Restaurant Week: Flame

The past week (actually 9 days starting last Wednesday and continuing through Thursday) have been Restaurant Week here in Springfield. 417 Magazine got some of the best restaurants in town (and a couple of random, not so nice places) to offer special fixed price menus ($41.70 for two) and to donate a portion of the proceeds to the local Boys and Girls Club.

Sarah and I went to Flame tonight with Steve and Tammy. We managed to convince them to forgo their obsession with Agrario and try some place new. None of us were disappointed.

Flame is owned by Mike Jalili who also owns Bijan’s and the newly opened Touche. Several people have commented that the decor in Flame is a bit gaudy, and from looking through the windows during the day the red and purple seems overwhelming. Once you’re in the restaurant though the environment is good. The restaurant features modern artwork, flat, wall mounted fountains, and a balcony that causes the staff to duck to go under the duct work. It is dimly lit — too dark for a photo without a flash, but not too dark for dining and conversation.

The staff is very attentive and the service was exceptional. There is hardly anything I could find at fault within the restaurant. I think on a busier night it might be a bit loud, but it didn’t seem bad tonight.

The fixed price menu consisted of split appetizers and deserts and a choice of two steaks. Steve and Tammy split the Garbage Salad while Sarah and I had the Calamari. The steak choices were a Top Sirloin and a Bistro Medallion with a mushroom demi-glace. Tammy had the medallion and the rest of us ate the sirloin. All of the steaks were prepared nicely. The sirloin was topped with an herbed compound butter. We were also given an assortment of sauces for the steaks — bernaise, Flame A-1, and an herbed oil (I can’t remember the name). The steaks came with a choice of sides. Sarah ordered a twice-baked potato, Steve and Tammy both got the marshmallow topped sweet potatoes which also had candied pecans. I had the salt-and-vinegar French fries.

The fries were some of the best I have ever eaten. They are fried to perfection — crispy and not at all greasy. While tasting of salt and vinegar the predominant flavor is potato, as it should be. The fries are served Belgian style in a parchment cone (with a nice wire holder) and accompanied by a smoky ketchup and a garlic mayonnaise. The clear way to tell that these are exceptional French fries is that the cone is never greasy and even the fries at the bottom (20 minutes after it was set on the table) remained crispy. By far the best fries in Springfield, MO.

Dessert was a chocolate bowl filled with white and dark chocolate mousse and coffee frozen custard. The other choice was a New York style cheesecake, but I think we made the right choice with the chocolate.

Overall this was a great meal and the Restaurant Week special made it about the same price as if we had just ordered the steaks. While there are only two nights left of this special, if you have the opportunity try out Flame.