October 26, 2010 by staff
Spencers, Spencer’s steaks and chops is in very good company. In recent years, La Luce by Donna Scala at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, Lake Norman’s Ritz-Carlton Grande, Primo at the JW Marriott and the Bull & Bear at the Waldorf Astoria have raised local expectations restaurants. Now we can add Spencer fairly new at the Hilton Orlando to that roster.
Guests enter past a dark bar, and then around the corner to a room flooded with light. There is a mix of tables and booths with two private rooms. An enclave has a corporate environment, while the wine room is relaxed.
An open kitchen allows guests to see executive chef Luis culinary team killed in action. And the thread on the smooth jazz soundtrack is impressive, but somewhat forgettable hours later, when it was so nice to my guests and I commented on the music.
We started with a plate of sausages shareable (and 17) with an assortment of sausages and milk cheeses Winter Park. The rich crab cakes (and 16) was accompanied by a salad of grilled artichoke drizzled with a lovely lemon aioli. The egg with asparagus and bacon (and 11) start was too intriguing to pass up. A boiled egg is fried and then plated with tender green stems and sweet pork salt – all on a bed of mixed greens lightly bathed in a chive vinaigrette. The layers of flavor and texture were exceptional.
grilled herb crusted lamb (and 36) came with the carrots in a glazed earthenware. The meat – tender, juicy and perfectly average – was eclipsed almost fabulously glazed carrots. And that is a recurring theme. Fittings – most of which are a la carte – are handled with equal care the same with the main dishes.
The signature pork chop rock (and 28), for example, Mac comes with five cheeses and decadent cheeses made with orecchiette pasta. Well-seared scallops and large (30) share the gourmet dish with creamed corn.
Keep dialing a cardiologist if you share the hash browns loaded (and 10). The hash browns are the size of a personal pan pizza and mixed with bacon, onion, cheese and chives and sour cream dollop.
desserts, pastry chef Thomas Huebner deserves a grand finale. The chef specializes in turns deconstructed as a favorite key lime pie (and 8). The sector comes to the table with the elegance and the geometric style. The traditional graham cracker crust is transformed into a fine Graham homemade cookie on the side and sour cream is just delicious.
The service is first class, but at the same time terribly in depth when it comes to explaining the menu.
The first meal was in a lot of activity in the convention center. I was impressed by the pace of the kitchen with a full house. But not so intoxicated at dinner who was sitting nearby. However, we scored a good night for the local economy. The second dinner was very enjoyable gourmet cooking.
Along with Oceanaire Seafood Room and The Capital Grille, Spencer is another reason why local people need to clean shrug International unit. Not just for holidaymakers.
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