It's too hot to eat. I can't even count the number of 100 degree + days in Austin anymore--I just know I have very little desire to eat a big meal. (Note one exception: McJazz planned romantic evenings). Lately I've been to a number of higher end restaurants that suddenly have FANTASTIC happy hour deals. Who needs a big, fat dinner when you can live on appetizers? Save $$, save calories and enjoy these deals while they last!
First up-Flemings in the Domain in North Austin.
Friday night, 6:00 pm and shocked to see a full bar and almost full patio. Did everyone suddenly get a stimulus check? My girlfriend MA had a gift card and made a happy hour reservation on the patio. Great! Who knew you could reserve a HH table? All good so far...
Now, I have to say our server was sweet, cool and totally overwhelmed when we were seated. It took twenty minutes to get water and a glass of wine. If Flemings wants to have a full house at 6--they need to staff for a crowd. Props to the manager for buying our first round of wine and letting us order another round a few minutes past happy hour cutoff. That gesture alone would make me go back. But I'll really be back for the food. YUM.
Like most of the restaurants in the Domain, Flemings is pushing their happy hour menu. And it's a good one. Five for Six 'till Seven. They've selected five appetizers, wines and cocktails for $6 'till 7:00 p.m.
We started off with the seared tuna and calamari appetizers. Full (ie; normal) appetizer sized portions--plenty for two. The BEST seared tuna I've had in Austin in a long, long time. Perfectly seasoned, seared and sitting on a bed of jicama salad with a spicy mustard sauce. The calamari was lightly breaded, a little crunchy and mixed with pepperocini's in a sweet chili sauce. That really was enough food for the evening, but at a $6 price point, we couldn't pass up trying the jumbo lump crab cakes. I'm glad we did--full of sweet crab, just a touch of filler and a perfectly spicy red pepper sauce.
As for the wine, well--it's $6 a glass. Not great, but not bad either. I had the Luna Freakout Pinot Grigio, a nice, crisp white that was just fine for a hot summer evening and paired well with the spicy sauces.
Overall, a good experience with a few bumps, but great food! Get there early for a spot in the bar-and check out their website for menu details.