Thursday, October 4, 2012

Seasons 52 - Fall Menu and Drink them before they're famous event

Seasons 52 has been one of my favorite restaurants for quite sometime. My best friend Keri and I used to frequent the flagship location in Altamonte. After moving to Tampa, I was more than pleased to find their Tampa location right down the street from my office. Seasons 52 offers a seasonal menu which changes four times a year. They recently introduced their Autumn Menu (pumpkin anyone!). Whenever you dine at Seasons 52, you will always experience culinary delight that will not cause you to leave feeling guilty; nothing on their menu is over 475 calories!

Seasons 52 wine list is always changing too. Master Sommelier George Miliotes created the wine list "Drink Them Before They Become Famous" to introduce guests to new wines at a reasonable price point.

Thanks to my friend Katie (Ruffles and Truffles), I recently got to attend a wine and food pairing which featured six amazing wines from the Drink them before they become famous list, paired with items from Seasons 52 Autumn 2012 menu. I was tried wines I have never heard of before and fell in love with a few. The wines we sampled included Vista Hills Orange Pinot Gris, Willamette '11;  Farrier Andiron Semillon, Alexander '09;  Avanthia Godello, Valdeorras '10/'11;  Tilia Bonarda, Mendoza '11/'12;  Michael David Petite Petit, Petite Sirah, Lodi '09/'10;  Glenelly Cabernet Sauvignon, Stellenbosch '10
Drink them before they're famous
Vista Hills Orange Pinot Gris, Willamette '11 was a true crowd pleaser. Until now, I had never seen or heard of Orange wine. This particular one is rare - only 250 cases are available around the world and Seasons 52 happens to have them all. It was very crisp and clean and I would love to get my hands on one of those 250 cases!

The orange Pinot Gris wine was paired with Portobello Mushroom Flat Bread and Double Hummus & Sea Salt Lavosh. The Flat Bread was out of this world, featuring portobello mushrooms, roasted garlic, spinach, goat cheese and a truffle sour cream drizzle. The double hummus was a fire roasted red pepper with chili and a edamame with mint. Of the two, the edamame hummus was my favorite.
    Portobello Mushroom Flatbread
    Double Hummus
The second pairing we had was Farrier Andiron Semillon, Alexander '09. This was my first experience with Semillon and I quickly learned that I like it. I usually stick towards chardonnay's so I was pleased that I found another wine. This is a perfect Fall time wine.

The Semillon was paired with Cider-Glazed Grilled Chicken Skewers. Senior Director of Culinary, Clifford Pleau stated that when he was building the Fall menu, he used his childhood memories of visiting a cider press with his Grandmother. The Cider glaze was amazing, served with a Fuji apple slaw, sun-dried cranberries, toasted pumpkin seeds.
Cider-Glazed Chicken Skewers
Our third wine pairing was my overall favorite of the evening - Avanthia Godello, Valdeorras '10/'11. Godello is a very rare high quality grape. It was my favorite white wine of the evening. This full bodied wine is perfect to drink with my friends. I am not a fan of overly buttery or oaky wines and they are not fans of fruity wines. It was a perfect mix of all flavors.

The Godello was paired with a salad I may have had dreams about last night - Maple Leaf Farms Sesame Duck Salad. This salad had amazing flavors and I cannot put on paper. The duck was perfectly seared, served on top chopped greens, apples, mint, cranberries, butternut squash, toasted pecans. It was flavor explosion. Hats off top Seasons 52 for adding this salad to the menu. I urge you to go to your local Seasons 52 now and order this dish!
Maple Leaf Farms Sesame Duck Salad
After that amazing salad experience, we were served Tilia Bonarda, Mendoza '11/'12. It was a light and fruity red wine.

The Bonarda was paired with All Natural Piedmontese Steak. Piedmontese beef is meat from cattle having 1 or 2 copies of the inactive myostatin gene. This attribute provides a higher lean-to-fat ratio as well as a less marbled with less connective tissue cut of red meat than from cattle having the "active" version of the gene. The steaks have about 25% less calories than beef from other cattle breeds. It was very tender and had great flavor.
All Natural Piedmontese Steak
At this stage, I forgot about the final course of the night as I was already full. Sommelier George told us in the beginning of the night that we would have a battle of new world and old age between the Michael David Petite Petit, Petite Sirah, Lodi '09/'10 and Glenelly Cabernet Sauvignon, Stellenbosch '10. My friends Lauren and Shannon (Tasting Tampa) were very familiar with the "new age" Petite Petite and raved about it the moment they saw it on the table. I quickly understood why. This was an amazing full bodied red wine. I could have drank an entire bottle. I much preferred it to the "old world" wine, which I found very dry. I took a few sips of it but went back to the Petite Petit.

The battle of the wines was paired with another first for me - Manchester Farms All-Natural Grilled Quail served with mushroom risotto. I am very finicky when it comes to poultry and do not like bones or dark meat. While the quail tasted really good, I had a hard time eating it and went back to the wine. Let's not leave the risotto out of this - I could honestly eat it as a dish on it's own. It was SO good.
Manchester Farms All Natural Grilled Quail
Finally, the mini indulgence desserts made their appearance. I had the privilege of dining next to Executive Chef Melissa Louty and Tampa manager Elysa Franco. Chef told us that the Pumpkin Pie Mini with Double Gingersnap Crust was her favorite indulgence. I will take an entire platter of those. All of the mini indulgences looked amazing. I also tried the cannoli mini which I really enjoyed.
Mini Indulgence Desserts
Pumpkin Pie Mini Indulgence
Seasons 52 new Fall menu and the offering of wines before they become famous was an excellent night. Thank you Seasons 52 for a wonderful evening that I got to share with good friends!

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3 comments:

  1. That sounds like so much fun! And all of that food looks amazing!

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    1. It was!!! If you have a Seasons 52 near you, you must check out the Autumn menu.

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  2. Yummmmm! :) That meal was so stinking good, and I love the new wines that were paired with everything: perfection! That orange Pinot Gris was one of my favorites...and that duck salad?!?! Drool.

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