STK is next up in the ongoing procession of new and elaborate restaurants opening at Disney Springs, the reimagined dining, shopping and entertainment district formerly known as Downtown Disney. The NYC based STK will start serving to the general public beginning with dinner service on Wednesday, May 25, (lunch hours will be added soon). On Tuesday evening, the restaurant will throw a grand opening party, by invitation only. (I’ll be livecasting from the event on the SJO Facebook page.)
On Monday, I got a sneak peek at the restaurant, chatted with the Orlando restaurant’s chef, James O’Donnell, and tasted a few of the dishes that will be offered.
Stylistically, the new restaurant has design elements characterisitc of other STKs. The photo at top was taken last Thursday at the STK in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan; below it is the Disney Springs. Besides this main dining room, there is a loungish area next to the bar in the front of the restaurant, and an upstairs dining area, also with bar, and a balcony that overlooks the newly filled Springs (although we’re supposed to believe they’ve been there forever).
Although the name STK, when enough vowels are purchased, evokes steak, O’Donnell says his menu offers lighter fare. “We do a much better job with seafood, appetizers and vegetables.” He calls it a ” twist on the steakhouse that’s light and modern with a little more seasonality.”
I was offered a taste of the crab appetizer, which features big lumps of sweet crab meat along with cubes of fruit and slices of avocado. Really quite refreshing.
I also sampled O’Donnell’s grilled lamb, which has a house-made rub of four dried chilies. It was artistically plated on a smear of sweet potato puree and accompanied by red and yellow beets.
A stacked dessert had flourless chocolate, marshmallow, and caramelized chocolate that was surprisingly not heavy.
The restaurant features a DJ, who commands from a pulpit at the entrance of the restaurant. And yes, that means this is going to be a loud place.
A full review will come at a later date.