Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster

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I’ve lived in Orlando for many years, and I had never visited this restaurant. Crazy right? Something so close yet so far.

Christner’s Prime Steak And Lobster, previously known as Del Frisco’s, has been a staple in the Orlando area for many years. The name change was just that, a contractual decision. The family-run business is still in place.  I like reading the history of restaurants, classic and new. The history of Christner’s, with owners David Christner, his mom, Carole, father Russ, I recommend reading. This is an amazing family, where mom and son continuously bring class and ambiance to the dining experience.

It’s April 18th and we are celebrating Steve’s birthday. I decided to take him to Christner’s for dinner. Christner’s offers professional service in an intimate setting. Let me tell you about our personal experience.

We arrived a little before our reservation that evening. As you can see, we wanted to take a few pictures for my blog. Entering the restaurant, we checked in at the host stand. The lobby was amazing.

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Even though we were early, for our 6:00 pm reservation, the hostess immediately escorted us to our table. As we walked through the dining area to our table, my eyes didn’t want to miss a single detail.

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We were seated at our table and the host explained that our server was not in yet, but that wasn’t going to interfere with our evening. They introduced us to Scott, who’d be filling in for David.

David was recommended to us through close family friends. When I made the reservations, I asked if it was possible to have a particular server, and they checked to see if he was scheduled that evening, and he was scheduled, so that was perfect.

Scott was so professional, hospitable and welcomed us graciously. He started out by getting us our cocktails and explaining in detail about the menu. I had a few questions about certain items they offered and his detailed knowledge of the menu was on point.

Scott introduced us to David as he passed the baton over without a hitch. We talked and got to know David. Friendly and knowledgable, David took us on a ride we’ll never forget.

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We started out with a crab cake as our appetizer. Can I tell you something, this crab cake was so luscious and sweet. It definitely was the best crab cake I’ve ever had.  Next, was our entrée and sides. A 22 ounce USDA Prime Strip for two, Chateau potatoes ( their signature potato dish), and sauteed mushrooms.

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The meal was served tableside.  Steve had never experienced tableside service. I loved watching the expressions on his face. I really think our choices on the side dishes paired well with the steak.

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Another surprise for us was when Dan, the sommelier, came by our table. Dan was told I was a food blogger. We talked about my passion for food and my love for cooking.  He asked me if I’d like to see where the wine was kept, I said, “yes I would, that would be amazing!”. Wines that needed to be stored at a certain temperature were kept in these large coolers.

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Two final and really awesome experiences. The first was dessert!  Orange Cake (their signature dessert) with a scoop of orange ice cream.  Small bits of mandarin oranges throughout a velvety luscious vanilla ice cream. The cake was so delicious it just melted in your mouth. SO YUMMY!

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A beautiful sight that brings out the inner child in all of us. Thank you so much to the staff giving Steve a birthday he’ll always remember. The last final surprise of the night was so unexpected. The owner (saloon keeper), David Christner came to our table. We talked about the restaurant and my food blog. Much to my surprise, he found the time, on this busy evening, to take me on a complete tour, with a little backstory about the addition to the restaurant. Here’s a peek of my tour.

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Well, that’s the end of a perfect birthday celebration. If you’re in the Orlando area, visit Christner’s Prime Steak And Seafood Restaurant. The 2018 Orlando Sentinel Foodie Award for best filet and cold water lobster tail.

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For more information visit http://www.christnersprimesteakandseafood.com

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Roasted Garlic Soup Topped With Mushroom And Gruyère Cheese Crostinis

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If you and your family love garlic, this dish is one that you’ll be asked to make this dish again and again. This is my Roasted Garlic Soup Topped With Mushroom And Gruyère Cheese Crostinis.

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Prep Time For Soup: 20 minutes
Cook Time For Soup: 1 hour
Total Time For Soup: 1 hour 20 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 1 (6-quart) Dutch oven, 3 rimmed baking sheet pans, cheese grater, chef’s knife, foil, and parchment paper

Note: While the garlic is roasting, sautè the mushrooms and grate the Gruyere cheese. When the garlic is finished roasting, adjust the oven temperature for the Frenc baguette.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup olive oil
8 heads of garlic, (reserve 2 heads for garlic oil)
1/4 cup garlic infused oil
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups of chicken stock, unsalted (substitute vegetable broth/stock)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
fresh rosemary sprigs for garnish

Ingredients For Sautèed Mushrooms:
1-pint of cremini mushrooms, sliced, quartered if small (substitute white button mushrooms)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped (substitute 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme)
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients For Toasted Crostini:
1 loaf of French baguette, sliced on the bias (yields 16 slices)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Gruyère cheese, freshly grated
prepared sautèed mushrooms
*E.V.O.O.

Directions For Garlic Oil:
In a small saucepot, on med-low heat add 1/2 a cup of olive oil and 2 heads of garlic, cut in half lengthwise (cut lengthwise through the middle), face down into the oil. Bring the temperature up nice and slow, so that the garlic infuses with the oil. Simmer for 20 minutes. You DO NOT want the oil to boil. After 20 minutes turn the heat off and allow the garlic to continue to steep in the oil. Using a pair of tongs, remove the garlic heads. Reserve 1/4 cup of the garlic oil.

Directions For Roasted Garlic:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.

Peel most of the outer paper off the garlic bulb. Trim about 1/4-inch off the top off the garlic bulb. Do this for each of the six heads of garlic to expose the tops of the garlic cloves. Drizzle 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil over the exposed surface allowing the oil to seep down into the cloves. Season with Kosher salt, and pepper. Wrap the 6 exposed garlic bulbs in foil, place on a rimmed baking sheet pan, and bake for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, begin checking the garlic. The garlic is done when a center clove is completely soft when pierced with a paring knife. Roasting time may vary depending on the size of your garlic. Remove from the oven and let cool. Squeeze out the roasted garlic into a bowl.

Note: Even once soft,  you have the option to continue roasting until deeply golden for a more caramelized flavor. Check the garlic every 10 minutes. Allow the garlic to cool then remove their skins. Roasted garlic can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Directions For Toasted Crostini:
Adjust oven temperature to 375-degrees F.
Slice the baguette at a 45-degree angle into 1/2 -inch thick slices. Arrange the bread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the top surface of each slice of baguette bread lightly with the remaining garlic oil. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Place into the oven on the center rack. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the bread is golden.

Directions For Sautèed Mushrooms:
Preheat a large sautè pan on medium, add unsalted butter and olive oil. Once melted, add sliced mushrooms fresh thyme, and minced garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until mushrooms become lightly browned. Reduce the heat to low, sprinkle with Kosher salt and black pepper, stir through. Simmer for an additional 8 minutes. Turn heat off and set aside.

Directions For Roasted Garlic Soup:
In a large Dutch oven, on medium heat add the roasted garlic cloves along with 1/4 cup of the garlic oil. Mash the cloves into the oil. Add the all-purpose flour to that mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon, cook for 5 to 6 minutes until a dark *roux is achieved. Change to a large whisk, add 1 cup of the chicken stock, whisk to incorporate. Repeat until all the chicken (or vegetable broth/stock) has been used. Add the chopped fresh rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to warm (if you don’t have that setting remove from the heat), and cover.

Spoon a tablespoon of the sautéed mushrooms on each crostini and add 1 tablespoon of freshly grated Gruyère to each slice. Place back into the oven just long enough to melt the cheese.

To Serve:
Ladle the hot soup into a serving bowl. Arrange 2 slices of the Mushroom and Gruyère Cheese Crostinis on top of the roasted garlic soup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary and a drizzle of your best *E.V.O.O. This dish is one that you will be making again and again. There you have it my Roasted Garlic Soup Topped With Mushroom And Gruyère Crostinis.

Note: This recipe yields extra toasted baguette slices for extra Gruyère And Mushroom Crostinis.

*E.V.O.O. is an acronym for extra virgin olive oil.

*Roux: A roux is a cooked mixture of flour and fat (usually, butter) as a thickening agent in sauces and/or soups.

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