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“Five senses” dining at Fleming’s in Newport Beach

Updated: Feb 12

I recently visited Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in Newport Beach’s Fashion Island, the original spot of the Florida-based chain that now boasts about 70 locations.The occasion was Fleming’s intriguing new “five senses” dining experience called Taste of the Future.

This monthly event costs around $200. It lasts nearly three hours and unfolds in the restaurant’s private event space, a downstairs cellar-like environment where several small tables are surrounded by 360 degrees of viewing screens.

Several guests commented that the experience reminded them of something you’d see at a theme park, only with considerably better food.

To satisfy the senses of sight and hearing, the screens show professionally-produced footage of the striking California locales behind the evening’s five courses of food and wine.

The chef partner at Newport Beach’s Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar is Kevin Monahan. He curates the Taste of the Future “five senses” dining experience. (Courtesy of Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar)

For the senses of taste and smell, the highlights were a smoked tomato soup topped with brown butter brioche croutons; striped bass (paired with roasted corn, a cilantro salad and avocado purée); and the fig upside down cake (with a honey cinnamon glaze and candied figs).

The only disappointment — and it was a modest one — was the “touch” aspect of the experience, which involved fiddling with some items placed in a box at the table.

One of them was a piece of coral. Each had an explanation of how it connected with the courses. It all seemed a bit loose compared with how well everything else was presented.

Still, I recommend this experience for diners wanting an immersive experience worth sharing with friends and family.

For those looking for something extra special, Fleming’s can create custom experiences in their private dining space, such as a birthday in Paris complete with a French menu and visuals from the City of Light.

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