newest Fleming’s Steakhouse
Even more so now with the opening of the newest Fleming’s Steakhouse nearly two months ago.
Be prepared to scour the parking lot for a space if you dine here, though. That’s because the lot is surprisingly compact, given the number of businesses. And there’s no street parking nearby. One can only wonder how much more congested the place will get once Puesto restaurant opens, too.
As it is, prepare to circle around quite a bit to snag a space. We did on a weeknight, when we were invited in as a guest of the restaurant. We ended up giving in to valet parking in front of Fleming’s. It will set you back $7. You pay with your credit card, then text when you are done with dinner to have your car ready and waiting when you leave.
It’s a handsome restaurant with a glassed-in open kitchen at the back. The dining room has large booths, and a dramatic light fixture that may make you think of a UFO. Floating shelves of wine bottles act as a partition between the bar and dining room.
This is the place to indulge in a wine you’ve never had before and always wanted to try. Fleming’s is famed for its “Fleming’s 100,” which is an impressive program of 100 wines available by the 1/2 or full glass.
You’ll find wines on that list that you rarely see offered by the glass elsewhere, including a 2016 Miraval Rose Pitt-Jolie-Perrin, of which is what I was eager to try a glass ($26.25).
Yes, it’s the highly touted sparkling wine by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt — pre-breakup) — and the Perrin family of Chateau Beaucastel. A pretty pale pink, it is redolent of strawberries on both the nose and palate. It is crisp, bracing, and full of minerality, making it perfect with many foods.
It went especially nicely with the ahi poke ($18.95), its ruby red cubes of tuna served piled into a cocktail glass. Creamy wasabi aioli came on the side to dab on as you liked. It was served with won ton chips, as big and thick as tortilla ones, to smear everything on.
Warm bread comes to the table with two additive butters: a Champagne brie one, and a Chardonnay smoked cheddar.
The Modern Caesar ($12.50) arrived cold and crisp. The spin on it were the crisp shards of prosciutto draped over the top to add a little funky saltiness much like anchovies do.
Prime Dry-Aged Ribeye ($61.95) weighs in at a massive 16 ounces. It arrived medium-rare as requested, with a great salty sear on top. You can enjoy three complimentary sauces with your meat: peppercorn, bearnaise, and Cabernet-mustard. The latter was my favorite because the piquant mustard helped balance the richness of the meat.
Shoe-String Potatoes ($10.50) bring a pile of skinnies that are very crisp. You can taste the wine and herbs in the dish of Sauteed Mushrooms ($10.50), which are delicious.
A fillet of Miso-Glazed Chilean Seabass ($46.95) boasts a deeply caramelized exterior and melty, moist flesh. It’s at once savory, earthy, and full of umami. Pickled red onions add a nice pop of tang.
The New York Cheesecake ($13.50) is a classic rendition. Smooth, velvety, and dense, it’s garnished with white chocolate shards, a fluff of whipped cream, and blueberry sauce.
It’s not a light dessert by any means. But one doesn’t come to a steakhouse to eat daintily.
More at Santa Clara Square: Dinner at Il Fornaio