Sunday, January 29, 2012

Seasons 52 Fresh Grill

I've wanted to visit Seasons 52 Fresh Grill for a long time, but some gift cards received over Christmas were all the incentive we needed, and we had a very nice meal there on a recent Sunday Evening. I'm not sure why we waited so long! Season's 52 is a chain, but it offers very fine dining with a menu that changes with the seasons. We were there for the winter menu, and it was very good.
We had made a reservation and so were seated promptly. Through the course of the evenign, our service was spot-on impeccable, very impressive. We were seated in a room not part of the main dining area, it was very nice. As the evening progressed a few other tables were also seated in the room, but it never got at all loud, I loved the semi-private feel and the ability to hold a normal level of conversation.
We started off with a glass of wine, I had a Merlot and Tommy a Riesling, both very nice. We then picked two appetizers to try. The first was the
Grilled Spicy Tandoori Chicken Skewers, three  skewers of chicken were cooked perfectly and had a very nice spicy heat to them. They were served with a tiny portion of mango chutney and a cucumber herb raita. I loved this dish, but Tommy found it a bit too hot (spicy hot) for his taste. Well, more for me! I really thought it was tasty and flavorful, a nice heat that did not overpower, and chicken that was very tender.

Our second appetizer was the Roasted Shrimp, Lump Crab & Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms. They were also very good and came out piping hot! There were a lot of flavors going on here, and they were served in an escargot type of serving dish, topped with panko and parmesan and broiled. They were good, but hot as in temperature hot. There was a lot of flavor so it was a bit hard to pick out the shrimp vs. the crab vs. the lobster. Yet it was a veritable seafood fest in my mouth, the flavors of the sea were dancing on my tongue, and then tamed by the woodsy mushroom. Yumm!

For my main course, I had the Stuffed Tiger Shrimp. Five large tiger shrimp were butterflied and topped with a nice stuffing, then cooked. I think the shrimp were, however, just a bit overdone. I'm pretty picky about shrimp, and these could have used just about 30 seconds less cooking time, but that is the problem with stuffed shrimp. They were served around a bed of spinach that was topped with a wonderful sort of tomato ragu--it was very fresh and flavorful, and was probalby my most favorite part of this dish. I did think the $21 tab a bit high, however, for what I got, but then again, I was paying for a magnificent atmosphere. Still, overall I enjoyed this dish.

Tommy ordered the Wood-Roasted Pork Tenderloin. The menu said it came on a bed of polenta, but when he asked about sweet potatoes instead, that was absolutely no problem! The dish was served with perfectly cooked broccoli and cremini mushrooms and a dijon glaze. The meat was fantastic, tender, juicy, and full of nice pork flavor. It is not easy to cook pork tenderloin so it is very buttery, but they did it. Tommy loved his dish and I thoroughly enjoyed the tastes I had, from the port tenderloin to the veggies and even to the sweet potatoes which were very smooth and buttery, and not overly sweet. This was a great dish and I'd order it again!
I spied one item on the menu which I just had to try as a side dish: Golden Beets. I am glad I did. They beets had been gently roasted and still had a nice texture to them. They were served with a wasabi sauce on the side. The wasabit was a perfect complement to the buttery, very "rooty" taste of the beets. They were absolutley, out of this world delicious. I will have to try to make this type of dish myself some time, I absolutely loved it.
We'd had our fill and were about ready for the check when along came our server with a tray full of their Mini Indulgences--basically shot glasses filled with various desserts of custard, cream, ice cream, and the like. Every one looked fantastice, and, given their small size, we succumbed to the temptation, have a Mocha Machiato and a Canoli. Both were excellent, and small enough that we didn't get overly full. As a matter of fact, one of the "boasts" of Season's 52 is that all of their entrees are less than 475 calories. I have to say, the portions were a right size for a meal, not overly huge. But each bite of all that we had was full of flavor. Season's 52 is not a cheap place, our total bill before tip and tax was about $82. But it was a very nice experience, and good place for that special event or special evening with a special someone. I'm sure I'll be back to try the menu in anoter season!

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