Prior to a recent comedy show featuring Todd Barry at The Gateway location of Wiseguys, my wife and I were looking for an early dinner spot to dine. We were looking for refuge from a Sunday night snowstorm when I remembered that Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar features a Prime Happy Hour in the bar area from 5 to 7 pm, nightly. It’s one of the best bargains in town, and probably one of the best kept secrets, as well.
Make no mistake: You may be eating in the bar at Fleming’s during Happy Hour, but the service is every bit as attentive and professional as it is in the sprawling Fleming’s dining room. But oh the prices! “Signature Bites” in the bar during Happy Hour run from $6 to $18 – the latter is for a filet mignon sandwich with fries – whereas on the regular dining room menu, entrees typically run in the $40 to $60 range.
Of course, you get what you pay for and a perfectly cooked Fleming’s steak is worth every penny. And in case you weren’t aware, Operating Partner Rick Paz and Chef Partner Jeremiah Hester have added monthly specials that are unique to the SLC Fleming’s, called Chef Jeremiah’s Selections. February special selections from chef Hester include crab corn chowder ($15), braised duck with roasted tricolor carrots and herbed Bordelaise ($55), and Snake River Farms Wagyu Ribeye with fried Brussels sprouts and sweet onion-bacon compote ($60). To kick off our pre-Wiseguys meal, we enjoyed one of my favorite Fleming’s starters: beef carpaccio with caper-Creole mustard sauce, red onion, and julienned arugula. It comes with irresistible slices of parmesan toast.
But, back to the Happy Hour offerings. For a mere six bucks, you can nibble on excellent bar bites such as crispy Castelvetrano olives or a serving of candied bacon while enjoying one of the 100 wines available by the glass, or even more on the Reserve List by the bottle. You’ll peruse the extensive, award-winning wine list via an iPad, which is very informative and makes for interesting reading since extensive information is provided for all of the wines. There’s also a tempting array of cocktails like the Moonlight Mule, Russian River Gold Rush, Blueberry Lemon Drop, and Monks Cup, as well as nifty beer selection available.
A favorite shareable dish during Fleming’s Happy Hour is the Sweet Chili Calamari ($9), but then the Filet Mignon Flatbread ($13) is equally tasty.
However, in my opinion the best burger bargain in town is the Prime Burger, which during Happy Hour in the bar is priced at a mere $10. Now, this is a scrumptious, juicy (cooked to order), Prime beef burger with bacon and cheese, served on a brioche bun with top-notch French fries and crispy breaded-and-fried olives. Are you kidding me? 10 bucks for a high-end burger made with Prime beef and French fries? Like I said, it’s a well-kept secret, but shouldn’t be.
My wife opted for the mushroom-faro veggie burger and was quite pleased with that, as well. There is also a California burger ($12) which features avocado on the bar menu. These, too, come with a serving of French fries and fried olives.
So, the next time you find yourself wandering around The Gateway – hungry, thirsty, and on a budget – it may seem counterintuitive, but treat yourself to a bargain meal in the bar at Fleming’s. You’ll feel like you just won the lottery.
Photos by Ted Scheffler
Culinary quote of the week:
I still eat a burger at a counter with ketchup dripping down my face.
— Scarlett Johansson
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.
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