Hillstone – 215 South Orlando Ave. Winter Park.
Almost without knowing it we have found ourselves gravitating towards the Hillstone Restaurant in Winter Park more and more over the past few weeks. So, when our best friends suggested lunch it became a no-brainer. Hillstone here we come!
There is an inspirational book by Jim Collins that extolls the virtues of managers and businesses that take that leap of getting from good to great, let me say from the get go Hillstone is not just a good restaurant it is a GREAT restaurant and then some.
What makes Hillstone worthy of such praise? Well apart from the unique location on the banks of Lake Killarney, giving this Hillstone location access to alfresco dining during the day while you gaze across the sun dappled lake waters or stunning sunsets later in the evening, they have amazing food consistently prepared to perfection. In addition, the restaurant runs like a “well-oiled machine” without losing any of the personal interaction of service excellence. In fact, our server on this occasion, Taylor, demonstrated the perfect level of guest service, personal, pleasant and knowledgeable. They say that any restaurant or organization is only as strong as its weakest link, after experiencing many servers at Hillstone including Taylor, we can honestly say they have some VERY strong links!
Now for the food:
Yeah! Grilled Artichokes are back for the season! Hillstone grill only true Red Label heirloom artichokes from Castroville, California. Superb flavor and surprisingly meaty with smoky taste. Enjoy while you can.
Spinach & Artichoke Dip with salsa, sour cream and warm tortilla chips. Classic appetizer done really well.
Hawaiian Rib-Eye Steak pineapple soy ginger marinade, with a loaded Idaho baked potato. All cuts of meat at Hillstone are expertly butchered and unnecessary fat trimmed to perfection, the almost Teriyaki flavor of this steak makes this a winner.
Pan Roasted Salmon filleted in-house daily, served with broccoli. The salmon had a prefect translucent cook and we swapped out the Broccoli for Tabbouleh a firm favorite, and healthy too.
Knife & Fork Barbecue Pork Ribs fall-of-the-bone tender, with French fries and Ding’s coleslaw. Not sure on the name (We always eat ribs with our fingers). But we are sure of the ribs, fall off the bone as described with a great BBQ tang. Creamed Corn as a side was a WOW!
So, you would think we were all fully satisfied after that meal wouldn’t you? Well it’s amazing what a brief rest and the tantalizing dessert description from Taylor can do, Hot Fudge Sundae with sugar roasted pecans and pour over cholate sauce, that’s what! Decadent and delightful.
Wine parings were just as good with a Seresin Estate 2015 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, from New Zealand and Vistalba 2014 Malbec, from Mendoza, Argentina.
You could get lucky at Hillstone and view the Sunset from a rocking chair on the dock or maybe a great glass of wine from a classic Adirondack chair.
The little things matter at Hillstone and that fact makes them able to deliver unique quality and higher standards to all aspects of the business.
We were lucky enough to share this amazing meal experience with truly great friends, so gather up your own friends and family and head on over to Hillstone Winter Park.