Season's 52 Fresh Grill (http://www.seasons52.com/) bills itself as a "fresh dining experience", where every dish is 475 calories or less. They apparently accomplish this by not using any butter, and by coaxing as much natural flavor out of the food as possible through grilling. This would seem like an odd choice for me, and indeed, I was rather skeptical. But, American Express sent me a coupon for $20 off. And anyone that knows me well knows that I never let a coupon go to waste. So it was off to Season's 52 for a date night with the wife.
First, an introduction to my Double Secret Non-Scientific Proprietary Restaurant Rating System:
5 - I Would Walk 500 Miles (And I Would Walk 500 More) to visit this place
4 - Worth a visit when in town
3 - Meh; I won't object if a friend suggests it, but I wouldn't recommend it on my own
2 - Only if nothing else is open
1 - Run, Sriram, Run!
I'll run my reviews Chopped style - appetizer, main course, and desert, with a quick description of the menu to start off.
The MenuSeason's 52 has a menu that changes frequently, in keeping with the "fresh dining" theme, so I won't bother posting the menu since it'll probably be different by the time you go. It's pretty standard modern American cuisine, though. I tend to be skeptical of "modern" cuisine, since "modern" is too often a synonym for "fru-fru", but the menu wasn't excessively fru-fru this time.
They apparently pride themselves on their extensive wine list. It was very large, and pretty much any major varietal you can think of is available. I decided to try a pinot noir from Macedonia. I don't think I've ever seen a Macedonian wine, so I was curious. It wasn't the best pinot noir I've ever had, but it wasn't bad. I think it would have been better with a more "meaty" dish than the one I had chosen.
Prices are surprisingly reasonable - $8-12 for appetizers, $12-25 for most main course items, and $2.50 for the mini-desserts.
The AppetizerWhile I really hesitate throwing the Missus under the bus, she took the liberty of ordering the shrimp, crab, and spinach stuffed mushrooms and the pesto chicken flatbread before I could say anything. I don't like shrimp, and I hate pesto, but I didn't want to crowd the table with a third appetizer, so the stuffed mushrooms and flatbread it was:
The stuffed mushrooms were fine, but I just couldn't get over my dislike of spinach, and only ate one. And while I really don't like pesto, I have to say, that flatbread was really, really good. The pesto wasn't overpowering at all, and honestly, I hardly noticed it. So things were off to a good start.
The Main CourseI had the BBQ chicken. Prita wanted the swordfish with mixed Asian vegetables and noodles, but they were out of swordfish, so she substituted Alaskan salmon instead. Am I the only one that finds it ironic that we didn't go out for fancy salmon while we were in Alaska, but then ordered the Alaskan salmon in Plano?
The BBQ sauce was tasty - not too sweet, but not too tangy, either - though the chicken was a tad overcooked. A little too much charred flavor for my taste. I was curious how mashed potatoes would turn out without using any butter, but I have to say, they were pretty good, though they could have used some gravy. Prita liked her salmon - I didn't exactly get the "spectacularly good" vibe from her, but she did enjoy it, and took the leftovers home.
The DesertSeason's 52 is apparently famous for offering up mini-desserts in a shot glass, like so:
The wife took the chocolate peanut butter mousse, and at the waitresses' suggestion, I had the pecan pie with vanilla mousse. Both were very good, and I have to say, I like the idea of "bite sized" desserts. I can never finish the monster desserts you get at most places, and too often, it just isn't feasible to take it home, so I end up wasting a good bit of it. Plus, they only charge $2.50 for each one, a very reasonable price.