REVIEW - STK Orlando at Disney Springs

May 26, 2016 in "STK Orlando"

STK Orlando overview

STK Orlando is now open in The Landing district of Disney Springs, bringing a big city dining experience to Walt Disney World.

Unlike anything else found at Walt Disney World, STK Orlando aims to blend a modern steakhouse concept with an upscale lounge, to deliver a twist on the fine dining experience.

In this review we’ll take you inside STK Orlando on opening night for a look at everything on offer and deliver our verdict on if it’s worth your vacation time and money.

STK Orlando - The Building

Purpose built from scratch, STK Orlando is an imposing building set atop the hill of The Landing in Disney Springs.

It is a large three-story building, with an impressive silhouette when viewed from the side. At 14,000 sq ft it is the largest STK restaurant yet built, and includes a private dining room available for functions and events.

A series of steps wind along the side of the building past a waterfall to the entrance at the front, which can also be accessed from the main walkway of The Landing across from Paradiso 37.

Beautifully clad in aged brickwork, the building frontage also offers a limited amount of ground level outdoor seating.

Inside STK Orlando

STK Orlando actually has three separate dining areas, and each one offers something a little different.

The Ground Floor

Stepping inside STK Orlando you find yourself transported to a big city venue. It feels like something you might find in Miami or NYC.

The decor is striking. The interior is dark, with very little natural light, instead relying on the very deliberately designed lighting scheme.

The tables are beautifully set, with luxurious looking and feeling leather-like seats, dark wooden table tops, and crisp white linens.

There are numerous seating configurations, including booths for large parties, tables for four and tables for two.

A drinks bar lines one wall, and offers a limited amount of bar seating.

Like all STK restaurants, a live DJ is ever present, setting the vibe for what is a very different fine dining experience.

STK Orlando isn’t like your normal fine dining ambiance. Forget a quiet, intimate experience. STK is loud and energetic. But surprisingly, it isn’t overwhelming, and the interior acoustics still allow you to easily hold a conversation, even when the dining room is full.

As the night progresses, the music shifts gear into a more club like experience.

The Upper Floor

Moving upstairs, the restaurant becomes a lot more casual. The ultra-luxurious feel of the ground floor gives way to a much more laid back feeling, centered around a bar and outdoor terrace.

Inside on the upper floor, you’ll find primarily seating on tables of four, with smaller tables for two seated against the side wall.

Bar counter seating is also available.

Heading outside onto the upper level patio, you are greeted with a beautiful setting for what is probably the quietest spot at STK.

Overlooking the Spring, at the center of Disney Springs, the outdoor terrace has full service outdoor seating in the same relaxed style as inside on the upper floor.

A fire pit is the centerpiece of a covered tower on the corner of the building, which is sure to be a popular spot In cooler weather.

The view from the upper terrace offers a great look at The Town Center.

It may change as the restaurant evolves, but currently, the downstairs level is used for guests with reservations, and the upper floor is for walk-in diners.

Dress Code

At a higher price point, and with its high-end ambiance, the ground floor dining experience is something to be savored, and you should dress accordingly. Dress code is business casual, and like all Disney World restaurants, you will find people in park wear. But the restaurant deserves so much more than that, and an effort to dress appropriately is worthwhile for STK. The upper level is more casual, and would be better suited for more casual wear.

STK Orlando’s Food

A glance at the STK Orlando menu, and you can realize that STK stays true to its name, and is a real genuine steakhouse.

There are no less than 10 different steak cuts on offer, ranging in price from a $28 8oz Skirt Steak to a 32oz Rib Steak at $89.

There is a separate lunch and dinner menu, with lunch offering some lower cost options, including sandwiches and burgers priced around $20.

The menu is a la carte, and when you order a piece of steak, it is just the meat. Toppings, sauces and sides are all ordered separately.

For those looking for something other than steak, there is also a line-up of chicken, lamb, fish, and salads.

Although STK is very much a steakhouse, it sets itself apart from tradition by offering modern dishes that you just won’t find anywhere else at Walt Disney World.

Beef Tartare, Grilled Octopus, and Wagyu Beef sliders are on the appetizer menu, priced between $18 and $21.

Dinner begins with a melt in your mouth pull-apart sourdough bread service, freshly baked and warm.

For our review, we started out with the Buratta Salad, which is local heirloom tomato, arugula pesto and serrano ham, with the centerpiece being a mozzarella outer shell with a cream center.

The Buratta Salad was beautifully prepared, and the perfect fresh and light starter for the meal.

Wagyu beef is always great to see on any menu, and the $19 Lil’ BRGs did not disappoint. The $19 duo of sliders were perfectly cooked to a medium-rare, with a toasted sesame seed bun and special sauce.

Moving onto what this place is all about, we ordered a 20oz Bone-In Rib Steak, priced at $51.

Perfectly cooked again to a medium-rare, the thick cut of steak was perfection on a plate. The outside was wonderfully seared and seasoned, and the inside was tender and flavorful. At 20oz, it could easily be shared between two, or serve as an individual dish for those with a big appetite.

We paired the steak with Mac & Cheese, and Parmesan Truffle Fries, both priced at $10 each.

The Truffle Fries were thick, crispy on the outside, soft in the center. The Mac & Cheese was one of the best we have ever tasted. The serving size of the sides is generous, and can easily be shared amongst the table.

The kitchen also demonstrated their skill with cooking fish, with the King Salmon dish. A wonderful crisp sear on the top gave way to a nice medium center. Served with corn and mushrooms, the Market Fish dish is a great alternative for anyone looking for something lighter than a steak.

To round things off, we tried a couple of the desserts, each priced at $10.

The Caramelia Layer Cake is one for chocolate fans. A brownie type base, with a cream center, topped with thick chocolate and more cream on top - large enough to share.

The Ice STK is a trio of mini ice cream cones, all with different flavors and a chocolate filled cone.

Another good option for sharing is the Bag of Donuts. Freshly made and served warm, the donuts are filled with a Dulce de Leche cream, and served with two different dipping sauces.

As you would expect, the drinks list is extensive, with a range of wines, beers and speciality house cocktail.

The Verdict

If you thought The BOATHOUSE or Morimoto Asia were expensive, you might be in for some sticker shock with STK Orlando. It is easily the most expensive restaurant at Disney Springs. Expect to pay in the region of $100 per person for a full meal including a drink, appetizer, entree and dessert.

It is more expensive than the competiton, but is it better? Based on our first visit, we would have to say yes.

The inside decor and ambiance is like nothing else. STK blends a club-like feel with fine dining, yet is still family friendly enough to visit with children.

The food is impeccably prepared and presented, with menu items that you just can’t find elsewhere at Walt Disney World. As a steakhouse, it is without question the best you will find at Disney, with competition only coming from off-site restaurants such as the Bull and Bear at Waldorf Astoria.

Service, at least on opening night, was top notch. Attentive, but not overbearing, and the pacing of the courses was perfect.

Disney has been very intelligent with planning the Disney Springs dining line-up. The Town Center is home to some excellent lower priced restaurants, such as D-Luxe Burger, and the upcoming Blaze Pizza. The Landing has a solid foundation of mid-priced restaurants, such as The BOATHOUSE, Morimoto Asia and Raglan Road. And then STK sits at the top of the price point with food, service and ambiance to fit.

If you are looking for something luxurious, perhaps for a special occasion or as the dining highlight of a vacation, STK Orlando is well worth a visit. But be warned, it sets the bar high, and dining elsewhere just might not be the same again.

STK Orlando is open daily for both lunch and dinner. Lunch is served from 11:30am to 3:30pm daily, and dinner 5pm to 11pm Sunday through Thursday, and 5pm to midnight Friday and Saturday. The Disney Dining Plan is accepted, with 2 credits required.

Lunch is planned to be available from May 31 2016 as a walk-up only, with reservations for lunch coming soon.

Reservations can be made at Opentable.com for dates from now, or via Disney for dates from June 25.

View full STK Orlando menu.

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Article Posted: May 26, 2016 / 6:25am EDT