Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Reviews --> Lunch At Seasons 52

Lunch At Seasons 52
And yes, we know it's a chain...

Well, this is something we don't normally do, write about good experiences at a chain restaurant...especially one owned by Darden, the people who gave us Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse. Although, there may be some redemption in the fact that they also own Capital Grill. In any case, after three very positive experiences together and multiple good lunch experiences for Linda, we decided we needed to say something about Seasons 52. They may be corporate, but they really seem to be doing it right, from the flavorful menu and professional staff to the startling honest wine program.

Wine always seems to be an unconscionably, exploitative profit center for almost all national chain and many local restaurants. Seasons 52's list, while typically priced about twice retail, with a few sneaky exceptions like the $26 gouge for $5 bottle white Zinfandel, is amazingly honest. They have over 100 wines on the list with 52 offered by the glass, at a very fair, quarter bottle, 6-ounce pour, at one quarter of the price of a bottle, eliminating the bottle purchase advantage. And from our experience, they sell a lot of wine, with servers pouring wine tableside and using the "52" mark on their nice, signature glasses to make sure of a fair pour.

On our last visit at lunch we had glasses of the Chateau Ste. Michelle Mimi Chardonnay, honestly priced at $8/glass, $32 a bottle and a Boraso Rosé at $6.50 a glass and $26 a bottle. And we were impressed that the back of the bottles were marked with the date and time opened to ensure freshness. The bottle program is just as honest, with the 2012 Chappellet Signature Cabernet that we recently sold out of at $49.99 a bottle listed at $85.00.

Their dining concept is reasonably-portioned sized servings, with a focus on low, healthy calorie counts that are displayed for each menu item. Linda said the food reminds her of recipes from Cooking Light and other "healthy food" magazines, where lots of spice and strong flavors are used to compensate for a lack of fat and calories. The last time we were there, entrees topped out with lobster pappardelle at 760 calories, and bottomed out with a grilled flat iron steak at 410 calories. Trust me, there aren't any entrees at Ruth's Chris that come anywhere close to being that lean. And yes, we know, calorie count is not the only measurement for a healthy meal, but sometimes you get a little worn out with enormous portions and lots of fat.

At our last lunch we started by sharing the lobster and mozzarella flatbread that featured roasted red peppers, scallions and lobster sour cream...delicious. We followed that by sharing the slow-braised beef tacos with pickled red onion and guacamole in soft corn tortillas, three in a serving, and more than enough for two to share. Everything was filled with robust, vibrant flavors. On a previous visit we shared the garlic chicken pesto flatbread with balsamic onions, roasted red peppers and arugula, and the incredibly good braised short rib sandwich. The pricing is relatively reasonable with appetizers at $7 to $14 and entrees at $17 to $27.

Many of you, like us, have been visiting this restaurant location for a number of years...first as Rosa Corona, then Keystone Grill (with the best seafood ever), and then another short lived Mexican joint, El Torito! You would never recognize the interior today as it has been gutted and elegantly refinished...a very nice atmosphere and very well done. And the staff are obviously very well-trained, and professional. No "no problem" as a substitute for "you're welcome" here. Instead, you hear "my pleasure."

We visited together on the weekend, but Linda says it is definitely a new "go to" location for business lunches - she saw 6 commercial real estate folks there just last week. But with two great lunches in a row for us...and others that Linda has had, Seasons 52 has a niche that it fills with good food and exceptional service, a discipline that most national chains are unable to equal. It is worth a visit!

Seasons 52

8650 Keystone Crossing
Indianapolis, IN 46240
(317) 846-5252