A gleaming new glass tower has risen at Universal Orlando Resort – Universal’s Aventura Hotel. It’s a thoughtfully designed hotel, featuring modern decor and the latest technology.
I’m here for the food! Aventura Hotel’s globally-inspired food and drink options offer something that will please everyone’s palette and it for sure did not disappoint mine.
With that in mind, my mission was to find the most delectable bites and tastes at this stylish new hotel.
Here is our Food Lover’s Guide to the new Aventura Hotel:
Bar 17 Bistro
The first thing to do on your culinary adventure is to make your way up to Bar 17 Bistro on the 17th floor. This stunning rooftop bar and grill has a gorgeous 360-degree view of Orlando and the entire Universal Orlando Resort.
One glance at Bar 17 Bistro’s menu and it’s easy to see the bao buns are one of their specialties. These fluffy steamed Chinese buns come stuffed with a variety of different fillings and honestly are some of the best bao buns I’ve eaten in all of Orlando.
Whether it’s the tender duck confit with turmeric citrus aioli, the braised pork belly with ginger sesame and pickled cucumbers, or the Mongolian beef with Asian pear, these bao buns are a delectable delight to feast upon as either an appetizer or a main dish. Pair them with a freshly-made frozen drink like the “Botanical,” a crushed icy concoction of dry gin, orange juice, lemon, lime, and strawberry.
Other impressive, must-try dishes on the menu at Bar 17 Bistro include:
Grilled Spanish Octopus – charred with grilled broccolini, confit potatoes, smoked chili, almond romesco, and herb oil. The colors and flavors really pop!
Summer Beet and Glazed Fig Salad – this seasonal salad is refreshing and delicious with local burrata cheese, hazelnut crisp, pickled red onions and balsamic vinaigrette drizzled on top. It’s a work of art.
After watching the sunset over Orlando from the rooftop bar at Bar 17 Bistro, make your way down to Urban Pantry on the first floor.
Inspired by the food halls in Asia and Europe, Urban Pantry offers something for everyone in the group with a range of cuisines and dishes from tuna poke to BBQ ribs. If you’re a traditionalist, you’ll enjoy the classic burgers and fresh oven-baked pizzas served here, too.
There are four different stations to choose from at Urban Pantry: Roast, Burger, Pizza and Wok & Sushi.
At the Wok & Sushi station, chefs serve up fresh sushi and a custom wok or ramen-style bowls. At the counter, you can select your own ingredients from baby bok choy to baby corn to skirt steak, chicken, shrimp or tofu, and have your choice of noodle stir-fried up at the wok or topped with a ramen broth.
I chose a noodle stir-fry with lots of fresh vegetables, steak and an over easy egg, cooked in a teriyaki sauce. It tasted fantastic.
Along with the stir-fry noodles, I loved the Volcano sushi roll, a hearty soy marinated salmon and fried tempura shrimp roll topped with wasabi mayo and a ponzu drizzle. It all paired perfectly with the draft Sapporo on tap at this station. In fact, all four stations offer wine and beer on tap that complement the flavors of the featured cuisine.
At the Pizza station, a large wood-fire burning oven is fired up and ready to cook fresh pizzas, giving the crust a very nice char. My favorite is the prosciutto pizza, made with shaved American prosciutto, ricotta and mozzarella cheese, a drizzle of garlic olive oil, a dash of arugula and a pinch of sea salt.
Prosciutto Pizza – American Prosciutto, Ricotta, Mozzarella, Garlic Olive Oil, Arugula, Sea Salt
Vegetarian Pizza – Tomato Sauce, Mushrooms, Artichoke, Roasted Peppers, Olives, Mozzarella, Parmesan
At the Burger station, you’ll find traditional options like The Urban with bacon and roasted mushrooms as well as a variety of other choices like The Impossible Veggie Burger, Chicken Sandwich and the West Coast Turkey Burger. If breakfast is your favorite meal of the day, try the All Day Breakfast Burger, a savory burger topped with fried egg, caramelized onions and cheddar cheese.
Finally, for those who love American classics, there’s the Roast station. My favorites here include the seared salmon, grilled steak and rotisserie chicken with citrus brine, garlic, herbs and salt.
Remember to save room for dessert – at Urban Pantry, there are over a dozen gelato flavors to try made from the freshest ingredients from strawberry to Nutella pistachio to my personal favorite – honey peach. There’s even a special dessert sandwich called the gelato panini, stuffed with gelato and pressed panini-style. It’s totally worth the calories and a wonderful way to end this delicious journey.
For those seeking a world of flavors and culinary adventures, all these experiences and more await guests at Universal’s Aventura Hotel – what are you waiting for?!
Which dish or dishes are you most excited to try? Let us know in the comments below.