Full Review: STK Orlando in Disney Springs

Last week we gave you a First Look

… and now we’re back with our full review of STK Orlando, the newest dining venue in Disney Springs!

STK Orlando is the latest addition to the list of Signature Dining restaurants in Disney Springs, which also includes Morimoto Asia and The Boathouse (with Paddlefish and The Edison still on the way).

But STK hasn’t only joined the dining line-up in Disney World — the Orlando location also joins fellow STK restaurants in New York, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, and D.C., with more to come.

So let’s see how STK’s big city vibe fits into Disney World’s shopping, dining, and entertainment district with our first visit for dinner at STK Orlando!

Atmosphere

If you checked out our First Look, you already know that STK Orlando is located in the The Landing of Disney Springs; however, the location is easily viewed from the area’s new Town Center. Here is the view as you approach from the Orange Parking Garage.

STK Orlando

STK Orlando

The exterior, therefore, fits right in while retaining its own unique look, with its resemblance to a refurbished train station from the early 1900s.

Back of STK

Back of STK

Once you climb the stairs leading you to the front of the restaurant, you’ll see STK among its more familiar neighbors.

Front entrance to STK Orlando

Front entrance to STK Orlando

STK sign

STK sign

For instance, you’ll spot Paradiso 37 just down the way. And the walls you see to the left surround the construction site for The Edison (now slated to open in early 2017).

The Edison construction and Paradiso 37

The Edison construction and Paradiso 37 as seen from entrance to STK Orlando

You’ll also notice one of the opportunities for outdoor dining with the tables lining the walkway.

Lower Level Outdoor Seating

Lower Level Outdoor Seating

Once you’re inside, the vibe immediately transitions from charming refurbished train station to urban sleek.

Inside STK Orlando

Inside STK Orlando

From the front desk, there are two dining areas immediately to your right (this is a change from the preview event we attended, when one of the dining areas was cleared of tables). Clean lines, white tables and dark floors define them both.

Lower Level Indoor Seating

Lower Level Indoor Seating

Lower Level Indoor Seating

Lower Level Indoor Seating

Lower Level Indoor Seating

Lower Level Indoor Seating

Stunning floral arrangements, Bocci pendant lighting fixtures, and STK’s signature ceramic longhorns provide the accents.

Lower Level Decor

Lower Level Decor

Lower Level Decor

Lower Level Decor

Lower Level Decor

Lower Level Decor

Two more key fixtures set the scene downstairs: first, one of the two bar areas.

Lower Level Bar

Lower Level Bar

And second, the DJ! I assume there will be a variety of DJs providing music at STK Orlando, but our evening was filled with super fun 70s and 80s tracks with dance beats behind them. (This won’t be the last time we discuss the music, though, as it plays an important factor in your experience.)

DJ

DJ

Now, we’ll take a trip upstairs to check out the scene (just FYI, elevator access is available as well).

Stairwell to Upstairs Seating

Stairwell to Upstairs Dining

The upstairs indoor dining room includes a second bar and further seating for full dining. Overall, the feel is more casual and relaxed, while still providing an upscale setting and stellar service.

Upper Level Indoor Bar

Upper Level Indoor Bar

Upper Level Indoor Seating

Upper Level Indoor Seating

But I think the area most people are excited to see is the open patio dining area on the second floor. Fortunately, it doesn’t disappoint…

Upper Level Patio Dining

Upper Level Patio Dining

Upper Level Patio Seating

Upper Level Patio Seating

Upper Level Patio Atmosphere

Upper Level Patio Atmosphere

We didn’t really get a feel for this space during the preview event since it wasn’t arranged for dining. But we are happy to say that the day-to-day arrangements for this area are pretty great, offering some terrific views (it also helped that the weather was just about perfect on the night of our visit).

Upper Level Patio Seating

Upper Level Patio Seating

Oh, and if you’re curious about what’s in the building’s rounded turrets, here’s what you’ll find on the second floor — an open air fire pit surrounded by high-top table seating.

STK Orlando Turrets

STK Orlando Turrets

Fire Pit

Fire Pit

I have to admit, I didn’t think there would be a lot to look at from here, but the new Town Center and recent additions to The Landing have really changed things around these parts!

Upper Level Patio View

Upper Level Patio View

Upper Level Patio View

Upper Level Patio View

And it’s funny, because obviously Disney Springs is not a huge city, but the patio really does offer a nice bit of that urban, night-on-the-town feel.

STK sign on Upper Level Patio

STK sign on Upper Level Patio

Aside from the views, the other key difference between downstairs and upstairs is the volume of the music. The DJ’s tunes are piped throughout the building, but the volume is kept at lower levels upstairs, so you can more easily manage a conversation with your traveling companions. When you’re downstairs (which is where our meal took place), the volume of music increases throughout the evening — in fact, you’re even encouraged to get up and dance if you’d like. At 5:00 pm when we arrived I thought the levels were pretty average, but as the evening went on there were moments when my friends and I were yell-talking to each other to be heard.

Basically, if you’re looking for a high-energy party atmosphere with a chance to kick your heels a bit, downstairs is your place. If you’re hoping to enjoy conversation with your friends and family, upstairs is your better bet. (If you’d like to sit in a specific spot, our server advised that it’s best to call STK Orlando directly to make your reservation, noting your request. Though seating in your preferred area can’t be guaranteed, the staff will do their best to accommodate requests.)

Okay! This is a steakhouse, isn’t it? So let’s dig in…

Eats

Your meal at STK starts with complimentary bread. A batch of incredibly soft rolls topped with STK’s Blue Butter (melted blue cheese butter) is served with a small dish of pesto for dipping.

Complimentary Bread with Blue Butter and pesto

Complimentary Bread with Blue Butter and pesto

Don’t let the blue cheese deter you if you aren’t a fan of the flavor. I’m not, but it’s not prominent here and the bread is delicious. It stands on its own without the pesto.

Complimentary Bread with Blue Butter and pesto

Complimentary Bread with Blue Butter and pesto

Before we scoped out the cocktails, we also received water. I know, we don’t typically show you pictures of water here on the DFB ;) , but I have a reason for it…

Glass of Water

Glass of Water

I don’t think my water was ever down more than a sip or two during the entire evening. The staff at STK takes good care of its guests. Service was top-notch throughout our meal, from our fun and attentive server to the rest of the management and assisting staff.

That said, we did try some STK Cocktails: the Strawberry Cobbler and the Secret Affair.

STK Cocktail Menu

STK Cocktail Menu

Strawberry Cobbler and Secret Affair

Strawberry Cobbler and Secret Affair

Strawberry Cobbler is Belvedere Vodka and fresh muddled strawberry served with a graham cracker rim.

Strawberry Cobbler

Strawberry Cobbler

Even with its fun name and sweet rim, the flavors are otherwise simple and direct; this beverage really did taste like fresh strawberries.

Strawberry Cobbler

Strawberry Cobbler

The Secret Affair was the more complex of the two, made of Purity Vodka, lime and watermelon, with Tajin chili powder lining the rim and a red chili pepper garnishing the drink.

Secret Affair

Secret Affair

As anticipated, there is an intense kick from the rim right from the first sip, but eventually it gives way to the milder fruity tastes of the cocktail.

Both beverages struck me as unique, but I’d recommend saving the cocktails for a bar visit instead of a full meal. If you plan to enjoy a drink with your meal I’d suggest pairing your entree with a wine that will enhance the flavors of your entree instead. (There is a full book in addition to this list below.)

Wine and Beer Menu

Wine and Beer Menu

We tried a few appetizers next, but I’ll note that at STK you’re asked to order all your food at once, not including dessert. Our server explained that this helped him work together with the kitchen to keep the flow of the meal going (don’t worry — you’ll have plenty of time to explore your choices and ask any questions).

Appetizer and Raw Bar Menu

Appetizer and Raw Bar Menu

We started with an appetizer exclusive to STK Orlando: the Crispy Rock Shrimp with a chili remoulade.

Crispy Rock Shrimp

Crispy Rock Shrimp

The really nice thing about this dish was that the golden, crisp breading and the accompanying remoulade both offered delicious flavors and textures, but ultimately neither overpowered the shrimp. I’m not huge into shrimp, but I found these addictive.

Crispy Rock Shrimp

Crispy Rock Shrimp

We also went with the Lil’ BRGs, a signature STK appetizer. Wagyu beef is topped with a special sauce, caramelized onions, cheese and a tomato on a sesame seed bun.

Lil' BRGs

Lil’ BRGs

I can’t say one bad thing about the taste of these burgers — the meat was fresh, tender, and wonderfully flavorful, and the caramelized onions added just the right amount of sweetness.

Lil' BRG toppings

Lil’ BRG toppings

Lil' BRG cross-section

Lil’ BRG cross-section

But here’s what you should know: I think the Lil BRGs look larger in the photograph than they really are. You’ll notice them next to the small side of house made pickles, and they’re actually no wider than that mini condiment dish. You’re paying $20 for two burgers that are… well, really Lil’.

Lil' BRGs

Lil’ BRGs

Granted, Wagyu beef is probably some of the best you’ll have anywhere and it’s pricey wherever you go, but I did want you to have a heads-up on the size — these are smaller than your usual sliders, for sure.

Let’s turn our attention to the Entrees.

Entrees and Sides Menu

Entrees and Sides Menu

And why don’t we start with the main event: STeaK ;) ! Under the “Large” listings of the Steak choices (made for two to share), we chose the 32 ounce Porterhouse. The dish comes to you already sliced… and it’s a beautiful moment when it arrives.

32 ounce Porterhouse

32 ounce Porterhouse

It really was terrific steak — I can’t think of one thing to change. It was prepared exactly to our medium rare request. The char was beautifully done, and the meat was so tender you could easily cut it with a fork.

Closeup on the Porterhouse

Closeup on the Porterhouse

A friend of mine in our group used to work at Charley’s Steak House, which is consistently rated among the best in the country, and he remarked that this steak was on par with cuts there. The price is $92 for the 32 ounce. I mention that because as a price comparison to other Disney spots, the 32 oz Porterhouse at Yachtsman Steakhouse (aged 21 days) is currently $119, but that one does come with a trio of classic steakhouse sides. If you add three sides to the 32 oz. Porterhouse at STK coming in at $10 each, the total would be $122.

The Porterhouse comes with your choice of two of STK’s eight sauces. You can choose to add any of the offered sauces to an entree for $2, or you can try them all for fun for $12. We did just that (even though, in all honesty, the meat didn’t require any sauce — it tasted great on its own.)

32 ounce Porterhouse

32 ounce Porterhouse

Going clockwise from the left, the lineup is Chimichurri, Béarnaise, Au Poivre, the STK, the same Blue Butter we enjoyed on the bread, Red Wine, Horseradish, and STK Bold.

STK Sauces

STK Sauces

The standouts were the Blue Butter and the Au Poivre with its outstanding peppercorn flavor. I also really enjoyed the Red Wine sauce, even though it was fairly standard.

The STK signature sauce has a very definite hot kick — it’s like a honey sriracha. The STK Bold, on the other hand, is a more traditional steakhouse sauce with its expected — but certainly strong — Worcestershire and other usual flavors.

STK Sauce

STK Sauce

Our other entrees included an STK Orlando exclusive: the Florida Grouper served atop Maitake mushrooms, fingerling potatoes, and truffle lobster brown butter.

Florida Grouper

Florida Grouper

The Grouper was definitely good and fresh, but I wanted to be much more “wowed” by this dish than I was. That said, the accompaniments were terrific, specifically the tasty mushrooms.

Florida Grouper

Florida Grouper

The Glazed Beef Short Rib is served with a unique green apple confit and horseradish cream.

Glazed Beef Short Rib

Glazed Beef Short Rib

Glazed Beef Short Rib

Glazed Beef Short Rib

It was fall apart tender with a slightly sweet glaze providing a hint of crisp; simply delicious.

Glazed Beef Short Rib

Glazed Beef Short Rib

Sides at STK are ordered a la carte and served family style. We couldn’t resist trying the Mac and Cheese since it’s another STK signature dish… and since it’s Mac and Cheese ;) .

Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese

The thick, bubbly layer of cheese on top tasted primarily of a sharp cheddar, and we also picked up on asiago.

Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese

It was incredibly rich, and it pained me that I could only handle a few bites because it tasted so good.

Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese

I didn’t think there would be anything particularly remarkable about the Parmesan Truffle Fries, but they were a really nice surprise.

Parmesan Truffle Fries

Parmesan Truffle Fries

I don’t think I’ve ever said this about a potato dish, but these fries are melt-in-your-mouth good. Even when I was convinced I couldn’t take another bite of anything, I made room for a couple more of these.

Parmesan Truffle Fries

Parmesan Truffle Fries

The biggest hit of the sides, though, may have been the Sweet Corn Pudding. I can’t help but associate this dish with Thanksgiving, but this was like Sweet Corn Pudding from the Best Thanksgiving of My Life.

Sweet Corn Pudding

Sweet Corn Pudding

Now, I LOVE sweet corn, so there’s that. But this comfort dish, with its texture almost like a custard, was nearly more reminiscent of a dessert than a side.

Sweet Corn Pudding

Sweet Corn Pudding

And speaking of Dessert

Dessert Menu

Dessert Menu

… isn’t there always room for ice cream? ICE STK is a mini cone sampler.

ICE STK

ICE STK

Each of the ice creams was hard-packed and tasty, with Cookies and Cream, Birthday Cake, and Rocky Road as the flavors.

ICE STK

ICE STK

A bit of chocolate fudge was the finishing touch in the cones.

Bottom of Mini Cones

Bottom of Mini Cones

Super fun, but a little hard to share — unless there are three in your group, in which case it’s just the small matter of who gets which cone ;) .

Our server also recommended the Caramelito Bar. The menu description doesn’t tell you much — it just mentions cocoa nib marshmallow and chocolate bavarian cream, but there’s more to it than that. Topped off with a piece of chocolate decorated with the STK logo (sans name), three light layers of marshmallow and mousse are piled on top of a dark chocolate layer that is so dense it’s close to a ganache.

Caramelito Bar

Caramelito Bar

For such light, fluffy layers, it’s very decadent; fortuantely, the generous size is great for sharing. It was a sweet ending to our first meal at STK Orlando.

Overall

A few logistics before we leave STK Orlando: in its opening days, STK Orlando was only open for dinner. However, the location began serving lunch as well on May 31st. Advance Dining Reservations can be made via the Walt Disney World website and by calling (407) WDW-DINE for dates beginning June 25th. Guests arriving earlier may reserve via the STK Orlando website or call directly at (407) 917-7440 (and remember, this is the best way to make your reservation if you’d like to note a seating preference).

At the time of this publishing, STK Orlando does not accept the Tables in Wonderland discount, but it does count as a two Table Service credit as a Signature Dining option on the Disney Dining Plan (though it is not currently listed as such on the Disney World website, we confirmed it with our server and a call to the location as well).

Well, the physical AND dining landscape has certainly changed in Disney Springs, hasn’t it? In regards specifically to Signature Dining, STK Orlando joins the more recent offerings of The Boathouse with its high-end yet breezy nautical feel, and Morimoto Asia with its striking contemporary style. Now STK Orlando is offering its own big city vibe right in the heart of Disney Springs, giving guests a taste (ha!) of the new nightlife in the area. Sleek settings, signature service, and tempting dishes could provide all the ingredients for a great evening out for those in the mood for an upscale experience in the new Disney Springs.

Is STK Orlando on your list of future dining destinations? Please let us know with a comment!

Comments

  1. Jeff says

    Based on your review, I think I’ll stick with Yachtsman or Shula’s. I don’t want to worry about “yell-talking” through an expensive meal.

  2. Sandra G says

    Nice review, appreciate the pictures, but still a no-go for us. Older folks and/or folks with small children are clearly not the demographic they are reaching for. Plus although I have no problem with rare steak, ground meat should always be cooked more than those mini-burgers. I’m much more interested in The Boathouse and Morimoto, although this place will be great for the thirty-something young professional crowd.

  3. Sandra G says

    Nice review, appreciate the pictures, but still a no-go for us. Clearly older folks and families with small children are not the demographic they are reaching for. Also, while I have no problem with rare steak, ground meat should always be cooked more than those mini-burgers appear to be. I am much more interested in The Boathouse and Morimoto than STK, but it looks perfect for the thirty-something young professional crowd.

  4. Sandra G says

    Oops, sorry for two posts. It seems “the internet connection has stopped working” message wasn’t completely accurate.

  5. Mike V says

    WOW!!!!
    First off, great review, you must really hate doing your job!
    Everything really looks spectacular. As I went thorough there were a couple times i commented to myself (overpriced) but in all reality it’s where the price point is these days.
    I do however have to say that the wine prices shocked me in a very negative way.
    First, from the pictures it looks like they are doing what many are now doing with the smaller sized wine glasses. With that they give you what seems to be a higher pour, but since the glass is smaller it isn’t. You did not order wine so I do not know if wine when ordered is served with it’s own glass.
    Second the prices….$13 is the cheapest glass of wine? Not to mention the majority of those offerings are what the bottle costs!!!
    All that said, you have me hook line and sinker with this review…..I want to try this place out!

  6. Essie says

    It looks good, but I’d much prefer LeCellier. We enjoy conversation with our meal and this doesn’t sound like the place!

  7. Steve says

    Sounds like it’s another fun new entry to the Springs dining options. So far we are really enjoying the new restaurants. What ever happened to the rumored ‘Walt’s’ and ‘Never land Tunnels’? We’re those scrapped?

  8. Mark says

    Ok, I get it. If you are a tourist who has spent thousands on your vacation, what’s an extra $200 or $250 on a trendy steak dinner for two. As a local who is a thirty something times two, this just does not look appealing. I’ll hop in the car and head over to Lornhorn for their porterhouse for two. Under $100 with a bottle of wine. If you are a tourist on a tight budget, look off property for food. You will save a bundle.

  9. Keith says

    Le Cellier? …Yuck! Can’t believe you used Le Cellier as your go-to steak house when you have Shula’s, Jiko, Capa, Bull & Bear, and Boathouse. Hell, even Yachtsman is better choice

  10. Frank says

    No one mentioned the steak at Flying Fish. Not sure if it will change with the “re-imagination,” but it was one of my favorites. Just below Shula, but way ahead of Yachtsman.

  11. Tom says

    Wine prices by the glass also caught my attention. $22 dollars for a glass of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc? This wine retails for $25 dollars a bottle.

    Without TIW this is a place I’ll avoid and stick with Shula’s or Yachtsman.

  12. Mike V says

    I don’t know where you live Tom, but Cloudy Bay in my goto store here in South Jersey sits on the shelf for $18.99.
    Markup in restaurants is expected to be 200-300, but it seems STK has taken it to another level!!

  13. Dr. Leonid K. Soup says

    These comments are a laff riot.

    Comment edited to stick to DFB comment guidelines.

  14. oj says

    So, what was the total of your bill? I’m guessing around $300 ?

    The place looks a bit like a “gentleman’s club” with all that purple lighting and metal.

  15. Eve V says

    Your review has me poking my pale chicken breast and spinach and tomato salad with contempt! I used to go to the STK in NYC (Downtown) when I lived up north and it was always consistent and just a lot of fun. I’m excited to have a new steakhouse in town to try that isn’t so somber and serious. Plus, I can dance and eat. SOLD!

  16. Jamie says

    Thank you SO MUCH for this review. My husband pulled one up that was all talk and 4 photos and I said oh no no no no honey the ONLY Disney Food review site I use is DisneyFoodBlog because they never steer me wrong. What bugs me about this place and what will bug him is that it’s a Steakhouse with no baked potato option. what.is.that.even.about????? but Thanks again you guys – this one was amazing!~!

  17. Dannielle Brown says

    If I book through Open Table will I still be able to use my Disney dining plan?

  18. RoZ says

    I would agree with most of your comments except for the service. We did not experience the top notch level of service that you did. It is currently about 4 months after it opened so I would have expected any glitches in service levels to be resolved. can’t wait to visit the other new locations I. Disney Springs.

  19. RoZ says

    I agree with most of your comments except for the service. We did not experience the top notch level of service that you did. It is currently about 4 months after it opened so I would have expected any glitches in service levels to be resolved. can’t wait to visit the other new locations In Disney Springs.

  20. Courtney says

    Thank you for he review. We are heading there from Jersey for Thanksgiving. Looking forward to it! As for the Flyiny Fish, someone had posted it was there favorite steak. I happen to agree…until our recent visit over Easter…steak is not the same signature steak, and when asked if BOB was working…they replied BOB WHO??
    Everyone knew BOB!

  21. Frank says

    Courtney,
    Loved that FF steak.
    Not available anymore.
    Lots of turn over at FF too.
    Ate at the “reimagined” FF once.. and only once.
    I usually go to Shula’s in the Dolphin for a steak when I visit.
    Saw new Dolphin Blue Zoo menu. Rib eye $70. Didn’t give any other specifics.
    Some Disney steaks are pushing $ 100/pound.

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