Orlando's dramatic Spanish steakhouse
Set atop Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort’s 17th floor, Capa has quickly garnered buzz for its marvelous union of Basque and steakhouse cuisine set against a dramatic, nearly stupefying, aesthetic.
“We wanted people stepping off the elevator to get the sense that they had arrived,” says food and beverage director Stephen Wancha, one of a handful of Capa masterminds, which includes Florida native chef Tim Dacey, whose culinary pedigree lists stints at the now-shuttered Setai Fifth Avenue, The NoMad and Mercat a la Planxa in Chicago.
To Wancha’s point, Capa immediately takes you aback with its pitch-black walls colored only by the vibrant art installation that resembles the crimson cape of a matador. This stunning red piece by Dutch artist Peter Genetenaar spans the entire ceiling and serves as a bold focal point in this dinner-only restaurant.
Capa covers a huge rooftop, 7,500 square feet to be exact, including the lounge and dining room, plus an additional 1,200 square feet of terrace space where you can take in the nightly fireworks blasting from nearby Epcot and Magic Kingdom.
Knowing guests stay at the property for three to four nights on average, it’s Wancha’s aim to lure them to Capa each night for dinner, and so a variety of dining experiences are rolled into one.
For starters, Capa is a tapas restaurant designed around a love of communal noshing. You are encouraged to choose several items from the Para Picar and Raciones selections, which include small plates of prawns, octopus and the not-to-be-overlooked pan con tomate, a simple bruschetta-style mixture set atop fresh bread. Also expect cured meats, fresh salads and aromatic cheeses hailing from several Spanish regions.
But Capa is, at its core, a steakhouse and a worthy adversary to traditional haunts offering big, juicy steaks accompanied by even bigger glasses of cabernet. With sous chef Chris Neff, who hailed from Tampa’s Council Oak Steakhouse, overseeing the grill, steaks are wood fired over oak and doused in a straightforward olive oil, salt and pepper marinade. But more important, the steaks, some aged 30 to 40 days, are allowed to stand on their own with their natural flavors taking center stage.
On any given night, most diners choose somewhere in the middle — tapas to start and then steak to finish. The feast gradually ebbs and flows as each series of tapas arrives, with pauses to give guests the opportunity to step outside on the patio for the nightly fireworks shows.
Dessert will arrive with such an artful panache that most can’t resist reaching for their camera. All light and filled with a kaleidoscope of flavors, the offerings provide the perfect ending to a lavish feast, whether you go for the churros with chocolate; the crema Catalan with blood orange, marzipan crumble, saffron and cinnamon; or the guindilla with spicy chocolate ice cream, chocolate cream and Reus hazelnuts.
An extensive, wine list (50-plus selections from Spain) and 12 signature cocktails punctuate the culinary offerings. Aligned well with Capa’s communal vibe, two cocktails (Agua de Valencia and Robujito) are served in sharable porrons, vessels similar to a wine decanter with a long spout. The sangria, made in house with with a ginger-infused simple syrup, is also a nice sharable drink.