Thursday, September 3, 2015

Enjoy Fall Fare @ Seasons52!



I was recently invited by my fellow educator and friend Lysabeth to a blogger tasting event at Seasons52 to feast on some of items released for their Fall menu. We were greeted by John Adkins, Sales Manager at the Seasons52 located at The Headquarters on Harbor Drive in Downtown San Diego aka as the Seaport District. Upon arrival we were seated at this cozy area to sample some cocktails.

We were immediately served a Pumpkin Pisco Sour, featuring crop organic pumpkin vodka, pisco, and aromatic bitters. The pumpkin flavor was deep and rich, perfect for a cool breezy evening.


In addition to libations, John served us their Trio of Roasted Mushrooms flatbread featuring garlic confit, spinach, green onions, goat cheese and truffle oil and the Lobster and Fresh Mozzarella flatbread topped with roasted sweet peppers, slivered scallion and lobster sour cream. Each flatbread was sturdy enough to carry it's toppings but thin enough to crunch like a cracker.  I really liked both! AND these flatbreads can be made for those diners who are gluten sensitive!


We then met Executive Chef Steve de Barrill who talked to us about the Autumn menu.  Chef de Barrill studied at the Pasadena location of Le Cordon Bleu and is also a native Californian.  His passion for food was evident as he talked about what we were going to eat that night.  He spoke about some of the new dishes that featured items like squash, root vegetables, and mushrooms.  According to Chef, Seasons52 originated in Florida about ten years ago. They recently revamped their angle on being known to serve plates that were under 475 calories and now choose to focus on the use of fresh seasonal ingredients. While their menu changes with the seasons, many entree favorites like the New York steak stay on, but you may see the side dishes or sauces incorporate seasonal items. 

Then it was time to go inside. The restaurant is beautiful.  There is a huge bar perfect for mingling. Happy Hour is Monday through Friday 4:00 - 6:30 PM where cocktails, wines, and beers are offered at special pricing and also $5 small plates can be enjoyed.



Once we were seated we were told to order whatever we wanted! Come again?! I had to ask our lovely server, Ashley, to repeat herself.  She said there was no limit tonight! Whoa, I just sat down at a high powered no limit poker table where the cards were made up of appetizers, entrees and side dishes! Alrighty then! We reviewed the printed menu and strategized as to who would order what. Then we started putting in our bets, I mean appetizer orders!  Here is the Kabocha Squash Ravioli made with brown butter, walnuts, and crispy sage. This almost ate like a savory dessert, the kabocha was sweet!

We also ordered the Blistered Shishito Peppers served with roasted corn, Sonoma goat feta cheese, lemon aioli, and sumac.(Sumac is a spice, I had to look that one up!)  I got nervous saying "Shishito" as I feared accidentally saying something profane, hahaha!  Chef described these as the "roulette of peppers" as you never know if you will get one that is mild, spicy, or in between!


We also had the Lump Crab, Roasted Shrimp & Spinach Stuffed Mushroom under Panko Crust.  This reminded me of Oysters Rockefeller for some reason.  I could have had this as a main entree as the serving was plentiful and delish!  

I wanted to get all three ingredients in one bite to taste the combination! Absolutely heavenly! I would order this again!

Next we tried these dishes.  First up was the Caramelized Sea Scallops.  Lysabeth and myself each ordered this as a side accompaniment. Cooked just right, not rubbery, just melt in your mouth scallops! Yum!

I decided to go with the Oak-Grilled New York Strip, Parmesan and herb marinated, with tomatoes, bravas-style potatoes, and roasted tomato chimichurri.  This probably could have been paired nicely with the Argentinian wine served earlier.



Lysabeth went with the Roasted Manchester Farms Quail served with mushroom risotto (I've come to know that she LOVES risotto) stuffing, leaf spinach, bacon, and balsamic demi-glace.

Chef recommendations included a swordfish dish, and an Asian-glazed Chilean Sea Bass. Other menu items offered included Trout, Branzino, Shrimp and Grits, Rack of Lamb, Pork Tenderloin, and Filet Mignon. I was really impressed with the numerous selections. There was evidence of Asian-inspired dishes as the menu listed food such as "Hummus Duo with Crisp Hawaiian Sea Salt Lavosh" and "Duck Wing Lollipop with Gochujang red chili glaze", and "Maui Tuna Crunch".  I would love to see a Filipino-inspired dish on the menu someday!

Halfway through our meal, Lysabeth ordered a Meyer Lemonade, and I asked Ashley to surprise me with a cocktail of her choosing.  She stuck with a vodka theme and came back with a Hawaiian Pineapple Cosmopolitan made with Pineapple Vodka & Patron Citronge.  It was mildly sweet and light, I enjoyed it!


You'd think we'd be done with all the food we ordered, but of course we had to see what was offered for dessert! Seasons52's Dessert was a wow factor in itself!  A flight of desserts is brought out and each one is explained! Samplers of apple pie, cannoli, caramel macchiatto mousse, pecan pie, blueberry lemon tart, s'mores, carrot cake, peanut butter crunch, and key lime pie begged to be chosen. What the heck, our no limit night continued on! We told Ashley to leave the entire platter with us! 

My favorites were the pecan pie, key lime pie and the peanut butter crunch! I loved the look of the burnt marshmallow though in the s'more dessert!

Tea was also served and I adored the way it looked, so cute! 

Lysabeth and I enjoyed our mom's night out eating, drinking and chitchatting away. Next thing you know it was almost 9:00 pm! On a school night too! Oh my, time to head home to the family! Seasons52's tagline is "What's Good Now" and after tasting all this fabulous food, my answer is "A workout at the gym!", hahaha! On a serious note, I was pleasantly surprised with all of the dishes and would like to take my family back here to dine! Thanks again Lysabeth for letting me be your "plus 1"!  I encourage you all to try out their Seasonally Inspired Cooking at Seasons52 soon! 


Disclaimer:  I enjoyed a complimentary meal.  All opinions are my own.

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