Review: Dinner at STK in Disney Springs

We hadn’t been back to STK Orlando for another meal since it opened last summer, and it was time to check this brand new Disney Springs restaurant out again.

Located in The Landing area of Disney Springs, this restaurant that strives to be sexy has more of a vibe suited for a big city or Vegas, rather than the sleepy, Old Florida town of Disney Springs. Still, it was one of the most anticipated new restaurants that sprang up in the area.

On our first visit, we were fairly impressed with much of the food. But even as new restaurants continue to open in Disney Springs, we’re finding that some are rising to the top…and some…well…aren’t.

Which camp do we think STK is in? Come with us as we share our impressions of the upscale steakhouse.

Atmosphere

We arrived late for our advance dining reservation, owing to an earlier commitment that ran long. Since I was more than 15 minutes late, I was told that we would have to wait to be worked back into the schedule. Because I had a dining companion to chat with, it wasn’t a total bummer. But since the upstairs was completely closed for a private event, thus making downstairs more crowded than it needed to be, it was a little unfortunate. The old advice holds: try not to be late for your ADR.

STK Outside View and Outdoor Seating

STK Outside View and Outdoor Seating

While we were waiting, the DJ was spinning, as he normally is. The music was a combo of more recent songs with a smattering of everything else, from disco to 80s and beyond. It was a bit loud, but not so loud that we couldn’t talk.

DJ

DJ

STK’s decor is modern, with lots of black and white. Hot pink lights provide contrast.

Lower Level Indoor Seating

Lower Level Indoor Seating

We noticed some wear and tear on the edges of chairs in the bar area, which we thought was a little unfortunate for a restaurant that’s just over a year old.

Lower Level Indoor Seating

Lower Level Indoor Seating

Speaking of the second floor — which frankly, we prefer — there’s a lit-up staircase that leads to it.

Stairwell to Upstairs Seating

Stairwell to Upstairs Seating

Upstairs, you’ll find a second bar (there’s one on the first floor as well) with windows that look out onto the restaurant’s terrace.

Upper Level Indoor Bar

Upper Level Indoor Bar

The inside dining area upstairs is pretty non-descript.

Upper Level Indoor Seating

Upper Level Indoor Seating

But outside, you’ll find a lovely rooftop terrace. This is my favorite part of the restaurant.

Upper Level Patio Dining at STK Orlando

Upper Level Patio Dining at STK Orlando

One end of the patio houses a turret, where you’ll find a firepit for cooler Florida evenings.

Fire Pit

Fire Pit

The views from STK, like those from neighboring Morimoto Asia, are quite lovely. Definitely spend a little time on the patio if you have the chance, especially if you’re visiting after sunset.

Eats

We began our visit with a look at the menu. There’s another page with starters, but you get the gist from this view.

Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Click to Enlarge

Having just come from another event, we weren’t starving, so we decided to give more attention to starters and sides and limit ourselves to just one entree.

After we made our selections, our server brought a loaf of STK’s signature savory pull-apart bread, topped with blue cheese butter and served with a side of pesto for dipping. This was delicious, and is likely one of the best parts of STK, food-wise; although my friend wanted the rolls to have a little more zip from the blue cheese.

STK Bread

STK Bread Topped with Blue Butter and Served with Pesto for Dipping

During our first visit, we enjoyed STK’s food and had great service. One of our objectives during this visit was to try a few of the same dishes to see if they were still as good as we remembered.

We began this exploration with the Crispy Rock Shrimp. I really like the dish, and found it to be just as good. The breading is light and crispy, and the remoulade provides the perfect spicy-creamy complement. It’s not particularly original, but it’s done very well. Get it. Love it.

Crispy Rock Shrimp

Crispy Rock Shrimp

We’ll save the rest of our comparisons for the side dishes! But first, let’s take a look at the entree that we chose.

During our visit, STK had six different steaks on the menu, including the 28-ounce Dry Aged Porterhouse for two, which we tried on our previous visit.

This time, we opted for the 14-ounce Dry Aged Delmonico, which was cooked to our medium-rare specifications.

Now, here I need to pause and talk sauces. See those four ramekins? Each of those sauces are two bucks a pop. I wasn’t particularly happy about this, especially since I can go across the way and get all the sauces I want at The Polite Pig and D-Luxe Burger for No Bucks a Pop.

Delmonico Steak with Sauces

Delmonico Steak with Sauces

As for what the sauces were, from the top right going clockwise, they were STK, Blue Butter, Bearnaise, and STK Bold. They were fine, but the price seems a little steep.

Sides are a big deal at most steakhouses, and STK is no exception, so we tried several. The next dish has undergone a complete transformation since the restaurant opened. Originally, the Parmesan Truffle Fries were super thick cut and were really something special. Now, they’re pretty much your standard fries. They were good, but frankly, they were a little underwhelming.

Truffle Fries

Truffle Fries

On the other hand, the Mac and Cheese was anything but.

This was one of our favorite dishes our first time, and we agree that it’s still pretty amazing. This was my friend’s favorite part of the meal. The cheese wasn’t just super abundant; the dish also had incredible flavor. And unlike the last time we had it, the top wasn’t a mass of melted cheese, which can sometimes be a bit hard to manage once it cools down.

Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese

But the Sweet Corn Pudding surprised me, and not really in a good way. I was expecting something a little more, well…solid, I suppose. I would call this Sweet Corn Soup, personally.

Sweet Corn Pudding

Sweet Corn Pudding

The flavor was good, but I couldn’t help but wonder if it had been undercooked.

Sweet Corn Pudding -- Up Close

Sweet Corn Pudding — Up Close

We weren’t quite finished with our meal, however. We decided to take a look at the dessert menu to see if anything piqued our interest.

Dessert Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Dessert Menu — Click to Enlarge

It did. We tried the Warm Baked Cookie, served with chocolate and caramel sauces, and topped with vanilla ice cream. It’s served ooey gooey and warm, and scratches that comfort food itch nicely.

Warm Baked Cookie

Warm Baked Cookie

The Bag o’ Donuts, filled with Dulce de Leche, were a little less satisfying, but fine. They came with raspberry and spiced chocolate sauces for dipping.

Bag o Donuts

Bag o’ Donuts

They’re good, and the presentation is cute. We just didn’t find them to be particularly memorable.

Nosh or Not?

Make a beeline for STK if:

  • You like eating in a dance club (or if you never have, you think you just might).
  • You want to experience dining in one of Disney Springs’ restaurants that features a rooftop terrace.

But you should plan to skip STK if:

  • You don’t think the words “sexy”, “dinner”, and “Disney” should appear anywhere in the same sentence.
  • You’re on a budget, even if you ARE on the Disney Dining Plan (more about that in a sec).
  • You want to feel like you’re dining somewhere in Walt Disney World, not Las Vegas.

Overall

How do I sum up STK? One word: unimpressive.

Look, if that steak were the most AMAZING steak I’d ever eaten, I might be more positive with my comments. But it wasn’t. It was OK, but not amazing.

And if I hadn’t been nickeled and dimed for sauces to dip my steak in — my $62.00 steak — I might be less grumpy as I write this.

And if my server hadn’t been flip when I asked him for things like ketchup (FOR FRENCH FRIES, PEOPLE) — my mood might be a little better.

But here’s the thing: when a restaurant decides to charge incredibly high prices, AND even levy supplemental charges on menu items when you’re using the Disney Dining Plan — then they’d better bring it. And they just didn’t. Yep. Even with my Deluxe Disney Dining Plan, I had to pay a supplement for my steak, plus pay for the side dishes.

So, for my money, I call STK a pass. If they were DDP one credit table service restaurant with reasonable prices, then maybe. But I just don’t consider them to be in the same league as other Disney Springs favorites, such as Morimoto Asia, BOATHOUSE, and Homecomin’, or on par with my favorite steakhouses, like Pappas Bros, Del Friscos, and Capital Grille, outside of Disney.

Now that I’ve left you in little doubt of my opinion, ;-) what’s yours? Share your comments with me below!

Comments

  1. says

    Totally agree!!!!!!

    We were fine with spending $$$ to dine at STK, but it dd not at all hold up to what we expected.
    Next night, after just a few bites at Epcot, we stood in the line and ate at Polite Pig and it was so very, very good for a fraction of the price.

    We love,love, Morimoto—so good. So many better places to dine than STK! Rooftop great, but just go for a cocktail!

    jp

  2. Kimberly says

    What? Pull-apart bread with blue cheese butter and pesto? We weren’t given this. The food was good; we ordered a larger filet and some sides and split the meal. It was still $$$ (we did order the $2 sauces as well), but maybe the waiter thought since we split it, we didn’t deserve bread? We would’ve liked the bread, and it may have coaxed us back. As it stands, we haven’t been back because the super-loud music (even on the second floor where we sat) was intrusive, and we are ’80s kids accustomed to loud concerts and nightclubs. It was an uncomfortably loud atmosphere for a dinner setting. Too expensive, too loud, and now I’m annoyed about the bread. No more STK for me.

  3. Kevin says

    The one thing that is so strange but I love about Disney Springs is that it seems the less I pay to eat the better my meal is. Homecomin, Frontera, Raglan Road, all 3 are amazing and yet the entrees are in the high teens to high 20s, very reasonable, especially in WDW. Some day I will have to try Morimoto.

  4. Debbie says

    STK is part of Orlando Magical Dining Month. We dined there a couple of weeks ago during our trip using that option as well as last year. It includes a choice of appetizer, entrée and dessert all for $35.00. One of the entrée choices was the 6 oz. filet which, on the regular menu, is $36.00 alone. We were seated on the upper level of the 1st floor. It was very loud but not unbearable. The service was good. The steak excellent but the side that came with it, just ok. I would say if you want to try STK the Magical Dining Menu is the way to go, otherwise I would pass. To us it just isn’t worth the cost. If you do go during Magical Dining Month, you must ask for that menu, they don’t give it to you automatically. This years dates began August 25th and ends on October 12th.

  5. Maggie says

    We had nigh unto the same experience, and I actually wrote a review over on allears. However, I want to be able to hear my dining companion, not feel my bones vibrate, and get out of a restaurant in under 2 hours as well as have good food, and for the money, this place was not worth it.

  6. Paul says

    This restaurant is what would happen if Jean Ralphio opened a steakhouse. When I went the food was average and expensive, and the atmosphere is just awful.

  7. Vicki stobbs says

    We went here last year on my birthday and for the money my other half and I would much prefer and reccomend California grill not only is it much nicer food but you can hear yourself think and you get to watch the fireworks from the terrace!

  8. Michael says

    RE: Sauces. You do realize this is a high end steak house, and should be compared as so. Not to a burger joint or a bbq. Every steak house charges for a sauce.

  9. Christina H. says

    As someone who just returned from Vegas yesterday morning, I can say those are ABSOLUTELY Vegas prices on the menu.

    I think they also have an STK in NYC though, and as a Brooklynite, it just wouldn’t be worth my time to go someplace I can eat at any day of the week when I’m home.

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