On Saturday night, Gabby and I decided to go all out and treat ourselves to an expensive dinner and a night at the theatre. We had tickets to go see the Irish theatre company the Gare St Lazare Players’ production of Waiting for Godot. We bought the tickets a few days beforehand, and made a reservation through OpenTable (which we use quite often and absolutely love) for Fleming’s steakhouse on Stuart Street. We figured if we ate at 6, we’d be able to get to the Emerson/Paramount Center on Washington Street with plenty of time to spare before the 8pm show. Little did we know we’d be waiting for more than just Godot that evening.
We strongly believe that the atmosphere of a place can make or break it. When we first arrived, we were greeted very nicely by the hostess behind the desk and then escorted back through a long maze of tables to a quiet back room. The noise level back there was no more than a comforting murmur and the tables were not too close together, allowing for easy conversation. They played great music (Los Angeles by Sugarcult was one), which of course Gabby danced along to, and both the hostess and our waitress were perfectly pleasant.
However, despite her politeness, our waitress was quite slow. We ordered around 6:15, we both wanted steaks, and we didn’t see her again or get our food until just past 7. I suspect that she forgot to put our order in because a table of three who came in after us ordered drinks, food, and dessert and still left before we did. The manager came over to ask us how everything was just before we got our food, and if I had been a little hungrier and a little less placated by their delicious bread, I would have complained. But I didn’t and our food arrived not too long after.
Gabby’s steak — a ribeye ordered medium rare — was excellent. It had the melt in your mouth, juicy quality that we always enjoy in steaks, and try as she might, she just couldn’t finish the large portion they provided. My steak, on the other hand — a filet mignon ordered medium — was unevenly cooked, and much less juicy and flavorful than Gabby’s. I was extremely disappointed considering the fact that we went to a steakhouse where they are supposed to specialize in steak. You’d think that they could cook a steak properly and get it out to the table on time in a place like that. The mashed potatoes we shared were yummy, but by no means mind-blowing, and the cheesecake dessert was definitely the highlight of the meal. An unfortunate compliment for a steakhouse.
Gabby ordered a glass of California Avalon Cabernet for $9, which she enjoyed. To their credit, Fleming’s has an impressive list of wine, featuring many that are offered by the glass which is good for couples like us who are straddling the 20/21 age gap. Fleming’s is famous for their Fleming’s 100 wine list, which took up two and a half pages of the menu. They also provided us with a “winePad” (an iPad giving more detail on each of their wines) which was a fun commodity but generally overwhelming. We played around with it but ultimately Gabby chose from the printed menu’s list.
We were angling for a more expensive, classy date that night so the prices were high. The cheapest glass of wine was $8 and the cheapest steak on the menu was upwards of $35. This is definitely somewhere to go for a higher-end experience, at least in price and pretty white tablecloths.
Price classification: Steakhouse Swanky
Overall, we give it a 6.5 out of 10 for the slow service and underwhelming filet.
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, 217 Stuart Street, Boston, 02116