Our friends at Seasons 52 invited us to come back to their Dunwoody location to sample highlights from their autumn menu. We’ve written about this chain twice before, and noted that they revamp their menu somewhat about every thirteen weeks, adding a selection of wines that they label “Before they’re famous.”
This fall’s selection, from sommelier George Miliotes, includes Vista Hills Orange Pinot Gris, (Willamette 2011), Farrier Andiron Semillon (Alexander 2009 – my favorite of the offerings), Avanthia Godello (Valdeorras 2010 and 2011), Tilia Bonarda (Mendoza, Argentina 2011 and 2012), Michael David Petite Petit (a blend of Petite Sirah and Petite Bordeaux, Lodi, California 2009 and 2010) and Glenelly Cabernet Sauvignon (Stellenbosch 2010 and another very pleasing offering).
This was, honestly, a meal where we enjoyed the wine more than the food. In a stunning break with tradition, Marie and I were in fairly close agreement about the offerings, neither of us finding an opinion starkly at odds with the other as we often do. Some of what we tried was very good, but, for the first time at Seasons 52, we had a few dishes that we did not enjoy as much. We did enjoy the appetizers a lot. These included a new addition to their rotation of topped flatbreads, with portobello mushroom and goat cheese, and a really nice “double hummus” appetizer. This comes as a tumbler with large, triangular pieces of lavash flatbread with little cups of a green, minted edamame hummus, and a red-roasted chili hummus that is more traditional in taste and appearance. Both were excellent.
Of the four entrees, we most enjoyed the grilled chicken skewers. These were completely wonderful and incredibly tender, and served with a tamarind glaze over an autumn-themed medley that included apple slaw, cranberries, and pumpkin seeds. We were less taken with the duck salad. The salad itself, incorporating chopped greens, apples, mint, cranberries, butternut squash, and toasted pecans, would have been fine on its own, but the very sweet sesame sauce simply didn’t go well with the duck at all, overpowering it.
We were more pleased with the Piedmontese strip steak, a very good cut that, this season, comes with roasted asparagus, cremini mushrooms, and fingerling potatoes, all of which were wonderful, but deeply disappointed by the quail with risotto. The quail, simply, was ruined by the sticky glaze, in much the same way that the duck was not served well by its sauce. Both meats strongly needed to be left alone to shine.
As always, the staff at Seasons 52 was professional and courteous to a fault, and as our group kicked back to enjoy the mini-indulgence desserts – the usual suspects are joined this time by a quite nice pumpkin pie – we shared some shop talk. Some of our regular friends and acquaintances in the hobby stopped in, and we were pleased to welcome City Nom Noms, who recently relocated to Atlanta from her former home base of Indianapolis. We look forward to seeing her on the Urbanspoon Atlanta leaderboard!
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