I have said it before and will do so again, I am a big advocate of local talent, especially young pioneers making their mark in these difficult economic times. The young Chef/Owners (Brian & Jonathan) of Teak Neighborhood Grill opened their second venture, RusTeak Restaurant and Wine Bar with the aim of satisfying their culinary aspirations and making gourmand cuisine locally accessible to the residents of Ocoee.
It’s a pleasure to write a review especially when the food offered is at par with the best in town. RusTeak may not be located in Winter Park or Dr. Philips Restaurant Row, regardless RusTeak with its delectable dishes can easily rub shoulders with the likes of Luma, Prato, K restaurant, etc.
Backdrop: Located off Florida Turnpike, RusTeak occupies a small space with minimalist ambiance. Rest assured where space is lacking, especially in comparison to Teak, the flavors and servings are bold and big. Coincidentally, I visited RusTeak on the third anniversary of Teak, where they were celebrating in the evening with a 90’s theme party, how fun!
With the continuously ever-changing chef inspired menu, you will always find something new on the menu. RusTeak takes one on a culinary journey to Italy, Spain, France, Mediterranean belt, and back to America with their orgasmic burgers.
Food: We started our lunch with the Turkey, Pear, and Boursin Flatbread. Thin crust, crunchy from tip to edge, sliced pears, turkey, mozzarella, topped with boursin and fresh herbs makes for a slightly sweet and savory bite that is a classic winner. You can call it a thin pizza or flat bread, either ways – I just want another slice.
While waiting for our food to arrive, I ordered their house made signature cocktails. Serrano-mandarin and a Cucumber-Jalapeno, both hand crafted inspired by local and seasonal produce. The serrano-mandarin was sweet and tart, though I would have preferred mine a bit spicier. The cucumber-jalapeno did the trick, spicy, savory, and refreshing. The wine list was unique to say the very least, impressive.
The house specials scribbled on a chalk board caught my eye boasting a tile fish sandwich. Minimally dressed, cooked to perfection, the sandwich was a work of art. Served with a side of a tropical crunchy slaw. Everything about the sandwich tasted remarkably fresh, and the bright, clean flavors may have you thinking you’re eating it on the sandy beach near coral reefs.
One can not visit Teak and not order their infamous burgers. Even though the special of the day was a foie gras topped burger, sigh! we opted for their signature RusTeak Burger, a combination of their most popular burger flavors from Teak. Chef Brian builds the sandwich on a locally sourced brioche bun, topped with medium rare cooked half pound angus beef patty, bacon and crispy potato strings enhances the crunch, provolone and fried egg take the sandwich to a purely food porn experience. Did I mention the BEST burgers in town?
Last but not the least we ordered the Blackened Shrimp. Being allergic to shell-fish I didn’t get a chance to taste this dish. But my dining partners in crime loved it.
Bottom Line: True the ambiance is work in progress and it’s off the beaten path for people like me who live north of Orlando. But be assured the highlight and star of RusTeak is the FOOD that is worth taking a trek for. Super friendly service, inventive dishes artfully presented, expansive wine & liquor bar, fresh and local, high quality ingredient,s serving classic cuisine showcasing the Chefs playful personalities (CIA graduates), what’s there not to love ? It is simply good food done right.