Sky’s the Limit at Eleven at Reunion Resort

Eleven at Reunion Resort offers a window into prime steaks, with personable Chef Jake Brenchley at the helm of a creative kitchen.

Eleven excels at tenderloin as well as dishes like citrus poached lobster and bass.

Courtesy of Eleven at Reunion Resort

There are restaurants just a walk away, places within a short drive that you just plain like, destination eateries that are worth a bit of a haul for special occasions, and those you’ve heard of that seem so far away you’ve pretty much written them off. I know people who won’t drive to Winter Garden because it’s too far. And the theme parks? Forget it.  

So I’m sure that many of you reading this will look at Reunion Resort’s Kissimmee address and make some kind of dismissive noise. Take the drive—you’ll be rewarded by Eleven, and an impressive dining experience. 

Under the guidance of Chef Jacob “Jake” Brenchley, the refined 11th-floor restaurant, replete with dark woods and a window wall leading to a stunningly presented view from the terrace, offers a compact menu of carefully considered items. Steaks are rare, charcuterie is hand-selected, and the seafood is so fresh it practically swims up the elevator. 

The literature describes Eleven as having an “exposed kitchen.” It’s visible through a large opening at the back of the restaurant, and the exposure makes one thing crystal clear: it’s pocket sized. I’m told the original concept was a tapas  restaurant, and tiny plates require a tiny kitchen. So even after several refurbishments, there’s not much more room than a well-equipped food truck, which makes the caliber of meals coming from it a testament to Chef Brenchley’s talent and organizational skills. 

Eleven Reunion Resort
7593 Gathering Drive, Kissimmee
Entrees: $28-$49

Chef Jake is a personable, no nonsense guy, and he can often be seen in the dining room, delivering plates or checking in with guests. A Midwest boy married to an actress, he has a reputation for refining and focusing menus, as he has done at Bohemian Hotel Celebration, Scholars Inn in Indiana and Boca Kitchen in Winter Park. He holds degrees from Ecole des Beaux Artes in Annecy, France, and the late, lamented Le Cordon Bleu in Orlando, and is willing to converse en français at a moment’s notice (he said his wedding vows in French). Brenchley was awarded “Best Young Chef of Indianapolis” by the alternative weekly Nuvo.

He’s been residing in the Eleven kitchen since March and still finds things to tweak and improve, evidenced by the recently revised menu.

Eleven is, before anything else, a steakhouse, and the offerings highlight hand-cut, dry-aged filets, rib eye and sirloin (the 20-ounce porterhouse, at $49, is a luscious meal—enough for days). Eleven sources grain-fed Black Angus steaks from the 1855 program in Colorado, heavily marbled and done to a steak lover’s delight, and there’s a “secret” 11-ingredient spice mix, including coriander, sumac and cardamom, that forms the flavorful crust on Brenchley’s beef. I enjoyed the various enhancements such as cherry hoisin sauce and a piquant salsa verde, but none is actually necessary with such tender steaks. Under the “House Creations” section, a dish of perfectly grilled sea bass ($39), complemented by a smoked cabbage and sunchoke, is every bit as flavorful as the steaks.

Brenchley combs the world for cheese, sausage and cured meats for his charcuterie board ($19), adding, when available, a noteworthy house-cured duck prosciutto. Another worthy starter is the filet mignon eggrolls ($15)—Angus beef bound in a  crunchy wrapper and set atop a watermelon jicama salad.   

Break out of your habit and get in the car. You’ll have a nice drive beyond the city and discover a chef who is, literally and figuratively, at the top of his game. 

Room at the Top
Reunion Resort is a compound of hotel, golf courses and water parks. And while seemingly daunting, it’s only 30 miles from downtown Orlando and eight miles from Animal Kingdom. The delight at the end of the road is the rooftop pool and terrace that frames Eleven and offers a unique view of the theme parks and still-verdant Florida.

Edit Module
Want to read the whole issue? Download and read this issue and others on Magzter.

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags

Guides & Resources

Guide to Private Schools 2019

Our searchable annual database will help you chart an educational course for your family.

Top Doctors 2018

The Annual List of the Top Doctors in Orlando.

Best Doctors 2018

The Annual List of the Best Doctors in Orlando.

Orlando's Top Chiropractors of 2018

Check out our 2018 list of some of the best chiropractors in the Orlando area.

2018 Premier Veterinarians

The 2018 Pet Guide: Pet Resource Guide

Here are some of the places you can go in Central Florida when you need supplies, products and services for your best friends.

Premier Realtors 2018

Let Orlando's best realtors help you find your dream home!
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

MoreRecent Blog Posts

#ArtfulEpcot: What's New at the 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts

This surprise sleeper hit of the Epcot festival lineup returns for 39 days of dazzling displays in visual, performing and culinary arts.

Health Hub: Make 2019 Your Healthiest Year Yet

The New Year is a time for change. If there’s a piece of your puzzle missing, what simple changes might help bring the picture into focus?

Second-Hand Santa

Harry Pecunia Jr. wants to top the 2,300 toys collected last year for kids less fortunate. Can you help?

Ultimate Cure Bowl Experience Sweepstakes

Enter today to win the ultimate bowl experience for you and three of your friends!

Kid Kontributor of the Month - Jake's Journey, Part 3

Read about Jake's Journey from the launch of Kid Kontributor of the Month "to infinity and beyond!"
Edit Module