One of my favorite things about living in Orlando is I’m always discovering tasty places to eat, and last week was no exception.
Thanks to my new friend Kayla Becker of Orlando My Way, I found myself with a small group of local foodies at Stefano’s Grill in Dr. Phillips.
Stefano’s Grill is helmed by its namesake, Chef Stefano Tedeschi and his lovely wife Mary, and is described by them as an Italian Chophouse. The atmosphere is welcoming, and the seating can accommodate larger groups such as ours, as well as couples and families. Lighting is low and the color scheme is dark browns and reds.
But we were there for the food, and it did not disappoint. Our meal began with House-Made Sausage and Fried Zucchini (I loved this dish – it was light and crispy). We then progressed to a small salad of mixed greens with citrus, followed by Roasted Brussel Sprouts, and a small dish of Penne a la Vodka topped with fresh grated parmesan (the tomato sauce had just a hint of spice to it and was delicious).
Hard to belive but we still had the main dishes to come.
Our next round featured entrees such as Crab Stuffed Halibut (I couldn’t eat it due to my seafood allergy, but I heard many yummy sounds coming from my fellow diners), Veal with a spicy tomato sauce, and Chicken Milanese.
Then came the steak. I did mention this was a chophouse, right? Stefano’s Grill serves hand cut meats ranging from Chateaubriand and Delmonico to Filet and Porter House. For our group, Chef Stefano chose their much-prized Tomahawk cut, thinly carved tableside. Perfectly seasoned and delicious as is, without the need for sauces.
We had a few minutes after that to let all the food settle, but we weren’t quite done. We still had dessert and Chef Stefano offered up three choices: a Chocolate Cake with ganash, traditional cannoli, and a heavenly Coconut Cake that was the favorite of many of us. I actually mixed a fork-full of each cake and it was like eating an Almond Joy.
Throughout the meal I had the chance to sample several of their signature libations, and they were each delicious. My favorite was the Lemon Basil Libation, a savory-sweet drink that paired well with the meats, especially the steak. It featured Belvedere Vodka, fresh lemon juice, organic simple syrup, and fresh basil.
To close out our meal, Chef Stefano sat with us and introduced us to his mixture of Limoncello and Grappa. I didn’t realize how strong the Grappa was (it tasted more like a grain alcohol than the wine it was supposed to be). One little snifter glass of the mixture definitely gave me a warm glow.
Things I noted as I ate were the staff was treated like family and was expected to have the same passion as the owners did for the food and the restaurant. I also noticed that as others came to dine, Chef Stefano or Mary made it a point to visit each table to make sure they were enjoying their meal. A very nice touch.
Also worth noting is if you have a party of six or more, Stefano’s Grill offers complimentary limo service within a limited area of Dr. Phillips. Ask when you make your reservation.
Overall, I felt this place is a great hidden gem, serving up great Italian food and steaks without an exorbitant price. This month it’s an even better deal as they are participating in Orlando Magical Dining Month, which runs until September 30. Their menu is one of the most popular of those participating, too!
Stefano’s Grill is located at 7512 Dr Phillips Blvd in Orlando (in the Marketplace at Dr Phillips). For directions or more information, visit stefanosgrill.com.
Disclaimer: I was an invited guest at the restaurant for purpose of review via Orlando My Way Dines. All opinions, as always, are my own, and you know I wouldn’t steer you wrong.
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