I had visited STK at Disney Springs prior to it opening, and I was at the rather frantic grand opening event. But I was delighted to be invited back recently to experience it as a full, working restaurant.
Turns out it isn’t a lot less frantic on an average day. Your first clue to what the sound level will be is the DJ booth, which sits prominently, raised like a pulpit, at the entrance to the main first-floor dining room. Let’s just get this out of the way, folks: This isn’t a place for quiet conversation.
But the food is quite good, and the menu, under the direction of chef James O’Donnell, thoughtfully goes beyond the meat that the vowelless name would suggest.
But meats are done very nicely. The Loin Strip (a.k.a. New York, Kansas City, but not loyal to a specific region here) was beautifully grilled with a nice char on the outside. Inside, the meat was just short of the requested medium rare, but none of us complained.
I took advantage of the special offering of Prime Rib Cap, a.k.a butcher’s butter, which should give you an idea of its texture. This is what people have in mind when they say the meat was so tender it could melt in your mouth. It was served with a not-too-garlicky green garlic butter and pickled mushrooms that to my mind added little more than plate artistry.
One of my companions chose the Florida Grouper, a perfect case in point that the kitchen is just as serious about sfd as stk. The fillet had a beautiful pan-seared glow, which was enhanced by truffle lobster brown butter.
Oddly, the Chili Rubbed Rack of Lamb that I had sampled — and loved — on my preview visit this time was overly salted.
We nibbled on an array of side dishes, including Sweet Corn Pudding (my favorite), Parmesan Truffle Fries (shrug), Mac & Cheese and Asparagus.
On the front side of the meal, we had enjoyed the Burrata, which was actually only a minor player in an ensemble cast that included beautiful heirloom tomatoes and Serrano ham.
A salad of Shaved Brussels Sprouts offered a less heavy note with the sharply flavored mini cabbages tossed with cool apples and cranberries.
Seared Scallops were perfect, maybe better than perfect with the short rib marmalade that accompanied.
I think I liked the purple potatoes served with the Grilled Octopus better than the octopus, which was quite good itself.
Desserts are designed to impress, at least visually. The Mini Ice Cream Cone Sampler was cute. The Warm Baked Cookie was too much.
I was impressed with our server, who knew the menu so well that I was sure he was a ringer brought in from one of the other corporate-owned STKs. But he was a new hire, brought in when the Disney Springs restaurant he had been working at closed for remodeling and rebranding.
STK has two levels and multiple moods among them. Upstairs is a more casual dining area than the tufted booths of the main room downstairs. There is also a balcony overlooking the springs of Disney Springs.
STK Orlando is open for lunch and dinner daily. The phone number is 407-917-7440.