On Thursday morning I was in bed taking care of business. No, not that! I was responding to emails on barely any sleep and following-up with the volunteer coordinator for Taste of the Nation about Josie and I volunteering for the event, in effort to save money. I was sleep deprived and uncouthly wrote, “we are at your disposable”. I Tweeted about this blunder and then read the greatest Tweet from InkFoodie offering a free dinner for two at Fleming’s for the first to answer this question: what year was Flemings launched in Newport Beach? Since I was still in bed, with a Blackberry in hand, I called Fleming’s in Newport and asked when they first opened. I received the answer right away, tweeted it, and was then declared a winner. I called Josie to tell her the good news and she was on her lunch break and said she just won a free Fro Yo at Ikea for filling out a survey. We were winners, for once. I had a plan to pick her up Friday night and head to our free dinner in Woodland Hills. However, in typical Uncouth Gourmand fashion something got in the way, I got a flat tire on the way there. It was my first ever. Josie rescued me. Of course, I chose dinner over AAA and just figured I would deal with it after a good meal and a couple of glasses of wine. Traffic was atrocious and parking was even worse. Neither one of us had cash for valet so we drove around forever. But hey it was our first free meal in a very long time and we were going no matter what. It was the Napa vs. Sonoma Dinner which meant a lot of wine. We were escorted to a private room with two large tables already filled with people on the first course, with a champagne flute down, and already on to their Napa and Sonoma glasses of Chardonnay. The first course was a seafood cocktail but Josie got carpaccio due to her allergy.
The second course was filet mignon with seared ahi and yukon potato balls. It was very good but I should have ordered mine rare. I looked at Josie and said, “Why don’t I ever eat steak?”. She said, “I know, it’s so good” We are not really steakhouse girls but that is mostly due to the ambiance which doesn’t always welcome our uncouthness. However, we are definitely meat eaters. It was around this time I was overwhelmed by how many drinks I had. I now had a Sonoma and a Napa fab cab to add to the drinks in front of me.
Our table mates were all tipsy and wonderful and were giving us dating advice. There was an engaged couple at our table with mom and dad. I grilled the son on where I can meet a nice Jewish man, like himself, as Jdate isn’t panning out. (Oh yeah, that is “grill” and “pan” in the same sentence and I am not even discussing food). Our favorite at the table was the husband and wife couple that was across from us. The husband is a writer for LA Daily News and the wife is on Twitter as well as being a cat lover and animal activist. We told them that we were thinking about going to The Hangover premiere after party later that night and the husband said, “I could have written that movie”. The wife was telling us how to meet a man and then said, “Maybe you two are soulmates”. We looked at each other and laughed.
The dessert was probably our favorite course. It was an apple cobbler with an aged cheddar. After the meal they did a raffle where every reservation group won a bottle of wine. It was my kind of raffle and I chose my favorite wine of the night the 2006 Picket Fence Chardonnay from Sonoma. I don’t know who won, Napa or Sonoma, but we definitely did! I kept getting the glasses confused and made them repeat a million times “Napa on the left and Sonoma on the right”. The best part of the evening was the company and the food but the $0.00 (say it like Dean Wormer in Animal House, zero point zero) check wasn’t too bad either.
It was a great meal and we want to thank Fleming’s for taking such great care of us and Ink Foundry for the opportunity to win. As soon as we got on the Freeway I called AAA so that they’d be at my car by the time I arrived. Of course, they weren’t. I listened to the amazing Denise Richards interview on Howard Stern while I waited; the wine from dinner also helped my impatience. Josie went to shower and change at her friends house and I met up with them later. It was very tricky not going over 50 on the freeway. I know it was National Donut Day but that doesn’t mean I wanted to drive on one! Josie’s friend, Krissy, ended up not wanting to go out, we decide to skip The Hangover after party at Elevate, and headed to Tony’s Bar instead. We hadn’t been there since the soft opening and our downtown friends were already there. The drinks were super strong, last time I went with beer so I couldn’t report on such things. Also the place was bustling, much more than the first time we went, and we discovered the ping-pong table outside.