How does one maintain a New Year’s resolution of eating healthier or losing weight while dining out? Visit the new, elegant, yet casual Seasons 52. This fresh grill and wine bar serves creative farm-to-table dishes that are all nutritionally balanced and under 475 calories.
Walking into the main dining room, I felt as if I was inside a Frank Lloyd Wright design with its natural ledgestone and solid Honduran mahogany throughout.
Seasons 52 first opened in Florida in 2003 by Darden Restaurants. The name was formed from their concept of seasonally inspired fare and libations changing 52 weeks in the year.
The first California Seasons 52 location opened in the South Coast Plaza. Due to its success, they opened one in San Diego. Next, the Century City location opened right after Thanksgiving (located in the old Houston’s spot). Soon Santa Monica will have a Seasons 52 in the old iCugini location.
Even though there are 23 Seasons 52 across the US, the restaurant doesn’t feel like a chain.
I was introduced to the talented Executive Chef Clifford Pleau, while standing next to the glass-enclosed Chef’s Garden admiring over 140 plants. Seasons 52 restaurant in Century City is the first in Los Angeles to have a unique indoor herb garden. It has its own cooling and water filtration system, while the 600-watt grow lights help the plants flourish. “Throughout the day, chefs enter the room to clip herbs and incorporate them into their dishes,” said Chef Pleau. The restaurant has an outdoor garden too.
We started our dining adventure with a flatbread topped with organic tomatoes and fresh opal basil from the restaurant’s garden.
The award-winning chef and his long-time friend, Master Sommelier George Miliotes invited a group of us to enjoy their creative menu paired with cocktails and wine at the special Chef’s Table. It’s a private room that is ideal for parties, birthdays, showers or an intimate evening with friends. The room has mahogany walls, and picture frames filled with various colorful spices.
Chef Pleau likes to “wing it” sometimes and doesn’t always follow recipes. “When I get creative, I get a little whimsical in my dishes,” he said as we tasted his amuse bouche of Dungeness crab with an avocado mousse and salsa. It was accompanied with a crisp and spicy floral tasting Paso Paso Verdejo wine from La Mancha, Spain. The flavors went well with the seafood.
I learned so much from the master sommelier, George Miliotes. When he is not at one of the Seasons 52 restaurants hosting a Chef’s Table dinner, he is educating his staff or traveling the world to find the next best wine.
Read the rest of my review courtesy of the Beverly Press and Park LaBrea News. Published on 1/3/13.