How do you promote a new restaurant in a crowded area in these social times? Inviting bloggers and members of the press to a spectacular dining event of course!
The generosity of the Pre-Opening Media invite to Seasons 52 extended to a guest, so I asked my photographer husband Michael to accompany me on the foodie journey for the day. Upon arrival we were greeted by the cordial staff and were offered champagne to enjoy as we started our tour. The natural lighting along with the foyer chandelier as well as decor and use of space were noted as I visualized meetings and events on the second floor.
So lets get down to business, it was time to formally meet the corporate team Clifford Pleau, Senior Director of Culinary and George Miliotes, Master Sommelier of Seasons 52 as they introduced themselves and directed us to our beautiful dining table.
Seven courses in all, our meal started with table talk chatter, greetings from Clifford and George describing our dish and wine pairing as well as live music from a pianist. Billy Joel Italian Restaurant was a perfect tune for the day, celebrating the Long Island based artist in the new Long Island setting.
Our first course, the amuse was Lump Crab and Haas Avocado. A perfect combination of flavor in one bite to kick off the meal. This was paired with the Aveleda Vinho Verde, Portugal 2010 which I happened to like very much. Oh and while we are at our first wine mention, Seasons 52 is named for changing its menu four times a year providing menu selections that are seasonal. The 52 stands for providing 52 wines by the glass with over 100 wines by the bottle.
Quickly moving along we were served the next course Organic Salmon and Lemongrass Sea Scallop Roasted on a Cedar Plank. The Sea Scallops were cooked to perfection and seasoned well. Seasons 52 takes pride in providing great food, packed with flavor that is not drenched in fat and butter. In fact, every course is under 475 calories. This course was paired with a Chardonnay.
So far everything was incredibly visually appealing, but the salad plating was tops! All of the waitstaff came to our plates with the Organic Field Greens with Grilled Portobello Mushrooms, Toasted Pistachios and Truffle Dressing in a cylinder. Clifford wanted a unique presence to the salad and this he greatly achieved. Not only that, the journalist next to us said it best…”This is perhaps the best salad I have ever had”. The flavors came together very well and the truffle dressing brought a big smile to the face. To keep track of my comments and favorites, I gave stars next to the courses. This one came in close to the dessert with a total of four.
Plates are cleared and before we were able to sip another glass of wine, the next entree arrived which I have never had before. Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli with Roasted Garlic, Basil, and Light Tomato Broth. This was a stunning dish. Michael happened to love this one as well as the broth offered such a nice touch as opposed to typical creme based heavy sauces that mask the flavor of the pasta and filling. The basil really woke up the senses and was such a nice accompaniment.
The next dish happened to be paired with my favorite wine of the day, a South African red wine, De Toren Fusion V, Stellenbosch 2009. It had notes of chocolate which I love in a wine and was delightful to sip as the waiters brought the Manchester Farms All Natural Quail, Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Bourbon Chili Glaze. My dish was without the sirloin as I do not eat red meat. I was impressed on the initial invite that they asked to let them know of any restrictions ahead of time. I did, and it was handled with care. The quail was cooked well and the sweet potatoes had a great punch of flavor. I am paraphrasing, as Clifford said during plating, no marshmallows went in there masking the natural delicious flavor of the potato.
The grand finale brought ooos and ahhs across the table as the Mini Indulgences (again under 475 calories) were delivered in a beautiful arrangement. This was my five star course.
Clifford described the challenge of keeping true to the philosophy of the restaurant developing the shot glass indulgence that didn’t break the calorie bank. This was no jello or pudding shot, this was cake and creme and crunch and wow! It was a hard pick, but my husband and I collectively enjoyed the Key Lime Pie, Mocha Macchiato and Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse. I absolutely loved them all however the Mocha Macchiato had such a nice marriage of chocolate and coffee that I can still taste it on the palate as I write this.
Seasons 52 is located in the Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, NY. It debuts March 26th. Be prepared to enjoy wonderful flavors with an enormous choice of wine pairings that will not make you run for the gym. Take it from me, I am currently training for the NYC Triathlon and I am fairly careful with the foods that I consume. Seasons 52 is not your butter and heavy creme kind of restaurant. Herbs like fresh basil complement dishes, delightful and unique from the typical mall food chain experience.