By:  Matt Spey, Tenant Coordinator 

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Crabtree Valley Mall is very happy to announce that our newest restaurant, Seasons 52 is open for business. They are a great addition to the mall and a wonderful fit for our community. We know you will love the cuisine and their motto of bringing the best of each season straight to your table. The beautiful new restaurant is situated at the mall’s main entrance from Glenwood Avenue.

The mall’s marketing department was invited to participate in the week of preview dining at Seasons 52 leading up to their grand opening on April 3rd so we can now provide a review of the delicious food we ate and strong encouragement for others to go experience dining at Seasons 52. A seasonally adjusted farm to table menu is the core concept of the restaurant and it allows them to produce a menu that has seasonal dishes that change over the course of a year and surround a core menu of amazing dishes.

Since spring has now sprung, there is a theme of bright lively freshness in the current menu that is not limited to just the plated fare. The beverage selection is a key component to the cuisine with cocktails and drinks varying with the seasons. One of the beverages ordered at our table was the sparkling raspberry lemonade, that was served with two raspberries and a sprig of mint. The lemonade provided a mix of sweetness and tartness that was refreshing without being cloyingly sweet. While the drink isn’t guaranteed to generate sunny weather it should generate a sunny disposition when you imbibe it.

We also ordered a variety of starters for our table to try out. These starters included the Lobster & Fresh Mozzarella Flatbread, Lump Crab Cake and Blistered Shishito Peppers. 

The Roasted Shishito Peppers were a crowd pleaser. A majority of the peppers had a sweet flavor but a few contained a pleasant amount of spicy heat, creating a fun game of pepper roulette at the table. The shishito peppers come dressed with roasted corn, Sonoma goat-feta cheese, lemon aioli and sumac. 

The Ahi Tuna Tartare was also a big hit. The handline tuna is plated on top of a wasabi-avocado mousse and tropical salsa. Hawaiian sea salt crisps are served as an accompaniment to the tartare.  The Hawaiian sea salt crisps are tasty cracker like chips but the majority of diners at our table simply at forkfuls of the tartar, wasabi-avocado mousse and tropical salsa. Everyone enjoyed the wasabi-avacado mousse, the coolness of the avocado prevented the earthy heat of the wasabi from overpowering the dish and the tropical salsa provided good texture to the soft tartare and mousse.

We had ordered two flatbread starters, the Lobster and Fresh Mozzarella and the All Natural Pepperoni which were both deliciously. One of our entrees was the handheld Crispy Braised Shortrib sandwich that is made with the flatbread rather than a roll or sliced bread. The crispy flatbread made the handeld easier to eat and the thin flatbread complimented the shortrib meat, aged cheddar, pickled red onion, and horseradish crema. The folded flatbread also made it much easier to use the au jus dip with the sandwich without creating a soggy mess of a sandwich. Homemade pickles were chosen as the side dish for the sandwich. The pickles arrived served in an open jar, a welcome southern touch, and were a flavorful bread and butter style pickle.

The Maui Tuna Crunch salad was another winning entree. The salad had expertly seared handlin tuna alongside a large bed of organic greens with almonds and toasted sesame dressing. The salad greens and vegetables were fresh and delicious with a hint of herbaciousness including celantro that blended nicely with the nutty crunch of the almonds.

Delicious meals need to be paired with just the right wines, of course.  Season’s 52 has their Sommelier constantly searching the world for new wines from both well-known growing regions and up-and-coming vintners. This allows the restaurant to offer an ever-changing selection from unoaked Napa Whites to Spanish Tempranillo and bold red varietals that span the globe. Balanced, crisp, dry or fruit forward, their extensive collection matches our seasonal menu perfectly. 

Unfortunately we did not order any wine or spirits because we were on a working lunch but we were impressed with the wine list and thought the suggested pairings looked intriguing and would be helpful to diners. Seasons 52 considers their wine selection to be a crucial part of the their restaurant and incorporates their wine cellar into the decor of the restaurant very nicely. The bright colors, warm wood and abundance of natural light creates a welcoming and relaxing dining atmosphere. Seeing the wine racks instills a homey intimacy and communicates a professional passion for cooking that compliments the clean lines and soft edges of the seating area making you feel instantly comfortable in a brand new place.

It’s not just the food that changes to maximize seasonal freshness, seasonal cocktails are also featured on their bar menu. The bar itself is centrally located instead of being tucked away into a nook or corner which conveys a friendly and open social vibe. A feeling of inclusion is communicating and one senses that Seasons 52 wants patrons to enjoy cocktails as part of the complete dining experience.

We had a fantastic dining experience at Seasons 52 and strongly encourage everyone to come see for themselves what a great addition the restaurant is to Crabtree Valley Mall.

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