Fleming’s presents a Hess wine dinner option through mid-June.
By Sharon Stello
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar has partnered with The Hess Collection to offer a tantalizing, four-course wine dinner option on its menu through June 17 at all locations including the Fashion Island restaurant.
Fleming’s previously hosted wine dinners on a specific night with everyone gathered in a private dining room, but this is no longer feasible due to the pandemic. So, the restaurant has pivoted to create a prix fixe option that diners may select on any visit, giving them a unique experience; a slightly modified version is available for curbside pickup to enjoy at home.
At the restaurant, diners begin with the eatery’s traditional bread and decadent butters: Champagne-infused brie and a cabernet with red onion spread. Then, to cleanse the palate, guests choosing the wine dinner receive an “amuse booze,” which is a glass of Hess sauvignon blanc. Crisp and refreshing, this varietal brings together bright citrus with the slight sweetness of stone fruits and some subtle herbal notes.
While this selection is made with grapes from Shirtail Ranches on California’s North Coast, the rest of the wines featured in the dinner come from vineyards in Napa Valley, like the chardonnay, which perfectly complements the first course, a roasted golden beet salad. A variety of flavors and textures come together on this plate from creamy goat cheese crusted with pistachios to sweet golden beet slices and mandarin orange segments, slightly bitter arugula, pickled onions and tangy lemon-balsamic vinaigrette. The chardonnay helps to highlight this dish with its balance of stone fruit, melon and oak notes.
Next, diners may be surprised to find a seafood dish paired with a red blend, but there’s no mistake in this decision. Delicate Patagonian bay scallops, cooked a la meuniere (in lightly browned butter with lemon juice and parsley) arrive on a bed of creamy mashed cauliflower, all topped with crispy prosciutto pieces. The smoky, savory flavors of the prosciutto and slightly caramelized scallops are an ideal match for the Lion Tamer, a juicy mix of malbec, zinfandel, cabernet sauvignon and petite sirah that blend notes of black plum, boysenberry and cherry while tamping down the tannins.
Each dish truly impresses, building anticipation for the entree. Here, diners have the choice of the filet mignon with Colbert sauce or Chilean sea bass with mushroom tarragon sauce. Both are satisfying options, especially served with heirloom rainbow carrots in a brown sugar glaze and a glass of cabernet sauvignon from the Allomi vineyard in Napa. This full-bodied wine is bold and spicy with layers of black cherry, plum and tannins that provide a balanced accompaniment to the entrees’ rich and complex sauces.
Last, but not least, dessert is a strawberry panzanella. Sometimes called bread salad, panzanella starts with bread cubes tossed in olive oil and vinegar until slightly softened. This version is topped with mascerated strawberries and sweet chantilly cream. While this course is not served with a wine pairing, there’s vino in the dish itself in the form of a strawberry-red wine sauce—the perfect way to end the meal.
To order the Hess wine dinner, everyone at the table must participate; the cost is $95 per person. Another option is the At-Home Hess Wine Dinner For Two. This $185 to-go package includes four courses for two people, one bottle of Hess Collection chardonnay and one bottle of the brand’s Allomi cabernet sauvignon to share, two wine glasses, house-made chocolate truffles and tasting notes to learn about these vino varieties as you sip.
While the Hess wine dinner ends June 17, another will launch June 29 with a winery to be announced.