Fleming’s Steakhouse in West Des Moines is the third restaurant that I’m judging food at for the 2014 Dine Iowa Grand Tasting Gala event in Des Moines, Iowa.
Chef Robert Anderson and I are the main judges. It is a privilege to get to work with him, the IRA staff, and members from the Soy and Beef Council.
During the next couple of weeks, leading up to the September 25th event, we have 9 different restaurants to visit. These restaurants are all across Iowa.
Fleming’s Steakhouse & Wine Bar
Fleming’s Steakhouse was originally founded in 1998 out in Newport Beach, California. Two restaurateurs, Paul Fleming and Bill Allen, wanted to build a unique steakhouse experience with an emphasis on hospitality, a welcoming atmosphere and the very finest aged USDA Prime beef. Did you know that Fleming’s is part of the Bloomin’ Brand which also owns Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Roy’s Restaurant? I didn’t – now you know! :).
The Chef at Fleming’s
Chef Matt Drennan is the chef at Fleming’s in West Des Moines. He graduated from the Iowa Culinary Institute.
Rules: With this event, each competitor will prepare a main entrée recipe utilizing Braveheart Black Angus Beef Ribeye, donated by Performance Food Group (at least six ounces of cooked beef must be used). Additionally, each competitor will prepare a Tofu (soft-silken or water packed) side dish or sauce (at least a 1⁄4 cup of tofu must be used).
The main dish featured a marinated Ribeye filet with a soy ginger sauce, and a roasted sweet corn risotto. It also featured a grilled tofu kabob.
The ribeye was full of flavor, not only from the sauce but from a wonderful sear. I talked to Chef Drennan afterwards and said he seared the filet at 1,600 degrees. That, to me, is amazing. There’s no way that I could ever do that at home. The soy ginger sauce was so delicious. The best part was forming a “perfect bite”. That consisted of a piece of filet, dipped in the soy ginger and then a little scoop of the sweet corn risotto. Let that sit in my mouth for a second, and it was heaven. I’m falling more in love with risotto every single outing.
The tofo kabobs, I thought, were unique. I loved the idea of having a kabob with traditional pieces replaced with tofu. The tofu was marinated over night in pineapple juice, onion puree, and a green pepper puree. I thought that the pineapple tofu was so delicious.
Chef Drennan displayed a wonderful plate. He should be proud of his presentation.
Contact Fleming’s Steakhouse & Wine
150 South Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines, IA 50266
Monday – Thursday 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Friday – Saturday 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Sunday 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM