REVIEW: STK Orlando Opens in Disney Springs, Is Pleasure Island Now a Steakhouse?
STK Orlando opened its doors for dinner last night, taking the space once occupied by the Comedy Warehouse of Pleasure Island. The restaurant is situated just over the bridge between The Landing and The West Side, just across from what will be the home of the Edison next Spring. STK is a small chain of high-end steakhouses with a “lounge vibe”, with other locations in nightlife hot-spots such as Las Vegas, Miami, and New York. How does this fit in at Disney Springs?
The interior looks like something out of the New York nightlife scene.
When STK claims to be a steakhouse with a lounge vibe, they are giving a pretty accurate description. The entire venue looks and feels like a lounge, but operates like a steakhouse. While the venue doesn’t really fit the Walt Disney World mold, the level of service and food quality made me just as comfortable as I would be dining at the Brown Derby or Jiko. The rooftop patio is wonderful and you could be seated upstairs as well, but we were seated on the lower floor.
Here’s a video of the views from the patio:
I don’t know why, but I was expecting menu prices here to be above anything else at Disney Springs, but they are pretty much right on par with the nearby Boathouse and Morimoto Asia.
However, it is a little disconcerting when a quality steakhouse offers sauces. Typically, an establishment of this caliber will not offer sauce as a true quality steak doesn’t need one and the sauce doesn’t allow you to taste the real flavor of the steak.
A look at the cocktail menu, but there is also a full wine list available upon request.
I started my evening with the “Secret Affair”, which was good but not great. It wasn’t particularly strong or flavorful, just kind of forgettable honestly.
A number fo the people at our table ordered the Summertime Fling and everyone who had one enjoyed it immensely. I thought it was better than what I had ordered, but you can certainly find better $15 cocktails around Walt Disney World.
The “Not Your Daddy’s Manhattan” however, was just about perfect. I’m not really a Manhattan drinker, but I would most definitely order this on my next visit over the other drinks at our table.
This is the “Smokeshow”, which again is just somewhat forgettable. None of the drinks here really stood out. None of them were bad, but nothing really made me go “wow”.
The bread service had a very distinct look to it, obviously with the bread coming in a skillet, but also coming with a strange green sauce which I spent a fair amount of the evening calling “Ecto Cooler” (look it up kids, it’s coming back next week).
The bread itself was great, very soft and with a great flavor to it.
I did begrudgingly put some sauce on it and the flavor was surprisingly normal. It had a nice blue cheese flavor.
While the drinks were nothing special, food is where STK excels (as it should). The rock shrimp were very good, packing really good flavor into small package.
The Lil BRGs were my favorite. The wagyu beef was cooked just right, the bread was soft and flaky, and the toppings mixed in perfectly.
The grilled octopus was good as well, certainly better than the octopus dish I had tired at Morimoto Asia Street Food just days earlier.
The shrimp cocktail was also enjoyable as the shrimp were of a good quality and the cocktail sauce has an unexpected spicy/zesty kick to it.
The burrata was a solid salad option, all of the ingredients tasted very fresh.
The Hearts of Romaine was fantastic. While I expected more of a Caesar salad flavor, it actually tasted similar to a Cobb Salad, much like the one served at the Brown Derby at Hollywood Studios.
The seared scallops appetizer isn’t very large, but it is very good. If you enjoy scallops, you can’t go wrong ordering this one.
Moving on to the entrees, the Florida Grouper was better than I expected, but the portions were not huge.
But of course, the name of the restaurant is essentially steak, so the focus turns to these guys. The first one up is the Bone-In Rib Steak. With the exception of the next steak up, the rest of them were exceptional. They were not the best cuts of these types of steaks I have ever had in my life, but they are pretty high up there. You would be hard-pressed to make a wrong decision ordering a cut of beef at this restaurant is basically what I’m trying to say.
The bone-in filet was may absolute favorite. I have had many a great filet at Walt Disney World, but this was the absolute best I have ever tasted in my entire life. Charred exterior, flavorful, perfectly cooked, it was everything I would have hoped it would be.
The 24oz Porterhouse is huge as one would expect, probably my second favorite of all we had ordered.
Last but not least, the Skirt Steak, which was my least favorite, but still very good.
We also ordered the chicken as it came highly recommended. Apparently the owner of the parent company of STK told the staff this was his favorite dish, which of course the staff could not believe as this is a steakhouse. After having tried it, I could definitely see why. While the steaks are more my style, this is a fantastic alternative.
The side dishes were a little small, but all of them were very good. First up, the mushrooms.
The macaroni and cheese was phenomenal. Some of the best I have ever had.
I’m not much of an asparagus fan, but these were also good.
The one side that you absolutely must order is the sweet corn pudding. This is quite possibly my favorite side dish on the face of the earth. It is served warm, which might sound strange for what it is, but it is absolutely perfect.
No meal would be complete without dessert!
The warm baked cookie was nothing new, but it was everything you could want it to be: a warm baked cookie topped with cold ice cream.
The “Bag O’ Donuts” was surprisingly unique in that the donuts were filled with caramel and the chocolate sauce was far superior to any I have had at other theme park establishments.
The oddest choice had to be the trio of ice cream, but it was “hipster-y” enough to make sense in the setting of STK Orlando…
After an early preview of the restaurant on Tuesday, I was worried that Disney Springs had made their first real misstep (at least as far as dining) with STK Orlando. However, after dining there last night, I stand corrected. Now, I’m still not sure how I feel about the club atmosphere in the later hours, but in our time there from 5pm-8pm, the music did get progressively louder, but the experience and service provided by the wait staff was phenomenal and made everyone feel comfortable. If you like loud music and a club atmosphere along with amazing food, this is where you want to be after 8:00 at night on your Walt Disney World vacation (that being said, the music choices were not all modern as there was nice mixture of music from the 1950’s to now). Otherwise, get here at 5pm and get ready for a phenomenal dining experience (or take part in lunch service which starts next month). STK Orlando, as much as I want to dislike it for the interior design and the nighttime vibe, is yet another invaluable addition to Disney Springs and will give The Boathouse a solid run-for-its-money over the months and years to come.
I would be curious to return at a later hour next time just to see if it resembles more of a Pleasure Island dance club than a steakhouse, but we shall have to wait and see on that…
If you’re looking to drop about $75-125 a person on a quality dining experience, this is probably one of if not your best option at Walt Disney World.