Before I even moved to Florida I was obsessed with the brand new restaurant inside the Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes. Knife and Spoon is the latest addition to Chef John Tesar’s profile with Chef Gerald Sombright in the kitchen every night and Alexa Delgado leading the cocktail program. Both Tesar and Sombright are Top Chef alums, so the buzz surrounding this restaurant is understandable.
In fact, Knife and Spoon was names the second best new restaurant in the country by USA Today. So that’s a lot to live up to.
While Orlando’s restaurant scene is robust, I had been missing the fancy night out and dry aged steak vibes of Prime + Proper. That’s why Knife and Spoon made my mouth water every time I thought of it. And honestly I was hopeful it would really be even better than P+P, not missing some of those little details my favorite Detroit spot often did.
So, finally I got to try Knife and Spoon a little over a week ago. We had actually planned on eating inside, but the night was insanely gorgeous and too perfect to sit inside. The team was happy to set up a table on the gorgeous screened in patio with view of the sunset, a nice breeze, and a couple lizards to keep us company.
The entire team was fantastic, but I have to shout out our server Sara, Alexa who made fabulous drinks (more on those in a moment), and of course Chef Gerald who came out to say hi and sent the beet salad for us to try – it was definitely a favorite of the evening, and I will order it again without a doubt.
We began with the amuse bouche, a mochi with goat cheese mousse. It was a nice little bite, and I was able to appreciate the flavor combination even if goat cheese is not my favorite.
From there I opened with a cappuccino. I feel like those open my appetite and are a great test for a restaurant. If you can’t make a foamy, balance espresso drink, there’s not a lot of hope. Luckily, this one was fantastic, and gone in mere minutes, I could not stay away from it. Dad had the same, while Mom tried the Laelia Paloma, a masterful take on the classic that was so balance it was almost too easy to drink.
Later she and I both moved on to a special creation of Alexa’s, the Tequila Mockingbird. Like the paloma, it was so good it was hard to stop drinking. Featuring Casa Dragones Blanco (my favorite tequila), jalapeno infused mezcal, and strawberry and cucumber, just when the heat seemed too much, the strawberry jumped in to save the day. I can’t wait to see what else Alexa can concoct.
Now let’s talk food. I already mentioned the wonderful beet salad with mascarpone and a hint of citrus zest that sounds simple but made the entire dish. The heirloom tomatoes were another showcase of the season with cucumbers with blooms and micro herbs. Likewise, the Caesar salad was an update that honored the classic, and was more than enough to share.
I also tried the crab scampi hot appetizer, a showcase for the eyes and the palate with bright green parsley sauce I happily ate with the provided spoon, as well as the garlic foam. While I would order any and all again, I am also excited to try other menu items. Live diver scallop I’m coming for you next!
But I mean I really came for the steak. Dry aged in house. Yes please and thank you! Dad went with the plain old filet … BORING, I know. Mom had the 44 farms 45 day bone-in strip, and I had the Akaushi 45 day bone-in ribeye. Both were mind-blowing, but I did prefer the incredible tenderness and the unique flavor of the Akaushi. I’m not sure I’ve ever had beef like that, especially in terms of the flavor from the fat. They both made awesome leftovers too. I’m really looking forward to trying further aged pieces from the Akaushi selection.
The uber creamy macaroni and cheese was a big hit with Dad while we all devoured the hand cut fries, mushrooms, and special harissa carrots, my personal favorite.
There was barely room for dessert, but I’m glad to have tried the Orange, a souffle that was the most actual orange tasting I’ve had, paired with irresistible passion fruit sorbet. Although I can never resist passion fruit sorbet.
If you can’t tell I love Knife and Spoon. I can’t wait to go back, and if you are in Orlando looking for a dining destination, go here now! I have to thank the team as well for the nice card congratulating me on my book release. It most definitely made the evening that much more special. I’ll be back soon Knife and Spoon 🙂