fiddlehead definition

fid·dle·head [ fídd'l hèd ] (plural fid·dle·heads) noun
Definition: edible fern shoot: the coiled frond of a young fern, often cooked and eaten as a delicacy

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Seasons 52 Spring Menu Preview

I recently had the chance to try the new spring menu items at Seasons 52 in Buckhead. I frequently hear friends talk about dining there but haven't been to either location in Atlanta. See, my perception is that if a restaurant holds all of its dishes to a certain calorie count, I will undoubtedly leave hungry. Seasons 52 has a full menu of dishes under 475 calories. So, on a beautiful spring evening I entered highly suspicious.

Our cocktail reception began with a strawberry Kir royale, a pretty and girly drink. Very springy.
Ripe plum tomato flatbread with fresh basil, herbs de Provence, Parmesan, and roasted garlic. Very fresh and very light. How I crave fresh tomatoes after winter.

Artichoke and goat cheese flatbread with spinach, balsamic onion, and roasted peppers.

Artichoke stuffed artichoke leaves with organic arugula, Parmesan, and a balsamic glaze.
Our webinar began with Senior Culinary Director Cliff Pleau, and Master Sommelier George Miliotes. They spoke of the inspiration behind dishes and pairings and the seasonal ingredients used in the dishes. We had the opportunity to tweet questions and they answered them. This interaction was fun and proved very informative.

Tomato and Haas avocado salad with arugula, 4 year balsamic glaze and grilled bruschetta. I really loved this simple salad. Bright, fresh tomatoes and tart balsamic mixed with peppery arugula. Haas avocados have a higher fat content than most, making them more savory. It was at this time that I glanced out of the window to the scene on the patio. It was filled with al fresco diners enjoying a spring evening.  I would love to eat this salad with a crisp and light white like the Aveleda Vinho Verde Master Sommelier George Miliotes chose to pair with this dish.
Columbia river steelhead trout with spring veggies, basmati rice, and lemongrass sauce. The moment I read this on the menu I knew what I would hear (and I was correct): "I thought it was supposed to be trout." A member of the rainbow trout family, steelhead are similar to salmon in look as well as flavor. They are a wonderful choice when considering seafood, as they are on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch list as a "best choice" for sustainability. The fillets were cooked perfectly and the lemongrass sauce was a clever alternative to a rich buttery sauce.

 Spicy snow peas and shiitake mushrooms with roasted almonds. The snow peas were crisp, the shiitakes meaty and luscious, and the almonds crunchy. Great bite.

Lamb T bone chops with asparagus, truffle mashed potatoes, and red wine glaze. This is where I eat my words, well, my supposed words. This dish was so very good. The chef told us that the lamb is first rubbed with "char 52," a seasoning blend including lavender and freeze dried molasses, oak wood fire grilled and topped with the glaze.

George Miliotes expertly chose a jammy Alegrini Palazzo della Torre Corvina Veronese which he referred to as a "turbo charged Valpolicella."

Mini Indulgence Desserts (front front to back): mocha macchiato, raspberry/mandarin cheesecake, chocolate peanut butter mousse, meyer lemon pound cake, fresh fruit cup, no-nut rocky road, southern style pecan pie, key lime pie, and red velvet cake). Confession: I had one bite of the key lime pie and it proved tasty. While my table enjoyed sampling (and oohing and ahhing) the desserts, I had another lamb chop.

While waiting for the valet I thought over the meal. It was seasonal, fresh, tasty, and can be enjoyed on an expansive patio on many Atlanta evenings. The chef, Brian Besaw, has been with Seasons 52 for 8 years and mentioned how much he loved his job. There are reception rooms for events. The spring menu would be great for a baby shower or wedding shower. Also, I thought about the lamb.

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