Seasons 52 now has 16 restaurants with the Indianapolis location at the Fashion Mall now officially open and taking reservations. The Seasons 52 concept involves seasonal menu rotations, all dishes served in portions of 475 calories or less, an open kitchen with a wood-fired oven, grills (heavily employing wood chips evident the minute you walk in the door) and induction burners to limit emissions and help with their carbon footprint. There is not a fryer in sight so one dish I really want to go back and try is their chile rellenos of charred poblanos stuffed with goat cheese and topped with Monterey Jack cheese. Organic ingredients are used "where it makes sense" which is pretty similar to my own kitchen.
We were greeted at the door with champagne flutes to carry on our tour of the dining rooms, kitchen (where the flatbreads were just coming out of the wood-fired ovens), private/meeting rooms and the bar. The bar is gorgeous and 7 nights a week you can enjoy live piano music. The dashing Seasons 52 Master Sommelier, George Miliotes was on hand to guide us through a wide ranging tour of wines with our meal. One hundred bottles are offered and sixty-two wines are available by the glass.
|spices under glass down the center of the chef's table|
|chipotle shrimp with roasted poblanos, grilled pineapple and feta cheese flatbread|
|roasted lemons in the kitchen|
|artichoke & goat cheese with leaf spinach, balsamic onions and roasted peppers flatbread|
|our tables, that's a lot of glasses (we sampled 8 wines :)|
|George, Master Sommelier|
|my birthday card, place card and dinner card|
As with every course, Senior Culinary Director, Cliff Pleau in his chef whites gave a charming narrative of the food (including buying, prep and recipe tips) and Master Sommelier, George introduced us the wine. The next course: Shetland Island organic salmon and lemongrass sea scallop roasted on a cedar plank with Mer Soleil Chardonnay, Central Coast 2008. I'm going to have to start on the amazing wine this time. Good Lord, the loveliest Chardonnay I have ever tasted. Produced from a Monterey vineyard (sister vineyard of Camus wines) with gorgeous layers of flavor and a buttery finish. I did not think I enjoyed the oak barrel flavor, but this beauty made me reconsider. Karen looked it up online. If you need a nice $25-$30 white, try it. Back to the food, I did not think I enjoyed salmon either, and again Seasons 52 has forced a re-evaluation. Delicious with grilled carrots, asparagus and green pepper. Who knew? Well, almost everyone but me! The secret to plank grilling is to brush the plank with olive or hazelnut oil (or any oil you favor, I would imagine) so the wood does not soak the juices out of the salmon. The scallop skewered on lemongrass? Also delicious.
|organic salmon and lemongrass sea scallop roasted on a cedar plank|
|organic greens with oak-grilled mushrooms, toasted pistachios and truffle dressing|
|Cliff Pleau, Senior Culinary Director and dinner guests|
|Sonoma goat cheese ravioli with roasted garlic, basil and light tomato broth|
|mini indulgences celebration tower with birthday candle lit atop|
Well, that took me just shy of a month to post and I apologize for the delay. When I know a lot of writing is required I really need to be in "the mood". And I need to have the time. Big chunks of productive time have eluded me recently. Chunks of unproductive time have been more abundant. Just a little out of the flow, but working my way back into it. Now if only my camera would join me.