With summer weather beginning its long gentle slide into fall the way it inevitably does in Central Florida, restaurants that like to change their menus with the seasons have been very busy. Executive Chef James O’Donnell at STK Orlando in Disney Springs has definitely felt the change and the result is a new fall menu that takes the Orlando outpost to new places and tastes.
The Disney Blog was recently invited to a tasting dinner where we sampled 6 of the new dishes and a pair of tasty cocktails. We dined outside on the 3rd story deck. The weather was perfect for it and the view of Disney Springs added a lot to the atmosphere.
The evening started with a course of Seared Tuna. It was served with thumbelina carrot, black sesame tahini, and preserved lemon. The tun was prepared excellently and lemon preserves made the dish something special.
The second dish was a buratta salad. Chef James found delicious local heirloom tomatoes and combined them with arugula pesto and delightful kalamatta olive croutons. The buratta is such a fantastic cheese, more complex than mozzarella and pairs really will with the olives and tomatoes.
The Roasted Scallops were next and were my favorite item on the menu. Poached in buttery liquid so they melt in your mouth, they came served with some barley risotto perched on a short rib jam and red wine sauce. The risotto was unique and I enjoyed it, but the scallops were mouth watering.
We then moved on to the Florida grouper which was paired with mussels and chorizo and served in a mussel broth and aged sherry vinegar. The most complex flavor package of the evening, this was my second favorite dish. The whitefish was perfectly cooked and the sauce was quite divine.
The last entree we sampled was the Spice rubbed rack of Lamb. It was served with sweet potato, shaved apple, and date chutney. Normally, I’m a big fan of lamb, but I just didn’t find the flavor profiles all that rich in this dish.
For dessert they offered us a traditional apple crumb cake, elevated by an amazing caramel sauce and the dulce de leche ice cream it was paired with.
Over the course of the evening, we were introduced to two new cocktails. The Poisoned Apple (a fun twist on the classic Disney tale of Snow White) was made with Malibu rum, Procsecco, Grand Marnier liquor, and a dash of cinnamon. Garnishes included a green apple and caramel sauce on the rim. I’m not ashamed to say I licked all that caramel off the rim before my drink was finished. It was the perfect complement to the slightly sour cocktail.
The second drink was Fall Harvest, which was made with Maker’s Mark bourbon, apple cider, pumpkin cinnamon syrup, lemon juice, and egg white (to provide the froth). (See image at the top.) This was like dessert in a glass and my favorite drink of the night.
All in all, I found the seafood options added to the menu the best. I’ve also enjoy every salad and side dish I’ve had at STK Orlando. If you want a good STK Orlando experience, I’d suggest starting your evening with a cocktail then sampling the seafood and sides.
You can enjoy Chef James’ new fall menu right now at STK Orlando. The plan is to keep it until the winter menu is ready, so about 3 months.