November 20 2004, 7:52 PM
I've been on a bit of an eating binge lately, perhaps unconsciously trying to stretch out the ol' stomach in preparation for the mass munching extravaganza next Thursday. Last night, the hubby and I had a nice quiet date night (gotta take a break from bars and events sometimes) and we checked out Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar in Inverness near his office. Overall, I'm still a bigger fan of the Capital Grille or Morton's for the best carnivorous feasts in town, but Fleming's did well, and the place was packed with southsiders hungry for some prime beef. The award-winning wine list is simply amazing, with 100 options available by the glass. For dinner, I went for my fave (surf & turf) and wasn't disappointed. The petite filet was divine -- tender, perfectly seasoned, high-quality melt in your mouth meat. The small lobster tail was plump, sweet, but a bit chewy. Of course I smothered it in butter and lemon and ate every last morsel, but I've definitely had better. But the surprise star of the show came in the form of the lowly potato. Order the house potatoes and be prepared for a scene-stealing side dish when the au gratin pototoes with loads of cheddar and jalapeno claim your taste buds for their own. Tonight, I'm off to the opening of Rioja, chef Jennifer Jasinski's new restaurant at 1431 Larimer St. Jasinski spent four years at Panzano at the Hotel Monaco, and her restaurant has been highly anticipated; check out Rioja's dinner menu online for a look at why people love her handmade pastas and meat and seafood dishes. It's officially open to the public on Monday, but tonight they've invited a slew of media types to pop in for an open house to sample Jasinski's Mediterranean-inspired menu. You'll have the official update on that tomorrow. Next up: Sunday night I'll be at Adega to try their new Adega Wine Bar Dinners, a way-upscale twist on old school TV dinners. I've heard they serve the dinners in special plates, with sections for your entree, veggie, starch, and dessert - just like the frozen versions. Kinda campy, but fun. I'm expecting great things. And by the end of this weekend, I'll be so well-fed that Thanksgiving is going to be a piece of cake. And a piece of pie. And maybe some turkey sandwiches... Next week, I'll be one of the gazillion overeaters off to the gym for some guilt-induced time on the treadmill.