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Quick Bites: Fleming’s and the $100 Margarita
The folks at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar were were kind enough to provide The Missus and I an opportunity to try their $100 Prime Margarita, on sale from now until the end of the month.
Yes, there’s more to it than tequila and lime juice. I’ll get to it in a minute. But first, let’s stick to the format, and tell you a bit more about this old favorite.
The Building: You know the building. Fleming’s location in the Hilton Scottsdale Resort has been a staple of Scottsdale’s restaurant scene for years. The interior is timeless and understated, lacking the ostentatiousness of some of its chain competitors, with the slightest hint of an art deco feel.
The Scene: This isn’t Club Scottsdale. This is a place to get steak, seafood and drinks. They keep it simple at Fleming’s.
What’s New: Fleming’s may be a chain, but they’re competing in the modern world, and their response to the farm-to-table foodie-driven culinary environment is simple yet smart — they let their chefs riff a bit. Each location’s executive chef gets to create a monthly “Chef’s Table” menu with ingredients that can be locally sourced and aren’t offered anywhere else. In Scottsdale, the genius behind the apron is Chef Jeff Fearing, and this month the Chef’s Table includes items such as Alaskan halibut prepared with Chinese five spice, shiitake mushrooms, beech mushrooms, asparagus and port wine sherry vinegar butter sauce, for example.
Also new: a $100 margarita. I’m getting to it. Be patient.
The Food: We decided to order off the Chef’s Table menu of course, starting with Dungeness crab bruschetta as our appetizer, which was fresh and delicious. After considerable back and forth with our waitress, who suggested we order the Snake River Farms Waygu New York Strip, we decided to instead split a bacon-wrapped filet mignon with scallops, accompanied by au gratin potatoes and brussel sprouts with bacon.
The bacon-wrapped filet was a great cut, nicely prepared and flavorful, and the scallops were cooked to perfection. The au gratin potatoes were VERY delicious and had enough cream and cheese that they probably cut a few days off my life.
This is important: I’m a key lime pie snob, so we got the key lime pie for dessert. This was good key lime pie, zesty but not overpowering, rich but not too dense, with handmade Chantilly cream included as a side that I just ate with a spoon on its own because I could. Gonna pay for that at the gym later.
Will you get on with talking about the $100 Margarita please?: Fine. The $100 Prime Margarita is of course not an everyday margarita. I’ll let Fleming’s explain in their words:
This year, it features the incomparable Tequila Ocho, Extra Añejo, a premium single estate, single vintage tequila crafted with 100 percent blue agave. Complete with fresh lime juice and Grand Marnier Cuvée du Centenaire, this margarita demands a glass every bit as luxurious as itself. Enter: the diamond-cut Baccarat Crystal Tumbler, a timeless, sparkling memento for you to take home.
You get to keep the glass! But not just any glass — the Baccarat tumbler is absolutely stunning, with a heft to it that somehow makes your drink taste better and a beautiful red package to take with you.
So how does the $100 Prime Margarita taste? I think the best way I can describe it is that it’s probably the most perfect margarita I’ve ever had. It’s not like there’s anything earth-shatteringly different about it — it’s tequila, lime juice and Grand Marnier. But the quality of the tequila and the freshness of the ingredients make it…perfect. No salt on the rim, because that would ruin it. Not too sweet, which is the cardinal sin of margaritas. Not too sour. Just…smooth. Perfect. We had to force ourselves to sip because it was so easy and effortless to drink.
So do I recommend it? Well, $100 is a lot to spend on one drink. But you know what? If you’ve got $100 burning a hole in your pocket, and you like taking home really nice glassware, then what the hell — go for it.
The Takeaway: Everyone likes going to the newest, most bright-and-shiny place in the culinary scene, and the competition in this town has never been more fierce. But every now and then it’s good to check in with an old standard, and Fleming’s is doing a nice job of offering something unique to the modern foodie. And the $100 Prime Margarita — well, as John Travolta might say, that’s a pretty freaking good margarita.