Guest Post: Seasons 52 – Culinary Excellence Under 475 Calories (California, USA)
Since August 2012 (the establishment of this site), this Intolerant has been fortunate to come across handfuls of talented, driven and inspiring writers/creators who are doing their own thing in the far expanses of the bloggerverse. Because it’s great to learn about what like-minded individuals are up to around the world, For the Intolerants will feature a guest post every so often covering all sorts of intolerant-friendly food, style, culture and travel things.
With that, we’re getting the guest post train started with the fashion savvy, socially conscious and wildly witty The Cultureur (real-life alias: Nyssa) whose online mission is to curate a rich stockpile of global culture (including travel, food, wine, luxury, photography, lifestyle, international development, books and films) that you can’t help but spend hours perusing. I know she’s one of my favourite Sunday afternoon reads!
Let’s take a peek at Seasons 52 in Orange County, California; a place highly recommended by Nyssa who demurely warns before reading: “don’t look on an empty stomach!”
Leave your calorie counter at the door as every item on the menu (including desserts!) is under 475 calories, which means you can forget about the self-loathing and guilt that usually accompanies a filling, satisfying meal. Serving contemporary American cuisine, Seasons 52 prides itself on using only the freshest and healthiest produce of the season and boasts a changing menu that not only features an impressive array of healthy (and incredibly flavorful) food, but also an exhaustive wine list with over 100+ bottles from all over the world.
California weather might have missed the memo on the idea of four seasons, but rest assured that Seasons 52 received the word as evidenced by their seasonally-inspired menu that features the best of autumn, winter, spring and summer. With a menu that changes four times a year, you can expect creative culinary offerings all year round and allow yourself that freedom to indulge every time.
For those with food allergies or special dietary needs, it’s a place where you can leave your worries at the door, as you will be pleasantly surprised with 6 alternative menus that are already set aside: lactose-free, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, garlic-free, and low-sodium.
Thanks to my 20+ visits, I’ve enumerated my top picks below and listed them according to what I’ve found to be superb, excellent and great. Where are the good, bad, and ugly, you say? Well, truth be told, I’ve yet to walk out of Seasons 52 unhappy with my meal or service.
1) Cedar Plank Roasted Salmon
2) Desserts (it’s called mini indulgences here): Pecan Pie with Vanilla Mousse + Meyer Lemon Pound Cake [the entire tray is a MUST try]
1) Chilled Lobster & Shrimp Spring Rolls
2) Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli
1) Oak-Grilled Filet Mignon
2) Maui Tuna Crunch Salad
1) Lemon Verbena Mojito
2) Pomegranate Margarita Martini
1) Skinny Strawberry-Coconut Martini
2) Domaine Carneros, Carneros ‘07/’08 (organic)
1) Hawaiian Pineapple Cosmopolitan
2) Chocolate & Espresso Martini
Insider tip: For a full-on luxe and more intimate experience, try the Chef’s Table: a one-of-a-kind culinary experience complemented by wine tasting sessions. You can literally ask for almost anything made to order and you won’t hear a single no!
Bottom line: Seasons 52 is the perfect reminder that healthy food doesn’t have to be bland or boring. As one of my favorite restaurants in Orange County, with each entrée capped at 475 calories and a menu that boasts only the freshest concoctions, I will keep coming back for more, season after season.
Location: South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, Orange County, California, but there are locations dotted all throughout the U.S. I’m not one to favor chains, but I absolutely must make an exception for this.