Reunion Resort in Kissimmee is Orlando’s Newest Foodie Destination
Just southwest of Disney World, situated on 2,226 acres, lies Reunion Resort. A branch of the Salamander Group of hotels, this classy getaway is an absolute Mecca for golfers, families looking to enjoy more than just the parks, and – who’d have known – foodies.
When entering the sprawling grounds, surrounded on all sides by acres of lush green, vacation rentals and hotel space, it feels more as though you’re entering a large village than a vacation resort.
A tropical, “Salamander Experience” reflection as you enter the main lobby.
Inside the lobby lies a bar. It may look like a typical lobby bar, but step closer and you’ll notice Chef Michael Ha back there preparing fresh, colorful sushi. If someone had told me that some of the best sushi I’d ever had would be at a lobby bar in Kissimmee, FL, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. Yet here we are. A visit to Reunion Resort just for few sushi rolls – and bartender Alex’s Sangria – is totally justifiable.
The Grande Reunion Roll and Spicy Tuna.
After somehow managing to not totally fill up on the Grande Reunion Roll, we were escorted into Forte: Reunion Resort’s Italian themed restaurant, which unveiled its newly crafted menu. Chef Russell Stehle outdid himself with three incredible selections.
We started with compressed watermelon, served with feta and mint. It was too beautiful to eat – but I managed. A perfect amount of mild-sweet with a dash of savory, it was excellent.
“Focus on Forte” table setting.
Our salad was a panzanella: fresh croutons and heirloom tomatoes in a vinaigrette. Light and colorful, I wouldn’t have said no to a larger dish. It was just the right amount of flavor.
Finally, we were finished off by a dinner of a braised short rib with mushroom risotto, grilled jumbo shrimp and fried leaks. Everything was cooked to perfection. The meat tender, the risotto al dente, the large shrimp flavorful. No one even stopped to talk until our plates were clean. Each wine pairing of the evening was carefully selected and made for a great match.
Braised short rib & shrimp entree.
After dinner and a few minutes of raving over the food, we were escorted up to another total secret: a gorgeous rooftop bar and restaurant, Eleven (it’s on the 11th floor). With unobstructed views on the area, we stood around the glowing pool and picked out all of the I-Drive and theme park attractions. After a dessert variety bar that dreams are made of (courtesy of Chef Brad Holmes), we watched the Epcot fireworks from the patio.
Delectable desserts at Eleven.
It is evenings like these that remind me why I live and love in Orlando. While I had heard of Reunion, without being introduced to it as I was I probably never would have discovers such a hidden gem. Between the sushi, the meal, and the rooftop lounge, I’ve discovered an amazing new getaway; I can’t wait to enjoy the “Salamander Experience” again!