Review Don Shula’s Steak House

Review Don Shula’s Steak House

Prepared by Michelle Johnston

Enjoying dinner at Don Shula’s Steak House is a splurge worth having.  Glance around the warm wood paneled room with its subdued lighting.  A group of business men networking over steaks sit at a table in the back corner.  A trio of ladies catch up over cocktails while deliberating over the menu.  A well-dressed family shares a number of side dishes.  One lucky little 4 year old blows out the candles on a slice of cake.  It’s a typical night at this special restaurant located in the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort Hotel

I drank in everything, along with the delicious smell of grilled meats from the kitchen, as I sat down at my seat.  Shula’s is a classic steak house in every sense of the word.  The atmosphere is refined yet relaxing.  The service is impeccable.  The food of the highest quality.  The scene instantly reminded me of a refined New York City steak house.

I was greeted by the three servers who would partner me through my meal and quickly received my choice of water along with fresh bread.  A signature of Shula’s is the official NFL football placed at your table with its hand-painted menu of the original six cuts of meat served at the first Shula’s Steak House.  The restaurant serves The Schula Cut—center cuts of Black Angus beef that are specifically bred, cut, and aged for Shula’s according to the chain’s exacting standards.  As I was told by my head server while he displayed the different steaks on what I call the steak trolley, not every cut of beef gets to be a Don Shula cut of beef.  The pickiness serves the restaurant well.  Shula’s Steak House has received the Critic’s Choice for Orlando’s Best High-End Steak House and is a multi-award recipient of The Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence.

For me, this meant the 12 ounce Filet Mignon with Béarnaise Sauce was going to be heavenly.  I chose The Wedge Salad to begin with first.  This quarter head of iceberg lettuce is topped with red onion, diced tomato, smoky bits of bacon, and bleu cheese crumbles all drizzled with a house made blue cheese dressing.  Though I wanted to make sure not to fill up before my entrée arrived, I polished off this salad mostly because I loved the dressing.

My steak was placed before me next and apparently the protocol is for one of your severs to ask you to cut into it to check that it is cooked according to your taste.  I asked for my medium steak to be cooked for one minute longer, which was done with a smile by my server and with perfection by the chef.  When I first ordered my steak, I felt for sure I would be taking half of it home.  I was wrong.  I ate every bite.  It went so well with the glass of Layer Cake Shiraz I was drinking, with its smooth notes of black cherry and chocolate and its spicy finish of pepper and smoke.

As an accompaniment to my main dish, I ordered the Double Baked Potato because it was a classic combination.  The potato was huge—almost the length of my two hands together—and came topped with sharp cheddar cheese, scallions, and bacon bits.  It was yummy, but I admit to taking most of it home so that I could concentrate on my steak.

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When you place your order, the server will ask if you would like to order one of the hot desserts that takes about 30 minutes to bake, such as the chocolate soufflé.  Say yes.  The soufflé was my birthday treat to myself, and my waiters even brought it with a candle for me to blow out.  The warm, soft, airy soufflé with its crunchy top is served with a scoop of Haagen Dazs vanilla ice cream, fresh whipped cream, and vanilla anglaise.  Of the three, the vanilla anglaise was my favorite because it was a cool, creamy partner to the rich cocoa soufflé.

All good things come to an end, and so did my dinner at Shula’s.  I look forward to my next special occasion as an excuse to dine there again.

F.A.S.T. Review

Food – Huge portions at huge prices.  A single diner can easily have a $100 tab.  But, you will eat every morsel of this expertly prepared, top-quality meal.

Atmosphere – Subdued lighting, chocolate colored wood paneling, and black uniformed wait staff create the feel of a classic New York steak house.  Relax in the refinement.

Service – Impeccable.  A trio of servers will attend you throughout your meal with quick efficiency, expert attention, and warm friendliness.

Tips – A meal at Don Shula’s is best shared.  Bring a partner and celebrate a special event.  The portions of sides easily feed two or more people, so order a few and taste around.

The DisDining Mama Says – This is a place to treat yourself to a delicious, pricy steak dinner.  As such, I do not recommend bringing a family of young children, although they are certainly welcomed by the staff.  Teenagers and up is my suggestion.  Try Shula’s as a reward or to expose your teens to first class.

About MichelleJ

Michelle Johnston began her love affair with Disney at 2 years old on her first visit. She grew up to help the Walt Disney Company develop the Disney Institute Resort, a learning & discovery vacation resort no longer in operation. She served on the pre-launch team as a Research & Development Coordinator with a focus on program development There she created over 100 experiential youth and adult programs in the Culinary Arts, Environment, and Design Arts tracks. Michelle then progressed to the world of ideation, helping Fortune 500 companies create new consumer products and marketing communications. She is owns Word of Mouth: Writing, Editing , Resumes & Business Marketing providing freelance services and is also the co-author of Welcome to Grandparenting and the 109 Ways eBook series. To this day, Michelle maintains her passion for all things Disney, especially Walt Disney World and its wide array of eating experiences.