Fancy steakhouse chain Fleming's is working to steer steakhouses toward having a more inclusive menu, and is walking the walk with a new experience for the summer that fulfills that mission.
The chain, which has 64 locations — with seven in Texas, including two in Austin — has launched a summer wine dinner experience that a release says is dedicated to being inclusive of all diet and lifestyle choices.
Let's stop pussyfooting around: They're doing vegetarian dishes.
These are not the usual surely splendid sides — mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli, and the like — for which steakhouses are known.
It's called Earth, Wine & Fire — clever! — and it's a four-course dinner, developed in partnership with Caymus Vineyards, that comes in two versions: an Earth version and a Fire version. The courses on each menu mirror each another but are composed of different ingredients.
- The Earth version is a plant-forward menu that highlights Fleming's ability to do all kinds of meals, even meatless.
- The Fire version is a land- and sea-based menu that features more traditional dishes like steak.
Fleming's executive chef Jeremy Lett suggests there's more to life than steak.
"Diners don't typically think about steakhouses when they're looking for vegetarian options, which is why we are so excited to feature our latest plant-forward innovation with our Earth, Wine & Fire experience," Lett says. "It's important to us to continue to evolve alongside our guests as their needs and lifestyles change, and we've received an overwhelmingly positive response from guests on the plant-forward menu."
It's not going to stop here.
"We're very much looking forward to showcasing our creativity with more plant-forward selections in the future," Lett says.
Fleming's suggests you bring a group so you can see and enjoy both versions. Fleming's also suggests that this could perhaps open your mind to new food items — vegetable items — you've never experienced before.
Perhaps you'll throw down your fork and decide there and then to become a vegetarian. Fleming's doesn't suggest that, but it could happen.
The Earth, Wine & Fire dinner is available through September 1. Earth is $70 and Fire is $90. You can dine in or get a to-go dinner for two.
- Earth: Burrata with Tomato Confit. Herb-garlic tomato confit, spring mix, fresh cilantro, Parmesan crisp with lemon balsamic vinaigrette and cilantro oil.
- Fire: Burrata with North Atlantic Lobster. Spring mix, fresh cilantro, Parmesan crisp with lemon balsamic vinaigrette and cilantro oil.
Wine pairing: Sea Sun Chardonnay, California
- Earth: Coconut-crusted Eggplant. Smoked cheddar grits, sautéed vegetables with smoky chili seasoning and balsamic glaze.
- Fire: Coconut-crusted Pork Belly. Smoked cheddar grits, sautéed vegetables with smoky chili seasoning and balsamic glaze.
Wine pairing: Red Schooner Voyage 9 Malbec
- Earth: Roasted Portobello and Cauliflower Steak. Potato marrow with chimichurri and farro, asparagus, and pickled onions with mushroom demi-glace.
- Fire: Filet Mignon and Bone Marrow. A 6-ounce hand-cut filet mignon, mushroom demi-glace, and toasted crostini with farro, asparagus, and pickled onions.
Wine pairing: Caymus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
- Earth and Fire: Orange Olive Oil Cake. Macerated blueberries with house-made key lime Chantilly cream and curd.
Wine pairing: Emmolo, Sparkling No. 1, California