Off the Menu OC

Covering the dining scene in and around the OC

A Winning Wine Country Brunch at Fleming’s

x_MG_4189Some call it breakfast, some call it brunch, but we call it a great way to start the day.

Breakfast is one of those often overlooked meals that we tend to rush through on weekdays. However, weekends are a different matter. It’s hard to beat a leisurely brunch at a nice restaurant, especially if that restaurant is Fleming’s.

Renowned for their sensational steaks and impressive wine list, Fleming’s in Newport Beach recently launched a Wine Country Brunch available every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Naturally, we were curious to see what a restaurant not normally open in the morning would have on its brunch menu. We were invited to a media tasting to sample the menu and discover a different side of Fleming’s.

Fleming’s in the morning looks somewhat like the evening version, only a little brighter to fit the a.m. ambiance. The a la carte menu offers an impressive array of brunch items, from traditional fare such as oatmeal, omelets and pancakes, to steaks and barbecued salmon.

The dishes, however traditional sounding, are taken to another dimension.

Catherine started with their Sonoma sparkler ($8.95), a twist on a normal mimosa with passion fruit instead of orange juice, while I had the “Fish and Chips” bloody Mary ($8.95), which came with a largeFlemings 6 shrimp and housemade potato chips.

“After this, no other mimosa will compare,” said Catherine after a few sips.

“And this is one of the most creative and tasty blood Mary’s I’ve had,” I replied.

The pleasant surprises kept coming. Their fruit plate ($7.50) featured fresh raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and oranges topped with Moscato of Asti and mint leaves.

“The whipped topping with the fresh berries and touch of mint create a unique flavor experience for what is usually just a normal side,” said Catherine.

Flemings 1Being an oatmeal fan, I ordered their steel cut Irish oatmeal ($9.95), which came with banana brulee, walnuts, blueberries, brown sugar and warm milk.

“Wow,” was all I could say after a few bites. “Absolutely the best oatmeal I’ve ever had. Ever.”

“Phenomenal,” agreed Catherine. “The bruleed bananas make the dish exceed anything I’ve had.”

We also tried the baked brioche French toast ($14.95), a sinfully good dish that could have doubled as dessert. Next came the lemon ricotta pancakes ($14.95), served with wildflower honeyFlemings 2 and blueberry maple syrup, and the blue crab omelet ($17.95) made with gruyere cheese, spinach and mushrooms, and then topped with crab meat. Both were excellent.

Catherine loves grits, so she ordered a side of the chevre cheese grits ($4.50), which she said were simmered to perfection.

We also tried the rosemary brown sugar bacon ($7.50), double-layered bacon rubbed in a spicy rosemary and brown sugar blend and then baked crisp.

“By far the best bacon I’ve ever had,” stated Catherine with a smile. “I think Fleming’s is my new favorite spot for brunch.”

“I agree–now pass me more of that oatmeal,” I said.

Fleming’s launched the Sunday Wine Country Brunch in So Cal but is rolling it out to other locations, so check your nearest Fleming’s for details, or visit FlemingsSteakHouse.com.

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