Bar 17 Bistro at Aventura: Food & cocktails as spectacular as the view

Bar 17 Bistro will entice guests with its impressive view but the food will be the lasting memory that has guests longing to go back.

Universal Orlando Resort’s Bar 17 Bistro at its Aventura Hotel boasts a specular view of both the theme parks and the Orlando skyline. While the view might be the initial draw for both visitors and locals, the impeccable food and craft cocktail menu will keep people coming back time and again.

As Universal prepares to open its newest hotel, Aventura, there is tremendous excitement about its impressive rooftop bar and restaurant, Bar 17 Bistro. Prior to parts of the menu being unveiled, the location has been a huge selling point. In that tourist area, there wasn’t a rooftop bar offering a view of both the theme parks and the Orlando skyline. With nothing else in its view lines, this location will become the perfect place to watch the sunset and the fireworks rise.

 

Bar 17 Bistro, Almost Sangria, photo provided by Universal Orlando Resort

But, a view alone does not make a complete restaurant. In today’s competitive restaurant space, especially in the Orlando tourist district, the food and beverages need to excite guests. This new Universal Orlando Resort destination will definitely impress. Complementing the modern design, the menu reflects a modern take on seasonal ingredients and craft cocktails.

Recently, Universal previewed some of the restaurant’s craft cocktails and menu items. The vibrant cocktails definitely make me thirsty. More importantly, the attention to detail is superb. While the craft cocktail contains just five ingredients, the flavors are bold, creative and trending. With a nod to savory flavors, these cocktails encourage guests to push their boundaries on flavor combinations.

Many of the craft cocktails feature herbs. The nod to savory flavors is becoming more common in cocktails. At Bar 17 Bistro, the cocktails complement many of the small plates. Similar to pairing a wine with a dish, guests can balance a cocktail with a dish to see the flavor enhancements.

 

Bar 17 Bistro, frozen cocktails, photo provided by Universal Orlando Resort

 

Also, the cocktails mimic the seasonality of the food. Just like the small plates and salads feature fresh, seasonal ingredients, the cocktails feature those ingredients as well. It will be interesting to see how the menu evolves over time.

Specifically looking at a few of the cocktails, I think that I will need several visits so that I can try them all. The first cocktail that I caught my eye is the Almost Sangria, featuring Rosé, Vermouth, Peach, and Thyme. The use of thyme intrigues me. I have never thought to pair peach and thyme and I’m really excited to see how those flavors work together.

Also, the selection of frozen drinks seem quite interesting. Anyone who has been to Florida understands that frozen drink on a hot day is the ultimate refresher. These cocktails aren’t the typical frozen drinks either. The rum, match and lime cocktail or the bourbon, maple and grapefruit sound like a sipper that could have me telling the kids to leave me at the restaurant while they go ride Rip Ride Rockit again.

 

Bar 17 Bistro, Wagyu Beef Sliders, photo provided by Universal Orlando Resort

 

Of course, craft cocktails aren’t the only items served at Bar 17 Bistro. The menu preview shows elevated plates, both in ingredients and flavor combinations. For example, the wagyu beef sliders will surely be a top choice. Who can resist wagyu beef? With a locally-made brioche bun and creative toppings, these sliders definitely feature bold, adventurous flavors.

Overall, the menu looks to be an eclectic mix of flavors and cuisines. From Asian inspired Bao sandwiches to local, seasonal salads, there seems to be an option for all preferences. Wonder how the menu will develop with changing food trends, too?

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While Bar 17 Bistro isn’t quite open yet, people are getting excited about this new Universal Orlando resort property. I would expect that it will be crowded for a while, but the food and drink menu looks like it would definitely be worth the wait. Get those photos ready for the perfect Instagram shot.

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