Located near International Plaza, Fleming’s is part of the Bloomin’ Brands family that includes Outback Steakhouse and Bonefish Grill. Because it’s the only Fleming’s location in the Tampa Bay area and is situated near popular restaurants such as Eddie V’s, Ocean Prime and Cooper’s Hawk, I think the restaurant tends to get overlooked. Luckily, my husband chose Fleming’s as the place to dine for our 23rd anniversary.
Upon arriving for our dinner reservations on a Saturday night, I was presented with a rose and happy anniversary wishes. This lovely gesture set the tone for the entire evening. At our table located near the open kitchen, there was an anniversary card from the manager and throughout the course of our meal, servers and managers stopped by to say, “Happy Anniversary.” When our friendly server offered to take our picture, I thought she’d reach for one of our cellphones, but to our surprise, she pulled a camera out of her pocket. Later on in our meal, she presented us with the printed photo in a frame. This was such an unexpected delight and we now have a beautiful photo commemorating our anniversary celebration.
As we looked over the menu, we ordered a bottle of wine from the extensive wine list. There is something for everyone on the wine list as well as a menu of hand-crafted cocktails. For starters, we opted for the Crab Cakes ($24). With roasted red pepper and lime butter sauce, they had a good proportion of crab to the other ingredients and were a great way to start our meal.
As the restaurant’s name suggests, Fleming’s specializes in steaks, which are listed on the menu as either Classic or Specialty Cuts. The Classic Cuts include USDA Prime New York Strip, Filet Mignon and Certified Angus Beef Ribeye. The Specialty Cuts include USDA Prime Dry-Aged Ribeye, USDA Prime Bone-in Ribeye and USDA Prime Tomahawk. All are served with a choice of signature butters or can be topped with extras such as Diablo Shrimp, Seared Pork Belly, Jumbo Lump Crab Meat and Truffle-Poached Lobster. For diners who prefer seafood, options include Barbeque Scottish Salmon Fillet, Miso Glazed Chilean Sea Bass and Seasonal Lobster Tails.
While everything on the menu sounded delicious, we opted for the USDA Prime New York Strip ($61) and Barbeque Scottish Salmon Fillet ($47). To accompany our main dish, we chose Fleming’s Potatoes ($16) and Crispy Brussels Sprouts & Bacon ($14), which are shareable size. The salmon was perfectly cooked and served with mushrooms and a barbeque glaze. I liked that the mushrooms were hearty enough not to get lost in the delicious, slightly sweet flavor of the fish. I’ve eaten a lot of salmon, but this was one of my favorite ways I’ve had it cooked. My husband’s New York Strip was done to perfection and each bite was juicy and flavorful. The sides we chose were a good accompaniment to both the steak and seafood. While I’m not a big fan of brussels sprouts, these were flash-fried and served in a bacon vinaigrette with diced bacon, which gave them a lot of flavor. The potatoes were au gratin style with creamy cheddar, a Monterey jack cheese blend, leeks and jalapenos. They were served bubbling hot and tasted absolutely delicious. For dessert, we opted for a slice of Key Lime Pie ($14) and Carrot Cake ($14), which were decadent and a perfect end to our amazing dinner.
We thoroughly enjoyed our dining experience at Fleming’s thanks to the attentive and personal service. Everything they did to recognize our anniversary made us feel special, but the photo was my favorite. Fleming’s is the perfect place to celebrate any special occasion.
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar: 5 Stars
Location: 4322 Boy Scout Road, Tampa, FL 33607
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 4 p.m.-10p.m., Sun. 4 -9 p.m.