Kelly the Culinarian: #WhatsGoodNow: A Winter Tasting at Seasons 52 Chicago

Sunday, November 22, 2015

#WhatsGoodNow: A Winter Tasting at Seasons 52 Chicago

Ah, I love Seasons 52. It's healthy, locally sourced and seasonally available, with a new menu every week. Every season, however, new dishes are rotated onto the menu to highlight the tastes of the season, hence the name. The Chicago location is also under new management, so I got a first look at what to expect now. Everything here is available on the menu now, until the next season rolls out. While I enjoyed a free meal, the opinions are all my own. We started with wine, the seasonal cocktail and the new flatbread.

The cocktail this season is a cranberry sage number featuring gin, cranberry juice, lime and a candied sage leaf. I appreciated that it wasn't too sweet but still packed a punch. The seasonal flatbread featured braised shortrib and aged cheddar. It was light and savory at the same time, providing just a taste of beef coupled with horseradish cream and micro cilantro. I also sampled the grilled garlic pesto flatbread, which was my favorite. The balsamic onions and roasted peppers really brought it together.

Next up, appetizers. This season features a black and white lobster ravioli with squid ink and egg pasta, topped with a sherry lobster sauce. It was a great opening for good things to come.

We had to try a salad, and out waiter suggested the warm arugula and mushroom salad. It was topped with truffle dressing and Parmesan shavings, which melted into the warm mushrooms for a surprisingly fulfilling flavor profile.

We also sampled the duck wing lollipops, which packed quite the punch with a Korean red chili glaze. So much so that it called for another beverage.

The New Old Fashioned is a beautiful drink, as it's served with the craft bourbon on the side so you can sample the cherry apple bitters separately and add more as desired. It's also served with a rock candy stirrer.

The best thing I ate all night was the Asian-glazed Chilean sea bass, which was served atop organic black rice, snow peas, shitake mushrooms and micro wasabe. It was a stand out that I would order again and again.

And because no meal is complete without dessert, Seasons 52 features microdesserts served in shotglasses that are the perfect amount of sweet to finish out a meal. I've done this more than once, and my favorite dessert is the ultimate smores cup. It has all things chocolate topped with a toasted marshmallow. I have tried all the rest, in the interest of journalistic integrity, and this is the best.

Thanks for a wonderful winter tasting, Seasons 52!

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