In the competitive world of high-end steakhouses, it's rare (pardon the pun) to find a family-run chophouse like Christner's Prime Steak & Lobster thriving, especially here in Orlando. Started by Russ Christner in 1993, who saw an opportunity in Orlando due to a "lack of competition and potential for growth," the classic, wood-paneled steakhouse quickly gained acclaim for its high-quality steaks and Russ' larger-than-life personality. An affiliation with the Del Frisco's name came and went, but through it all, Christner's cuts of USDA Prime beef, wet-aged for 21 days in-house, were unsurpassed.
After Russ passed away in 2005, the operation fell into the hands of his wife, Carole, his son, David, and David's wife, Alice, who were charged with the task of introducing the excellence of beef to a whole new food-savvy generation.
"When we opened our doors in 1993, Orlando was anything but a food city," says Alice Christner. "There were probably 10 independent fine-dining options, but now we have some incredible restaurants entering our food scene – so much so that any visitor would deem Orlando a foodie destination." And Christner's makes up a beefy portion of that scene. Next year, the Lee Road restaurant celebrates its 25th anniversary – a testament to the fact that, while trendy joints and foods come and go, there will always be a need for a quality steakhouse. —FK
Christner's Prime Steak & Lobster
729 Lee Road 407-645-4443