Bigfire restaurant will bring lakeside vacation dining to Universal Orlando Resort


Opening in Summer 2019, Bigfire will give Universal Orlando Resort guests the feeling of gathering for fire-cooked dinners in a lakeside vacation home.

It’s a simple and relaxing concept: Family dinners with fire-cooked meats and rustic cocktails served in a peaceful lakeside vacation home. And Universal Orlando Resort’s CityWalk is bringing that peaceful, lake house feeling to resort guests with its newest restaurant, Bigfire, slated to open this summer.

Foodsided attended a recent preview of Bigfire, and between the rustic wooden flooring and the enormous canoe mounted from the high ceilings, the restaurant does channel a luxury lake home vibe while serving up some fantastic menu items and cocktails. Small nods to an actual lakeside home like camping lanterns, strings of fairy lights and stacks of board games add to the ambiance as well.

Bigfire’s menu is inspired by cooking over an open campfire. The center of the venue houses a huge wood fire grill where multiple types of wood are used for cooking. Appetizers include wood-charred Brussels sprouts and smoked brook trout dip, and in addition to mouthwatering burgers and salads, and there’s an entree menu featuring classic homestyle favorites like buttermilk fried chicken and barbecue shrimp.

But it was the entrees “off the embers,” grilled over Bigfire’s signature wood blend of oak, pecan and cherrywood that stood out most. Cuts of steak ranging from filet mignon to a cowboy ribeye were cooked to perfection: The samples we tried were the perfect blend of doneness, flavor and tenderness. Bigfire also cooks lamb, salmon, pork and trout over their wood fire grill, giving the menu a smoky, flavorful vibe.

The Cobb salad at Bigfire includes charred corn and slab bacon. Photo credit: Universal Orlando Resort

Because sides often make the meal, we were sure to try Bigfire’s pork belly mac and cheese, crispy smashed potatoes and fire grilled vegetables. All of the sides we sampled were a delightful combination of a traditional dish Grandma would make combined with a modern twist.

For dessert, as a throwback to childhood summer evenings by the lake, Bigfire lets guests make their own s’mores at their table with their own small fire and all the fixings.

The interior of Bigfire. Photo credit: Universal Orlando Resort

Bigfire also shines in its cocktail offerings, having partnered with Kentucky bourbon manufacturer Woodford Reserve to create its own blend, Bigfire Select Barrel. The “Classic” old fashioned is made with this delicious concoction, while the bar also serves drinks like the “Lakeside Punch, made with Florida’s own St. Augustine Vodka and a “White Old Fashioned,” made with white cherry vodka in lieu of bourbon.

Bigfire’s menu items are cooked over a wood fire grill with the restaurant’s own special blend of wood. Photo credit: Universal Orlando Resort

Overall, Bigfire’s menu packs a rustic-but-decadent punch. Whether you’re meeting friends at the bar for board games and cocktails or seeking respite from the Central Florida heat through a relaxing dinner with your family, let the lakeside vibes soothe your soul as you enjoy all Bigfire has to offer.

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Bigfire opens this summer at Universal Orlando Resort. Which menu item are you most excited to try?