Tag Archives: Seasonal Menu

Seasons 52

15 Oct

Well, it’s been a while. I’m so sorry for my delay. But I don’t want you to think that I’ve been out of touch with food, because I have been very well in touch with feeding my appetite. Let’s get back into the swing of things, shall we?

I was warmly welcomed here in Atlanta when invited to join fellow bloggers and writers at the Seasons 52 Autumn menu release. I’ve done these tastings before in Indianapolis, specifically referring to the last Autumn tasting, and have always had a great experience. The wine, the food, the service. All have been fantastic, so I expected a similar experience here.

First Course: Cider-Glazed Grilled Chicken Skewers, served with Farrier Andiron Semillon

My favorite dish of the night, the rustic smell of the grilled chicken was intoxicating. Pockets of vinegar burst with each bite of the salad, as crisp celery and apples dabbled through the salad giving it a crunchy texture. There was a sharp bite, not only from the vinegar, but also from mustard seeds. Pumpkin seeds gave it a bit more crunch, but I wished there were a few more as I was hunting for those and the dried cranberries. The chicken was extremely tender and full of flavor from the grill, it was a perfect fall dish.

Second Course: Maple Leaf Farms Sesame Duck Salad, paired with Avanthia Godello

I was slightly overwhelmed by mint with this course, as it was ruffly chopped in the salad. Mixed in were apples, butternut squash, and crunchy walnuts. The duck was tender though done a bit more than I would have preferred. I really loved the ginger soy dressing that dressed the salad. The presentation was great though I believe this is how many of their salads are presented: in a cylinder that is then ‘poured’ on your plate. I felt this was almost a fun play on a typical waldorf salad, just a bit more modern and delicious finishing with a black pepper taste.

Third Course, All-Natural Piedmontese Steak, paired with Tilia Bonarda

Piedmontese steak is a leaner cut of meat that I don’t eat very often. This dish showcased all the reasons why one should enjoy every morsel more often. Though it was lean, it wasn’t lacking any flavor as it was grilled perfectly, covered in a creamy, rustic mushroom sauce. The potatoes were wonderful, never skipping a beat as they were properly seasoned and tender – all without a drop of butter. The asparagus was crisp and well seasoned, a great accompaniment to the plate. I think I’ve said it before, but dishes like this make people forget that the meals at Seasons 52 are calorie savvy.

Fourth Course, Manchester Farms All-Natural Grilled Quail, paired with Michael David Petite Petit and Glenelly Cabernet Sauvignon

Another delicious dish, the quail was perfectly tender and rich in texture and taste. I wanted to pick up each piece and nibble it to the bone, but didn’t think that was the best way to present myself to this new crowd. The charcoal smell made me close my eyes in happiness as the quail was buttery and rich while maintaining a clean finish. The portabello risotto was rich in flavor due to a drizzle of truffle oil throughout the rice. The portabellos made the risotto ironically meaty in texture and substance, all melted together perfectly with the balsamic reduction glaze.

Fifth Course, Mini Indulgence Desserts

Just as I remembered, the mini indulgences were the perfect way to end the meal. A little bit of pumpkin cream, graham cracker filling, and a gingersnap cookie had me leaving on a happy note as I liked my spoon clean of the pumpkin pie treat.

The other bloggers and writers were nice and curious about me, the new comer. I look forward to reading more about their experiences, suggestions, likes, and dislikes as I continue to settle into this new community. Thanks again, Seasons 52, for a delicious evening of wine and nibbles. Cheers to the new adventures, and your seasonal menu.

Seasons 52 * 90 Perimeter Center West *Dunwoody, 30346 * 770.671.0052

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Seasons 52 (Return)

26 Mar

Spring has sprung, both in the weather and food industry here in Indianapolis. I had the pleasure of attending a media dinner to preview the Spring menu for Seasons 52 (which is now available!) which included a webcast with the Director of Culinary, Chef Clifford Pleau, and Master Sommelier, George Miliotes. After the filling Fall menu preview, I anticipated a night of delights in both food and wine. That, and extraordinary service, were exactly what I received.

I arrived to a glass of Zardetto Prosecco with strawberry kir royal – a drink to get anyone in the Spring mood. It was not as sweet as I was anticipating, bringing out the natural strawberry sweetness of the strawberry infused bubbly. To compliment  the drink, a few appetizers were being passed around. These included a tomato flatbread, artichoke & goat cheese flatbread, and artichoke-stuffed artichoke leaves. I had a bite of each, my favorite being the tomato flatbread. Roasted garlic brings a deep, earthy flavor to the tomatoes, a freshness of basil elevates it with the salty Parmesan cheese melted on top. And I was impressed to see that the flatbread was crisp, not soggy from the toppings. I can’t say the same for the artichoke and goat cheese, though I still liked the flavors. Anything with creamy goat cheese will win me over, but I really enjoyed the flavor of the balsamic onion that was part of the flatbread. The other appetizer, artichoke-stuffed artichoke leaves, though beautiful in presentation didn’t do much for me. It was difficult to eat while standing and the texture was mushy. A combination of Parmesan, peppery arugula and rich, reduced balsamic glaze worked well in flavor, just not texture. Unfortunately, I didn’t take photos of any of these due to the atmosphere. There are some other appetizers I would really be interested in on the menu, including a chicken chile relleno and goat cheese ravioli.

We sat down and began the webcast. It was really great to see both Pleau and Miliotes showcase the ingredients and explain the pairings for the meal in a casual yet professional presentation. You could see their passion in the concepts, which carried over into the food that we ate that evening prepped by Executive Chef Partner Bill Erath and the local Seasons 52 team.A friendly banter between the two was a breath of fresh air, not stuffy by any means, and I appreciated them taking the time to answer questions via twitter from Seasons 52 across the country.

We began with a perfect Spring salad, tomato and Haas avocado salad. Creamy avocado was cut into large chunks with a tomato that tasted like it just came out of a garden. A spicy arugula seemed to season the two vegetables perfectly while a beautifully reduced balsamic glaze brought the dish together. There was a sherry vinegar toss that made the dish even more creamy by breaking down the avocado just slightly, creating a perfect dressing for the salad. All of this was perfect when paired with the grilled bread – a perfect crisp char gave it a crunch that was welcomed with the otherwise creamy dish. A glass of Aveleda Vinho Verde added a crisp, clean taste to freshen and cleanse the palate with each sip.

The parade of entrees began soon after. All smaller portions were served to us, but the chef did prepare what a regular portion would look like for us to see. Here is a recap of the three entrees we had:

  • Columbia River Steelhead Trout served with Botani Moscatel – this was hands down my favorite dish of the evening. Trout , cooked with skin on to ensure all the flavor stayed with the fish, flaked perfectly with a fork. An Asian flavor combination of lemongrass infused vegetable broth made the dish light and refreshing. A clean and beautiful presentation, a bed of basmati rice was also cooked with the lemongrass broth. Perfectly crisp edamame and snow peas mixed into the rice keeping with the Asian inspiration. And finally, I really enjoyed the light, citrus flavor from the grilled lemon, which produced much more juice than I could anticipate. I hesitate to say I would have liked a few more cremini mushrooms, but really, this dish was fantastic. I’d order it again in a heartbeat. And the sweeter in smell than in taste wine paired great with the dish.
  • Lamb T-bone Cops served with Allegrini Palazzo della Torre Corvina Veronese – this is a dish where you would say “is this really under 475 calories?!” due to the richness, steakhouse feel of the dish. It is something many Midwestern taste buds would throw down for (yes dad, you would love this!) The lamb was cooked perfectly to a pink, medium rare with the char 52 spice blend adding the perfect spice and crunchy crust to the meat. And if it wasn’t decadent enough, the mashed potatoes elevated with a dash of truffle oil brought even more luxury to the dish. A deep, red wine reduction took it up one more notch and played nicely with the crisp yet tender asparagus. I like to think this is what Seasons 52 is all about – showcasing healthy and flavorful food that proves you don’t need to add a lot of fat to get one amazing dish. A bold, peppery glass of red wine left a slight dryness on the tongue, standing up to the lamb on it’s own feet was served rightfully so with the dish.
  • Spicy Snow Peas & Shitake Mushrooms served with Lioco Indica Rose – An Asian BBQ was the star of this dish. Tangy and robust with toasted sesame seeds, a spicy chili sauce complimented the crisp snow peas and ‘meaty’ in texture shitakes. I really liked the crunch of the roasted almonds. The rose was better than anticipated as it was refreshing and only semi-fruity in flavor. Worked perfectly to balance the spicier than anticipated side dish of veggies.

Of course, no dinner is complete at Seasons 52 without a mini indulgence – or in our case, tastes of many mini indulgences. Out of the variety available, I was able to get my hands on a pecan pie with vanilla mouse (SO delicious – crunchy, creamy, sweet, savory, all the flavors of a dessert one may want!), key lime pie (tart in the most perfect way, creamy and refreshing), Mejer lemon (a little too much for me, it was more subtle than I anticipated and almost fake in flavor) and a bite of the Belgian chocolate rocky road (overdose of chocolate – this is any chocolate lovers dream, though it wasn’t my favorite). Also available are the mocha macchiato, chocolate peanut butter mousse, carrot cake, and fresh fruit. We were able to enjoy a sweet dessert wine, Selbach-Oster Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling, with each sweet nibble.

Yes, the food was very good. I do have to say, the service was also pretty fantastic. We had the pleasure of enjoying the company of Chef Erath, Barbara Rafalowski (managing partner), and Rokeena Williams (sales manager). All three stayed to answer questions after the dinner. I was impressed with their professionalism and knowledge of the restaurant and the industry. The three women who were the servers (I apologize for not having all their names) were absolutely wonderful. My fault entirely for not grabbing their business cards as I thought I had so I can’t give them all the credit they deserve. Make a note of that – if you have great service, you should grab the servers card because you can request them for when you return (which I’m sure you will). I have been to Seasons 52 a few times now and each time the service is absolutely perfect, always knowledgeable and never overbearing.

Hoping I can get back to try a few more items of their Spring menu before it goes away. Anyone else been lately and try their new seasonal menu? Would love to hear what you thought!

Note: though the meal was complimentary, opinions are honest and all my own.

Seasons 52 * 8650 Keystone Crossing * Indy, 46240 * 317.677.2589

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Seasons 52

21 Sep

I love getting to meet other people who enjoy food as much as I do.  Thanks to Young & Laramore PR firm and Adrienne, I was invited to join a few other bloggers to have an early taste of the new autumn menu.  It was raining like no other on Monday,  but that didn’t stop us from enjoying the many courses.

I really enjoyed the clean cut restaurant feel.  Dark wood, clean lines, it was contemporary and felt comfortable.  We sat at the chef’s table, which is near the kitchen and seats 8 people comfortably.  Would be a great place, tucked away, to entertain some guests.  The table is unique too – glass plated with spices showcased in the panels.  I sat next to one of my faves, red pepper flakes.

What was going to be five courses turned into twelve.  No complaints on this end, but there were really too many courses to explain them all.   I definitely overate in the beginning which meant I barely managed one or two bites towards the end (except dessert, but when it is mini, you have no excuse!)  However, I still wanted to show you and highlight some of my favorites.

Starting top left and working my way clockwise: Amuse Bouche of golden beet, balsamic reduction, goat cheese and arugula blend; tomato carpaccio; mushroom flat bread and ahi tuna.

The amuse bouche was delightful – I love beets and goat cheese.  One of my favorites was the flat bread.  Mushrooms, goat cheese, Bleu cheese, rosemary, roasted garlic and a touch of truffle oil go a long way – I’d order this again in a heartbeat as it screamed autumn to me.  And the tuna – I loved everything about it.  From the presentation (honestly, wasabi in a little square?  Adorable – yes, I said adorable) to the grade of fish, everything was very good about this entree.  The tomatoes surprised me as they make me think summer, not autumn, but they were still good.  Lightly seasoned with pepper, served with olive oil brushed grilled bread, chevre, sweet basil and balsamic vinegar; nothing new or innovative, but delicious.

Starting top left and working my way clockwise: Arugula salad with Portobello mushrooms, Parmesan cheese and truffle dressing; Maple Leaf Farms Duck Salad; Brussel Sprouts and Trio of Squash.

The arugula salad smelled strongly of truffle and it was as decadent in taste.  The sesame duck salad was interesting – my palate was all over the place.  There seamed to be a great amount of mint, which at times was just overpowering, but the duck had good flavor and was done perfectly.  The salad also had a variety of veggies and fruits, including Gala apples, roasted butternut squash and cranberries with toasted pecans for a nice finishing crunch.  The Brussel sprouts were delicious (don’t judge sprouts until you try them!) and the squash was roasted to perfection.  We had butternut, acorn and another which I believe was delicata, but I can’t be certain on that (though it was my favorite!)

Starting top left and working my way clockwise: Manchester Farms Quail; Blackened grouper; charred buffalo loin; and Springer Mountain Farms chicken cabernet.

All the protein dishes were cooked well, but I was all over the place with likes.  My favorite was the grouper – I was a little hesitant as I’m not a big blackened fan, but this was different.  Rather than heavily flavored with the black pepper spice, it had a full bodied taste with little heat.  I really enjoyed it and focused on that more than the others we were served.  The sides they were served with were okay, the proteins were the focus.  However, I did enjoy the sweet potatoes.  I adored every bit – creamy and naturally sweet without all the extra sugar (ugh, marshmallows with sweet potatoes is disturbing to me).  I enjoyed the quail and buffalo, but neither stood out to any large degree.  This group also had my least favorite, the chicken.  I just didn’t really enjoy it though I couldn’t pinpoint what flavor was throwing me off.  It didn’t mesh well for me and I personally wouldn’t order it again.

And of course, dessert.  I’m a pumpkin girl – I can’t get enough of it.  Honestly, I cook with it once a week when it is the season (you can check this out at my other blog, Entertaining Life Daily).  I wasn’t surprised to see it somewhere in the menu, but I do wish there was more.  Great pumpkin flavor with gingersnap cookie and crust layers.  It was a great, smooth ending to the meal.

Overall, I really enjoyed the salads and appetizers.  The main courses were my least favorites and I may lean more towards sharing a few apps next time I dine here.  Especially that flat bread – it really was quite tasty.  And of course, dessert.  There is a carrot cake on the menu as well that I would love to try.  The new autumn menu was released on Sept. 20 – I recommend giving the seasonal menu a try.  And when everything is under 475 calories, that is even more of a reason to try it out.  Fun fact – did you know they don’t have any butter in the restaurant?  Amazing…I didn’t even miss it…

A big thank you to Adrienne for making this lunch happen, as well as the delightfully friendly staff of Seasons 52.  Everyone was very knowledgeable during the event and couldn’t have been more courteous (especially the chefs and our server, Chris).

Note – though this meal was complimentary, all opinions are honest and my own.

Seasons 52 * 8650 Keystone Crossing * Indy, 46240 * 317.846.5252

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