On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of getting an introduction to the new summer menu at Seasons 52. It officially debuted yesterday (the first day of summer), so the menu offerings are hot off the presses!
If you aren’t familiar with Seasons 52, their menu offers fresh, seasonal options. Their menu changes 4 times a year (there is a spring, summer, fall, and winter) to reflect what is fresh at that time. And my favorite part? Every single item on the menu is under 475 calories. I absolutely love this, because you are able to split an appetizer, enjoy an entree, and even have dessert, and you don’t need to feel guilty about it.
Let’s get on to the food now, shall we?
We kicked off the evening with a selection of two flatbreads from the menu. I can never resist the flatbreads at Seasons 52 – their thin, crispy crust and interesting toppings always call to me. On that evening, we enjoyed the Artichoke and Goat Cheese Flatbread (pictured in the front) with spinach, balsamic onion, and roasted peppers. The other offering was a new flatbread: the BBQ Chicken Flatbread, and oh was it delicious! It features glazed barbeque chicken, balsamic onions, sliced scallions, melted parmesan, and a tamarind barbeque sauce drizzle. It is a wonderful blend of sweet, tangy, and savory. I loved it!
Our flatbreads were served with the Aveleda Vinho Verde. It’s a Portugese white wine, and it is lovely for summer! It has some effervescence to it, and the alcohol content is slightly lower than other wines (9%). Perfect if you want something light and fresh!
Moving on to a few cocktails! We were able to sample two new beverage options from the summer menu. First was the Strawberry Lemon Euphoria:
Yum! And so pretty, right? Both cocktails are created with Atlantico rum, which always makes me think of summer for some reason. The other cocktail was my favorite of the two: the Watermelon Refresher. You can tell they use fresh watermelon to create the cocktail: it tastes so light, and just like summer to me!
Next up: the first course. We were served Seasons 52′s new appetizer: the Chilled Lobster and Shrimp Spring Roll.
The spring rolls were wrapped in rice paper and were filled with pieces of shrimp, lobster, bean thread noodles, and carrots. There were also three different sauces to dip: a cool salsa verde with avocado, an aromatic lemongrass sauce, and a sweet-hot red chili sauce (my personal favorite). The spring roll was served withi a Hirsch #1 Gruner Veltliner. The sweet flavor of wine pairs nicely with the fresh flavors of the spring rolls. Delicious!
The second course had two different offerings. First up: an amazing salad! The Organic Arugula Salad featured ingredients that I would normally never put together, but they worked beautifully.
Yes – those are slices of watermelon you see in that salad! The plate included organic arugula, watermelon, grilled golden beets, goat cheese, jicama, and cumin toasted pistachios. It seems strange, but the flavors and textures work together like a dream! I could have eaten a few plates of this salad if left to my own devices…
The other option at the table was the Summer Vegetarian Tasting. Talk about variety!
The cocktail glass is filled with “grains of life” – farro, quinoa, mandarin oranges, jicama, mint, and sundried cranberries. It is served chilled, and the textures are fabulous. The plate also had roasted asparagus, roasted tomato with cheese and balsamic, a chili relleno with spinach (YUM), cedar roasted tofu with mango chutney, and a taco filled with black beans, lettuce, and guacamole. All of the bright colors and different flavors are so fun: you definitely wouldn’t get bored eating this plate! The salad and vegetarian plate were served with the Honig Sauvignon Blanc: a bright and fruity option with flavors of mango, papaya, and grapefruit.
On to the main courses! We were lucky enough to sample the Wild Alaskan Copper River Salmon; it is a limited offering for only a few weeks in the late spring/early summer when it is fresh! Even if you aren’t normally a salmon fan, this dish would change your mind. It is so light and not fishy in flavor whatsoever. It was served with corn risotto, fresh asparagus, roasted pepper, and a mustard dill sauce. Beautiful!
The Copper River Salmon was paired with the Chehalem INOX unoaked chardonnay, which has crisp flavors of orange and pear. I love an unoaked chardonnay, and the INOX was definitely a treat.
The final entree we previewed that evening was impressive: the Piedmontese All-Natural Bone-in Strip Steak. It is a new release from Season 52 this summer! If you aren’t familiar with Piedmontese beef, it is grass fed and range raised, and has 25% less calories than regular beef. The Piedmontese cattle have a double muscle structure, which makes them similar to buffalo. You might have a hard time finding this type of steak locally at your meat market, so being able to enjoy it at Seasons 52 is a very special option! It is incredibly tender and full of flavor as well.
The steak is 11 ounces: a very generous portion! And to think: the 11 ounce steak (with cremini mushrooms and red wine reduction), roasted asparagus, and fingerling potatoes combined are under 475 calories! I don’t know about you, but that is mind blowing. As for the wine pairing, the Markham Cellar 1879 blend (a mix of merlot, cabernet franc, and cabernet sauvignon) was perfect for the steak! It has plump tannins and flavors of blackberries: so juicy!
At that point in the evening, I wasn’t sure if I could fit another bite in my mouth, but I managed to save a bit of room for a mini indulgence dessert. I love that Seasons 52 serves these miniature desserts: the shot glass size seems small, but it is just enough to satisfy your sweet tooth after dinner!
From left to right: chocolate peanut butter, pecan pie, rocky road, strawberry shortcake, blueberry cheesecake, fresh fruit, mocha macchiato, key lime pie, and red velvet. The desserts were served with a glass of the Jam Jar Moscato, which has just enough sweetness, and a bit of sparkle!
Oh, and I can’t leave out the newest seasonal mini indulgence dessert: the raspberry cannoli! The cannoli shell is perfect for scooping the sweet filling from the glass. If you go to Seasons 52, I definitely recommend trying this one out!
Are you hungry yet? I know I am just thinking about the meal, and you should definitely check out the menu offerings for yourself soon! Thank you so much to Seasons 52 Tampa for inviting me to preview the new menu: it was a wonderful time!
And stay tuned…you might just get the chance to dine at Seasons 52 some time soon…wink wink…