Fleming's Winter Park Review - A Magical Dining Month visit to this Bloomin' Brands high-end chain restaurant.
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Magical Dining Month is one of my favorite times of year in Orlando. Once per year, some great restaurants in the area offer prix fixe menus, often at a reduced price.
My wife and I don't go out very often - usually just the occasional date night. We visited Fleming's Restaurant in Winter Park, FL. Here's our first experience of this popular Bloomin' Brands chain restaurant.
We're well into Magical Dining Month here in Orlando and my wife and I have decided to take full advantage and hit up as many restaurants on the list that are participating as possible. Our first stop was at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in Winter Park, FL. Fleming's is actually a chain restaurant and is part of the Bloomin' Brands lineup, which include Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill, Carrabba's and Fleming's.
Full disclosure: my wife is a former employee of Bonefish, but hasn't worked there for around 2 years or so.
The store in Winter Park, FL is at the corner of N. Orlando Ave and Lee Road, not too far north of Downtown Orlando and has been there for a number of years. Believe it or not, I had never been there before, so we decided to make it a date night. Of course, the added bonus was that it was also Magical Dinning Month in Orlando. A VisitOrlando.com phenomenon when local restaurants all get together and off special prix fixe menus at a set price ($33 this year). Restaurants offer 3 courses for this price including an appetizer, entrée and dessert.
The Fleming's Magical Dining Month Experience
We had reservations for 8:30pm on a Saturday night, but arrived a bit early. The restaurant was customarily busy but not so much so that we couldn't get inside. We went to the host's stand and announced ourselves. Of course, there would be a bit of a wait, which was no problem. We were also encouraged to find a spot in the bar. All bar seating is open seating, including the high-top tables as well, which were also full service.
A high-top table just happened to open 15 minutes before our reservation, so we just decided to sit there instead of waiting it out for our spot in the main dining room. The main dining room, at that point, was full and loud anyway and in the bar area we had a view of the two lone TV's that were (hopefully) going to be showing college football.
The Service at Fleming's Winter Park
The bar area was busy but not crowded. It seemed like Fleming's did a nice job of keeping people moving through to their dining room destinations. We sat at a high-top table almost immediately upon our arrival, but we seemed to get someone lucky in our timing. Our server was knowledgable of the menu, including the comprehensive wine list. The WiNEPAD's didn't hurt either, though. They're iPad's running a specialized app with Fleming's full menu. The part of the WiNEPAD menu that I appreciated the most was the "mood" selector, where you could choose a menu item (wine, cocktail, food) based on how you were feeling that evening.
Looking for something sweet and fruity? Or bold and spicy? They had you covered. The WiNEPAD's were a nice touch.
One thing that we did pick up on sitting in the bar area was that the tables would leave for their dining room seating and not have to tip their bar server. Hopefully they pool somehow or the bar servers are definitely getting the short end of that stick. We stuck around and ate at our bar high-top and were sure to provide a generous tip. Our server was worth it - great attitude, attentive but not pesky. We couldn't have asked for better.
The Food at Fleming's Winter Park
The food at Fleming's was very good but I'd stop short of calling it the best I've ever had. I personally ordered the Fleming's salad, a filet mignon and the cheesecake for dessert. All ingredients were fresh, the salad was crisp with just the right amount of dressing. I must say that the candy coated pecans were the best part. The filet was perfectly cooked and had good flavor, but it's hard to call it the best I've had. The mashed potatoes were a bit over-whipped, but I realize that's likely a personal preference.
My wife had the same salad and steak but chose the carrot cake for dessert. I tried a bite and can say that it was tasty but extremely rich. I couldn't do more than one bite.
Overall Review of Fleming's Winter Park
Overall we were satisfied with our experience at Fleming's in Winter Park. If you have never been, you should definitely give it a try during Magical Dining Month.
It makes the experience much more affordable and they didn't seem to be any busier than normal on the Saturday evening we went.