Upon pulling open the beautiful, tall, and sleek looking front door at Luke’s, you step into the simple decor of this upscale restaurant in the affluent Maitland community. The bar to the right offers both indoor seating and outside patio seating with an open door during the seasonal weather days. Inside, the main dining hall has an exceptionally open view of the kitchen and service line, as well as the oyster and shellfish bar. We can see Chef Derek Perez working diligently in the kitchen with Chef and Owner Brandon McGlamery, likely discussing next weeks’ menu ideas.
Shelix and I choose a booth by the bar for the radiant light coming through the windows and begin to look over our menus. The cleanly structured menu has each section divided neatly, and we begin to look at starters. Our server welcomes us and walks us through the shareable “Smokebox” options with okra, shisito peppers, jerked chicken wings, and baked clams listed. Jerked Chicken Wings caught our eyes right away and we place an order for them. The spice of the wings was tasty, unique and the heat came through at the back of your mouth. They were fall-off-the-bone tender with tiny scallions mixed into the sauce.
We place our orders for the French Dip and Crispy Smoked Chicken Sandwich, the reputations of which precede them. We enjoy our drinks while watching the smiling faces of the “who’s who” in Maitland trickle in for the lunch rush while waiting for our meals. When our dishes arrive, these stacked sandwiches look so appetizing, we can hardly wait to dig in! Thankfully, Shelix snaps some quick and vivid photos so you can check them out for yourselves. The French Dip Sandwich is served on an Olde Hearth Bread Co. French Deli artisan bread with garlic-herb prime rib and horseradish, with the option of herb fries or market greens, in this case we went with the market greens. This French Dip Sandwich is the first I’ve come across that is somehow oh so light, despite the fact you dip it in au jus and a creamy horseradish sauce.
Shelix takes a bite of her Crispy Smoked Chicken Sandwich, so crispy you can hear the crackle. This sandwich has a little bite back from the hot sauce honey and a layer of thinly sliced dill pickle.
After an excellent cooked meal, we headed to the kitchen to compliment Chef Derek Perez. Derek, if you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting him, is one of the most friendliest chef in the Orlando food scene. He is genuinely passionate about the food he makes and greets all with a warmth normally only found around the stove in a restaurant’s kitchen.
With sister restaurants at Prato and Luma, Luke’s has certainly grown into its own. We encourage you to check out this location soon and support this local business that sources it’s ingredients locally here in Central Florida