New Chain to Serve Smaller, Seasonal Food

By Lisa Petty
|  Monday, Sep 27, 2010  |  Updated 12:48 PM CDT
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Spring and Summer Party Drinks

seasons52.com

The menu at Seasons 52 includes items like this glazed turkey skewer, as well as flatbreads, salads and - believe it or not - burgers.

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Seasons 52 Fresh Grill is set to open on October 4 in Plano’s Shops at Legacy. This 300-seat restaurant will be the chain’s first in Texas, making for a total of 13 locations across the country.

Established in 2003, Seasons 52 is in the midst of a somewhat aggressive expansion. Owned and operated by Darden Restaurants, the notable force behind Red Lobster and The Olive Garden, the concept has five more openings in the works in the coming year.

North Texas’ location will be just like the rest, as per usual in a branded chain, which is not to say it won’t be a unique new addition to our local restaurant landscape.

To start, the menu at Seasons 52 changes four times a year and incorporates weekly specials to highlight seasonal ingredients. Great, but not exactly special, right? Well, there’s also the fact that every single dish contains 475 calories or less.

Interesting. That’s understandable for items like grilled boneless trout, but what about cheese ravioli or buffalo chili? Are they served in a thimble?

The natural presumption is that serving sizes are slashed to accommodate the caloric requirements, but there’s not any specific mention of that on the Seasons 52 menu. Only the phrase “appropriate portion sizes” on the restaurant’s website gives us a clue as to what will end up on the plate.

Nutritional information isn’t much more helpful, as it only lists the actual portion sizes for a couple of steaks and soups. Those sizes, however, are respectable, weighing in at eight ounces and ten ounces, respectively.

Desserts, dubbed “Mini Indulgences” are presented in shot glasses, so it’s pretty clear what you’ll get in that department.

For our part, we appreciate the idea that we might try three courses without wasting half the meal (or popping Tums all night). We hope, however, that prices will line up with the amount of food we receive.

It remains to be seen, though, what North Texans and their notoriously hearty appetites will think of Seasons 52. Or how they’ll react to Big Restaurant telling them what’s ‘appropriate’.  Guess we’ll find out come October.

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