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Restaurant Review: Seasons 52 Fresh Grill and Wine Bar, Orlando

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The taste of summer at Seasons 52, a fresh grill and wine bar, comes to an end with the beginning of autumn. As the seasons revolve, so does the varying menu at Seasons 52.

While on vacation this summer in Florida, my husband and I opted to wait in a 1½ hour line for a booth in the bar of the Seasons 52 Orlando — the flagship location (2003). It was Saturday night at 7PM. The live pianist played and sang popular tunes while we made friends with other hungry couples. Without a reservation, Seasons 52 Orlando is one of the most difficult restaurants to get into.

Fortunately we managed to locate a bar booth. Daryl and Linda, our newly made friends, were invited to join us. Was it worth the wait?

Seasons 52, owned by Darden Restaurants Inc. of Orlando, is the conception of over ten years of research. It favors fresh nutritious ingredients, focusing on the best of the season in vegetables, with an emphasis on premium seafood, lamb, beef, and poultry. The starters and main dishes on the menu are prepared, usually by open-fire grilling or stone hearth roasting, without the use of heavy fats, such as butter. The chef substitutes beneficial oils instead.

Master Sommelier Diploma, George MiliotesEach meal provides the patron with the recommended combination of nutrients from the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. A significant factor in my return to a second location, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, is the caloric content of each item — less than 475 calories! And I left full!

A hallmark dish is the cedar-planked salmon. On the menu this autumn you'll find a Reuben flatbread with caraway, lean corn beef, and swiss cheese and grilled polenta with mushrooms and thyme.

Have a food allergy or watching your sodium intake? You will find cordial, helpful, well trained servers. They have been educated regarding the nutritional standards lime-lighted at Seasons 52.

The Seasons 52 wine program, headed by Master Sommelier George Miliotes, offers over 140 types of wine, 70 available by the glass from their on site chateaus. Cheers Magazine lists the chain in its Best Wine Program.

Seasons 52 Trend-Setting DessertsFor those wanting a sweet ending, Seasons 52, the mini-indulgence trend-setter, hosts a dessert tray — small shot glasses of individual creations. Each one is no more than four or five bites and priced at $1.95 per glass. Try the amaretto or the tiramisu.

For the most delicious, nutritious, affordable cuisine I’ve eaten in a long, long time, it was definitely worth the wait! But don’t do what I did, call ahead, Seasons 52 is accepting reservations.

Awards already won this year include:

Nation’s Restaurant News MenuMasters Award, May 2007
“Chef/Innovator,” Cliff Pleau

American Academy of Taste, May 2007
“Master of Taste,” Cliff Pleau

Orlando Magazine Dining Awards, May 2007
“Best Restaurant”
“Best Wine List”
“Restaurant Most Worth the Wait”

Orlando Leisure, Silver Spoon Awards, April 2007
“Most Outstanding Chain Restaurant”
“Most Outstanding Sweet Endings”
“Most Outstanding Fine Wine Service”
“Most Outstanding Atmosphere”

Court of Master Sommeliers, March 2007
Master Sommelier Diploma, George Miliotes

Cheers Magazine, February 2007
“Best Wine Program”

Seasons 52 currently has locations in Florida: Altamonte Springs, Orlando, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach Gardens; and in Georgia: Atlanta, Buckhead Plaza and Perimeter Mall.

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About Kelly Jad'on

  • Jonas

    Are there any employees of Seasons 52 reading this blog? if so, what do you have to say about your restaurant?