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.
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.
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.
STK’s decor is modern, with lots of black and white. Hot pink lights provide contrast.
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.
Speaking of the second floor — which frankly, we prefer — there’s a lit-up staircase that leads to it.
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.
The inside dining area upstairs is pretty non-descript.
But outside, you’ll find a lovely rooftop terrace. This is my favorite part of the restaurant.
One end of the patio houses a turret, where you’ll find a firepit for cooler Florida evenings.
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.
We began our visit with a look at the menu. There’s another page with starters, but you get the gist from this view.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The flavor was good, but I couldn’t help but wonder if it had been undercooked.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!