Seasons 52

August 9, 2012 No Comments by Champagne Girl

Ever since Seasons 52 opened in Tampa a few years ago, it has become one of my favorite spots for dining.  Not only is the food fantastic, it is healthy.  All of their entrèes are less than 475 calories and this is without sacrificing quality or flavor. Their menu changes seasonally so you will always be able to enjoy new and delicious items all year round.

 

 

Located at 204 N Westshore Blvd in front of Westshore Plaza, Seasons 52 is one of Tampa’s hottest restaurants.  Since I work close by, I go there often for lunch and each dining experience is filled with culinary delights and exquisite seasonal specials.

 

**photo by Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts

 

One new feature that has me really excited is their Chef’s Table Experience. If you are looking for the ultimate dining experience, this is for you.  You will enjoy the chef’s amuse bouche and customized, seasonal five-course menus.  Each course is complemented with perfectly paired wines from their adventurous international wine list. This is the best way to enjoy both an intimate setting as well as an extraordinary culinary and wine adventure for up to twelve people. The room is gorgeous and it is the perfect way to get a group together for a delicious evening. To see a sample menu, please click here.

 

**photo by Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts

 

Recently I attended Seasons 52 new Summer Menu launch and had the opportunity to sample some of their new items as well  summer cocktails. This was one of the best menu launches I have ever attended as it included a live stream overview of the menu with Seasons 52 Culinary Director, Chef Clifford Pleau, and Master Sommelier, George Miliotes. Wines were paired with each course and it was a fabulous experience.

 

**photo taken with my iPhone

 

Our group was seated in the exclusive Napa Room and as everyone was arriving, two types of flatbreads were served. Because I was coming from work, I arrived a few minutes late and missed the first one which was a BBQ Chicken Flatbread topped with balsamic onions, sliced scallions and melted Parmesan. I was able to try the Artichoke & Goat Cheese Flatbread topped with leaf spinach, balsamic onions and roasted peppers.  It was, of course, outstanding and truly reminded me of my California up-bringing. I grew up just an hour away from Castroville, CA which is known as the “artichoke center of the world.” I have attended the annual Castroville Artichoke Festival many times and one interesting fact I love to share is that Marilyn Monroe was named the first Festival Queen back in 1948.  How cool is that?

 

 

 

**photo by Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts

 

The flatbreads were paired with Aveleda Vinho Verde, which is a fantastic wine from Portugal. Clean and crisp, it really brought out the flavor of the artichokes. I also got to try one of their featured summer cocktails, the Watermelon Refresher.  A delightful libation made with Platino Atlantico Rum, agave nectar, lime and fresh watermelon, it is the perfect cocktail for a warm summer day.

 

**photo taken with my iPhone

 

Our first course of the evening was the Chilled Lobster and Shrimp Spring Roll served with a trio of dipping sauces: cool salsa verde, sweet-hot red chili and aromatic lemongrass. I am known as the Spring Roll Queen amongst my friends and order them whenever I can.  Their version is simply amazing and the trio of sauces is a nice touch. My favorite was the aromatic lemongrass which had a light, yet distinctive flavor.  With this course we enjoyed Hirsch #1 Gruner Veltliner, an  aromatic Austrian wine with notes of Meyer lemon and white flower as well as hints of ginger and lemongrass.

 

**photo by Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts

 

Our second course included two items, Organic Arugula Salad and a Summer Vegetarian Tasting.  Watermelon has been huge this summer and Seasons 52 has done an incredible job incorporating it into this salad. With fresh watermelon, grilled golden beets, goat cheese, jicama and toasted pistachios tossed in a cumin-lime vinaigrette, the Organic Arugula Salad is a splendid mix of summer flavors.

 

**photo courtesy of Jennifer Buggica and her fabulous site, Mangiamo!

As someone who is always looking to explore alternatives to meat, I really enjoy vegetarian dishes and try to incorporate them into my diet as often as possible.  I was ecstatic about the Summer Vegetarian Tasting which consists of grains of life, a soft taco, chili relleno, vegetables and cedar roasted tofu with mango chutney. My favorite on the dish was the grains of life which is a zestful medley of quinoa, farro, citrus, jicama and mint. Served in a cocktail glass, it is simply divine and very light. With these two courses, we enjoyed a 2011 Honig, Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc.  With aromas of orange blossom and grapefruit and hints of lemon, melon, peach, this was a crisp, refreshing pairing with these two dishes.

 

**photo by Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts

 

Our third course consisted of the Wild Alaskan Copper River Salmon and the Piedmontese All-Natural Bone-In Strip Steak, 11 oz.  We were first served the salmon which was presented family style with corn risotto, fresh asparagus, roasted peppers and a dill sauce.  Everything about this dish was incredible, especially the corn risotto. The dill sauce was perfect with the salmon and had a nice lemon flavor. Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables and it really complimented the salmon. With our salmon we enjoyed the Chehalem INOX Chardonnay from Oregon. I was excited, as this was a wine that I was not familiar with and I have always enjoyed wines from Oregon, especially Pinot Noirs. With aromas of gardenia, peach, apricot, pear, pineapple, and  cherry, the Chehalem INOX Chardonnay was the perfect match for the Wild Alaskan Copper River Salmon.

 

**photo taken with my iPhone

 

Next we were each presented with our own individual 11oz Piedmontese All-Natural Bone-in Strip Steak. Simply outstanding, the steak was served with roasted asparagus, cremini mushrooms and Fingerling potatoes. This truly was one of the best steaks I have had in quite sometime and the cremini mushrooms were phenomenal. I was only able to eat about a fourth of the steak, so I took the rest home and it made for an incredible lunch the next day. As always, the perfect wine was paired with the steak and we enjoyed the Markham Cellar Merlot. With hints of plum and black cherry, this wine brought out the meaty flavor of the cremini mushrooms.

 

**photo courtesy of Jennifer Buggica and her fabulous site, Mangiamo!

 

As the evening drew to a close, we were presented with Mini Indulgences which are individual selections of classic desserts in a shot-glass sized portion.  Genius! Selections included  Key Lime Pie, Raspberry Chocolate Chip Cannoli, Mocha Macchiato, Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse, Red Velvet, Pecan Pie with Vanilla Mousse and more.  They were all decadent and the perfect end to a delicious evening. Our wine pairing for dessert was the 2011 Jam Jar Moscato from South Africa. Fresh and fruity, this wine is easy to drink and has notes of lychee, peach and apricot. I liked it so much that I picked up a bottle at a local market.

 

**photo by Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts

 

As always, Seasons 52 did an outstanding job and my love for them has grown immensely. If you have not had the chance to dine with them, there is no better time than now.  Through August 17th, you enjoy their special prix fixe menu being offered for  Dine Tampa Bay’s Restaurant Week.  To learn more and to view their menu, please click here.

 

About Seasons 52
 
Seasons 52, which debuted in 2003, is a fresh grill and wine bar that provides guests with a fresh dining experience, enabling them to celebrate living well.  The menu is orchestrated by award-winning Chef Clifford Pleau, and is inspired by the seasons and the fresh appeal of the farmers’ market – 52 weeks a year. The award-winning wine list created and developed by Master Sommelier George Miliotes – one of over 180 Master Sommeliers worldwide – is consistently praised for its diverse international selection of 100 wines, including more than 52 offered by the glass. Seasons 52 is recognized as a forward-thinking restaurant concept that is “right for the times” and always offers guests something new to discover.
 
 

Seasons 52 on Urbanspoon

Share this Post[?]
        

Post a Comment

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

  1. Powered by sweetCaptcha