From the same folks who brought us The Capital Grille, there’s Seasons 52, a newish concept with ‘Fresh Grill’ in its subhead. One of the stores in this sophisticated chain is in Plano, the only Texas location to date. (The nearest one is in Phoenix, so even if Plano seems like a longish drive to some folks in the DFW area, it beats the alternative.)
And while chains rarely excite me, Seasons 52 does a lot of things I like. As with its sister restaurant, The Capital Grille, it pulls off the neat trick of not feeling like a cookie-cutter restaurant. There’s a high degree of customer service that you’d expect in an independently owned place, and the food shows so much thought, you are assured that it’s not coming from a central commissary thousands of miles away.
Be certain also that this is a grown-ups’ dining spot. No Cheesecake Factory, this; there’s not even a smidge of the all-things-for-all-people mentality here. I find it more like Houston’s, but with a more conscientious menu.
That’s because no dish at Seasons 52 contains more than 475 calories. Not one. That tells you plenty: Menu items are carefully constructed with a keen eye focused on nutrition; ingredients are fresh and clean; and portions make sense. Anyone who is sick and tired of restaurants that serve colossal plates mounded with heavy goods should see reason to rejoice here.
Because people worry that if food is good for you that it can’t possibly taste good, Seasons 52 doesn’t make a big deal out of that low calorie count. There’s one simple line on the menu stating the fact, but you’re not bashed over the head with this detail. The best news is that the food at Seasons 52 tastes good. Although there is no butter in the kitchen, there’s plenty of good flavor and texture, if my recent lunch there is a proper indication.
We started with a sampler of flatbreads, the signature appetizer at Seasons 52. My favorite was the ripe plum tomato edition with fresh basil shreds, roasted garlic and mozzarella, on which the tomatoes were rich and sweet. The steak and cremini mushroom flatbread with fresh spinach and fragrant blue cheese was a close second.
Entrees were even more impressive: the cedar plank-roasted salmon was a mix of smoky and juicy impressions. Alongside, roasted carrots and crisp fresh asparagus were perfect pairings. The lightness seemed to justify dessert, which isn’t the big plate of sin you’re accustomed to; in fact, the smart approach to sweets at Seasons 52 is presenting them in small packages. Called Mini-Indulgences, these petite goodies are served in a quasi-shotglass, so you get three or four spoonfuls and you’re done. Among these is chocolate-peanut butter mousse, Key lime pie, red velvet cake and cookies and cream.
Find Seasons 52 just off the Dallas North Tollway in the Shops at Legacy.
7300 Lone Star Dr.
Plano, TX 75024
Hours: Mon – Fri, 11 am – 10 pm; Sat 11 am – 11 pm; Sun 11 am – 10 pm