Restaurant Night: Fleming’s

Celebration time!

With the sale of the townhouse, we decided to splurge on a fancy celebratory dinner. My only requirements were that it be fancier than our usual spots and have a wine list because celebrating something this big requires a decent glass of wine. So I left the decision up to Dave, and he picked Fleming’s in Baltimore.

We didn’t dress up, just headed there straight after work, arriving about 10pm. Garmin got us there easily – it’s right near the inner harbor area of the city surrounded by dozens of other really fancy-looking restaurants that I will need to investigate for future outings.

The hostess greeted us and congratulated us on the sale of our house as she walked us to our table – Dave had mentioned it when calling for reservations, and I thought it was nice that they brought it up. The menu was pretty simple – steak, steak, steak, and some options for potatoes and sides. We decided to go all out and try appetizers through dessert, because how often will we celebrate selling a house? (It better not happen again for another 30 years, anyway)

Our wine selection was a Cab Sauvignon from Château Ste-Michelle in the Columbia valley (pacific northwest). We first had it a couple of years ago for my birthday dinner at Hy’s, a fancy steak joint in Vancouver, and we loved it. All of a sudden we’re finding it at restaurants we’re trying, and it’s great to be able to enjoy it again.

We got mushroom ravioli and crab cakes for our starters, and they were fabulous. I think the sauce for the pasta was butter and pureed mushrooms. Incredible. The crab cakes were delicious too – this means a lot coming from a woman who hates seafood. The cakes were so crispy outside and the spices were just right and the red pepper fancy sauce on the plate was delicious. I kept picking at them even though they were technically not my appetizer, but Dave was more entertained than annoyed.

And then, steak happened. We both got the filet mignon and it was butter. I ordered it medium (I know the foodies will gnash their teeth and cry that it’s a waste of steak unless it’s bleeding on me, but blah on them) and it was soft and pink in the middle and seared and salty on the outside and just plain wonderful. I got the big one but probably should have chosen the little one, because it was a lot of steak! I was going to try the baked potato but our server (Derek) told us about the Lyonnaise potatoes that were the special that night, and so we shared an order of those instead. Chunks of potato and onion fried up in olive oil – absolutely delicious, but for what he called a “family style side” it was a very small portion. No matter, we were extremely full by the end anyway.

Not that we let that keep us from ordering dessert. We could have shared dessert, but we went crazy and each got our own crème brulée. I have a hard time admitting this because of my love of all things chocolate, but I think that a well-made crème brulée, with real flecks of real vanilla, is at the near-top of my favorite desserts list.

Service was impeccable the whole night. We were visited a couple of times by important folks – an owner and a manager, I think. Someone took our picture for us to commemorate our celebration for selling our house (everyone who spoke to us all night knew why we were there, which I though was a very nice touch), and we got a free print of it to take home.

Best celebration night ever. It was all wonderful and we have to go back. Very pricey, though, so we’ll be keeping it for fancy-pants occasions. But I can’t have a steak like that and then never go back. It’s on the must-return list.

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