TULSA — Eating out is about more than just food on a plate. It's about atmosphere, service, and at Fleming's Steakhouse, it's about energy.
With an expansive bar spanning the front wall and a stainless steel kitchen flanking from the rear, there's a buzz in the air even before the dinner rush.
All tables in this 200 seat restaurant are either four-tops or booths, the appetizers feed three easily and the food is served home-style, all of which helps to break the ice and get guests chatting.
At heart, Fleming's is about steak, prime steak to be precise. The light wood paneling, the cherry accents and amber chandeliers — prime steak. The luxuriant red-leather Scarface booths and French-style servers carrying eight plates at a time — prime steak. The prime steak — prime steak.
Fleming's is a coast-to-coast chain that thinks of itself as a neighborhood restaurant, which is why it opened in Utica Square rather than downtown. The bar concurs. It's long, dark and woody, with signature cocktails and an innovative wine list known as the "Fleming's 100."
This award-winning wine list (Wine Enthusiast 2010), by the national director of wine, Marian Jansen op de Haar, features 100 wines by the glass, 30 of which cost under $10.
Fleming's is no longer the new kid on the block. The Tulsa location has enjoyed considerable success since opening in September 2003.
"Tulsa responded excellently to the concept," said Gene, "They love steak in the Midwest, and people here are fascinated by the wine list."
To keep up with the times, Fleming's is changing, but just a little. It's adding new menu items, more manageable steaks, salads and salmon, to appeal to the less hearty appetite and the more delicate palate.