TASTE OF SUCCESS
Fleming creates another winner with Paul Martin’s American Grill
Paul Martin’s American Grill
6186 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85253
Paul Fleming has defined Arizona’s dining scene. He is widely regarded as one of the restaurant industry’s most innovative and creative concept developers. Associated with a number of critically acclaimed restaurants, Fleming developed P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar and Pei Wei Asian Diner. Scottsdale-based P.F. Chang’s grew rapidly during its first five years and went public in 1998.
“I like the excitement of adapting to the evolving needs of customers and the changing trends that affect us all,” says Fleming. Searching out investments in the 1980s, he found the restaurant business particularly appealing. Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in New Orleans impressed Fleming and eventually, he obtained the development rights in California, Arizona and Hawaii.
Opening his first restaurant in Beverly Hills in 1984, Fleming operated Ruth’s Chris Steakhouses for 12 years. A businessman with a degree in criminal justice, Fleming spent nine years in the oil and gas leasing industry before pursuing his passion for restaurant concept development. For his latest concept, Fleming partnered with restaurateur Brian Bennett to create Paul Martin’s American Grill. Based on their mutual vision to create the restaurant they always wished was in their neighborhood, Paul Martin’s serves contemporary, yet classic American dishes made with the same high quality ingredients found in top chef-driven restaurants but offered at accessible prices. The Paul Martin’s mantra is “seasonal and delicious.”
The minds behind Paul Martin’s could have added “fresh” to that mantra. As I learned on a recent visit, everything on the menu is prepared from scratch (they even do their own butchering) and they keep it local by using seasonal products from Valley farmers and purveyors, including Black Mesa Ranch, Crow’s Dairy Farm, Schreiner’s, Hayden Mills, Queen Creek Olive Mill and others.
My friends and I started with Spinach Dip, Town Dock Calamari, Jumbo Wild Prawn Cocktail and the Asian Salad. While all were exceptional, the buttermilk batter on the calamari was perfect. For our main courses, we decided to all order something different and pass the plates, which proved to be a brilliant decision. The Blackened Ribeye, Grilled Polenta, Black Cod and Brick Chicken all tantalized our taste buds in different ways. But all were so exquisitely prepared that it’s impossible to pick a favorite. That said, the Brick Chicken came with mashed potatoes that melt in your mouth like cotton candy.
The desserts — particularly the Raspberry Creme Brulee and the Banana Cream Pie — were the perfect ending to an extraordinary dining experience. Beyond the extraordinary food that we’ve come to expect from Fleming’s establishments is a drink menu that features 75 wines by the glass. The service, atmosphere and ambience at Paul Martin’s are also phenomenal.
“Paul Martin’s timeless interior design and floor plans, combined with our well-trained and gracious staff, creates an atmosphere that is both inviting and comfortable,” Fleming says. “We serve excellent food, from top quality meat and peak-of-the-season produce to carefully sourced seafood and more. At the same time, we price our menu and wine lists to draw customers back again and again.” Winton Churchill once said, “My tastes are simple. I am easily satisfied with the best.” He would be more than satisfied after dining at Paul Martin’s.