New York-based restaurant group, In Good Company Hospitality, in partnership with the Meliá Orlando Celebration, recently opened a Central Florida outpost of NYC’s The Wilson Cocktails & Seafood at the hotel, and we were invited to sample the menu.
The restaurant is located just off the lobby, and seats 90 indoors, including at the bar, another 70 on the outdoor patio with pool views, and another more than 16 seats at an open-air bar called Wilson’s Garden.
The seaside-inspired bistro design comes courtesy of Dallago Associates Hospitality Designers, and if you look closely at the art on the walls, you’ll notice something in common…all the subjects are Wilsons, from the Wilson Brothers (Owen and Luke) to Jackie Wilson to the “Cast Away” volleyball.
We sat indoors, with a view of the kitchen and bar, and perused the menu.
First, don’t let the name fool you. While they do have quite a few seafood dishes, along with a variety of tasty cocktails, the restaurant’s menu offers so much more, from pizzas and burgers to steak and pasta.
We started with the Hummus, a smooth garlic-forward dip topped with seasoned crunchy chickpeas for both texture and flavor contrast. My guest and I felt it was an elevated version of the dish that we would definitely order again on our next visit.
We also tried the unusual Brussels Sprout Tacos, featuring three mini wonton wrapper-like hardshells filled with roasted and chopped Brussels Sprouts topped with a sweet Thai chili pepper jam and caramelized yogurt.
I had to have the dish modified, though, due to allergies. Normally the Brussels sprouts are roasted with a Worcestershire sauce, but since I’m allergic to anchovies, the chef instead used a maple vinaigrette to roast the vegetables, and it was delicious. If you’re looking to try something a bit different, definitely start your meal with this.
I was able to spot the ingredient due to a special allergen menu accessible from the main menu via a QR code that warned me of fish allergens in the dish.
I appreciate the restaurant takes allergens that seriously to make a special menu list, and that the chef was willing and able to alter the dish on the fly to exclude allergens so I could enjoy the dish.
For our entrees, my guest went with the NY Strip steak, with cafe de Paris butter, and roasted garlic. I was again alerted to the presence of Worcestershire in the butter, so I didn’t get to try the dish. However my guest said it was cooked perfectly to order and was very flavorful.
It was served with her choice of a side, which was roasted fingerling potatoes served simply with a dusting of salt.
I went with the traditional Rigatoni Bolognese, featuring house-made pasta, a hearty meat sauce, and dollops of whipped ricotta. Over all the flavor profile on the dish was wonderful. The pasta was a bit overdone but still good.
We finished the evening with a pair of desserts: The S’Mores Flatbread featured a regular pizza crust smothered in melted chocolate, hazelnut chocolate, and toasted marshmallow, and is perfect for those with a chocolate sweet tooth; and a limited-time dish of an apple crumble with a scoop of salted caramel gelato, which was a nice twist twist on the traditional apple pie, and was less sweet than the pizza.
With our dinner, we each tried a recommended cocktail. My guest tried the “Got the Zoomies,” featuring absolut vanilla vodka, jf hadens espresso liqueur, and espresso that was perfect for coffee lovers, and I had the “Welcome to the Jungle,” a smoky punch-like drink that featured both ilegal mezcal, and cazadores blanco tequila, along with aperol, pineapple juice, and lime juice, and was served with a partial chili pepper-lime powder rim.
The Wilson is a wonderful addition to the Central Florida dining scene, perfect for a tasty night out with friends or a low-key delicious dinner for two.
Reservations are recommended, and self-parking is free.
In addition to weekday menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the restaurant serves brunch on the weekends, and has some holiday menus upcoming for Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
There is also a weekday Happy Hour from 3pm to 6pm featuring drink and food specials, which can be a great way to check out the restaurant’s offerings.
And if you have a furry four legged friend, dogs are welcome in the outdoor areas, and The Wilson even has a special menu just for them with everything from pupsicles to grilled steak.
Currently, Wilson’s Garden has been hosting FIFA games outdoors, as well.
For more information, complete menus, or to make reservations, visit EatAtTheWilson.com/Orlando.
Disclaimer: CSO was invited to a media dine. As always, my opinions are my own, and honest.
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