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First Look: New Sear + Sea Restaurant Opens at JW Marriott Bonnet Creek Resort

Did you know a new hotel opened this year in the Walt Disney World area?

Just a hop, skip, and jump away from Disney Springs, the 16-floor, 516-room sleek and ultra-modern luxury JW Marriott Hotel opened in July of 2020 at the Bonnet Creek Resort.

Orlando is now home to two JW Marriott’s in our area, including the JW Marriott at Grande Lakes Orlando. Bonnet Creek is also home to nearby Wyndham Grand, Waldorf Astoria and Hilton Orlando, with the JW Marriott situated further back along Chelonia Parkway, tucked away almost like an oasis.

You can tell the architects and designers of the new JW Marriott at Bonnet Creek put time and thoughtfulness in the choices they made for the hotel – from the textures to colors, the hotel feels like walking into a posh Chanel magazine advertisement – just gorgeous.

The hotel is home to what may be one of my favorite new restaurants of 2020, Sear+Sea Woodfire Grill, the hotel’s signature culinary steakhouse featuring wood-fired creations from rich cuts of steak to the best of local seafood.

With Chef de Cuisine Alex Pyser’s creativity and deft skills in the kitchen along with the superb wood-smoke kissed dishes coming from their centerpiece wood-fired oven, I am sure Sear+Sea will become a favorite for locals and visitors alike very soon.

Chef Alex’s experiences at restaurants started with waiting tables, and then went on to attend Johnson and Wales before gaining experience in some of the nation’s best kitchens.

He most recently served as Chef De Cuisine at Siro Urban Italian Kitchen at Marriott World Center and as a signature chef at the Gaylord Texan hotel.

The flavors and dishes I had at Sear+Sea – from the roasted branzino filet to the crispy, sweet honey miso-glazed brussel sprouts and more – were uniquely prepared, tasteful and quite frankly innovative.

For starters, the crispy grilled octopus is a standout, prepared in a Japanese-inspired method with salt, and served perfectly tender with a side of potatoes, and Latin-influenced chimichurri and aji amarillo sauces. I loved the spicy tartness of the sauces that complemented the sweet octopus.

Don’t forget to order one of the signature cocktails, like the ultra-smooth Dressed in Smoke – a delicious show stopper that comes “smoked” in a glass box, featuring Old Forester 1920, Galliano L’Aperitivo, Mata Tinto vermouth, and orange oil.

You may have had steak tartare before but not like this. This luxurious, hand-cut Steak Tartare is served with a beef chicharron chip, made from super thinly sliced pieces of fried beef tripe, and mixed with  grainy mustard, smoked tomato,  creamy egg and topped with shimeji mushrooms and microgreens – just decadent and delish.

Artisanal Bread – served with rosemary & house made confit of garlic, black garlic butter

The signature wood-fired steaks available at Sear+Sea are an impressive list including Prime Angus Beef, carved for two, A5 NY strip Wagyu from Kagoshima, Japan, 8 oz Filet Mignon, 16. oz Delmonico Ribeye, 38 oz Tomahawk Steak, 14 oz Dry-Aged NY Strip, and more.

However, I chose the wood-fired Branzino filet, a delicate white fish that went exceptionally well with the accompanying crispy quinoa, preserved lemon, cilantro, capers, and cauliflower. My tip is to try to get all the elements together in one bite to get all the complexities of the sweet and salty flavors of each ingredient together.

Sides were also quite delectable.

Roasted Beets and Potatoes – a taste of fall and harvest with root vegetable theme.

Brussels Sprouts – crispy charred from the roast and drizzled in a sweet honey-miso glaze, I really loved this preparation of the Brussel sprouts, with some Japanese influences topped with furikake seasoning and dancing bonito flakes.

Mac & Cheese – I just loved this “elevated” creamy mac and cheese crafted with rigatoni pasta in lieu of traditional macaroni, with pimento cheese, and topped with crispy chunks of bacon, and a nice spice from jalapeño.

Dessert was a lovely, little Woodfire Cookie served with Vanilla bean ice cream, dolce de leche. It was a nice sweet end to the meal, and I can only imagine what desserts will be like once they are able to get a pastry chef full time back on board.

Excellent and thoughtful service from our server Eric along with the fantastic food put the experience among the best I have had in Orlando this year. There’s so much on the menu that I didn’t try that I want to go back and try as soon as possible.

Luckily for folks in Orlando, the restaurant is participating in Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining,  extended through October 31. The three-course menu for $35 is definitely a good way to introduce yourself to the new restaurant with a great value.

In addition to Sear+Sea Woodfire Grill, there are a few other existing and upcoming dining options at the JW Marriott at Bonnet Creek, including:

  • Unreserved Food Bazaar – On the bottom floor near the beautiful resort pool is Unreserved Food Bazaar, a casual, European-style marketplace offers abundant options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner including freshly baked pizzas and pretzels. In the future, this place will be a food hall similar to what you would find in major cities like New York with various food stations for guests to choose from. The Unreserved Beer Garden is a European beer garden features rose wines by the tap, local draft beers and freshly baked pizzas and pretzels. By the swimming pool, cabanas are available for rent if you are looking for a special staycation getaway with family / friends.

  • Coming Soon –  illume – Japanese – Perched on the ninth floor, this Japanese-inspired rooftop haven serves contemporary Asian cuisine and creative cocktails in a social setting, perfect for nighttime viewings of the nearby fireworks displays.

Current Safety precautions at Sear+ Sea include:

  • Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Social Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking


Sear + Sea at JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek
14900 Chelonia Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32821

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