COSTA MESA, Calif. October, 2012—Seasons 52 in Costa Mesa, the highly acclaimed fresh grill and wine bar debuts its fall menu. Starting in 2003, Seasons 52 currently operates 23 restaurants in 13 states across the country.
Inspired by farmer’s markets, the menu changes four times a year. For autumn, the menu features quail, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and apples.
Introduced via live web cast from Florida where, Master Sommelier George Miliotes and Chef Clifford Pleau explained the dishes and wine pairings at a recent dinner to introduce the menu.
Miliotes, one of just 180 Master Sommeliers worldwide, was born into the restaurant and hospitality business at his family’s Florida specialty market and café. He created award-winning wine lists for Chris’ House of Beef in Orlando, Walt Disney World’s California Grill before joining Seasons 52. Miliotes travels the world in search of Seasons 52 autumn “Drink them before their famous” wines. The evolving selection of reasonably priced vintages comprise the restaurant’s international selection of 100 wines, from which 52 are offered by the glass.
Vista Hills Orange Pinot Gris, Willamette ’11 (Oregon) was served with portobello mushroom flatbread and two kind of hummus—minted edamame and red roasted chili hummus with a crispy sea salt flatbread. The wine’s rusty brick color, justifying the orange moniker, comes from an ancient technique of leaving the juice on the grape skins during fermentation. Miliotes described the results as light and fruity with tannins, perfect as a palate cleanser.
Cider-glazed chicken skewers are tender bites served over a crispy, refreshing Fuji apple slaw made with dried cranberries and toasted pumpkin seeds. The chicken was paired with the 2009 Farrier “Andiron” Semillon from the Alexander Valley region of Sonoma, California.
A salad of Maple Leaf Farms sesame duck was presented in a transparent plastic cylindrical tube. The server lifts the cylinder allowing the mixed greens, diced apples, butternut squash and toasted pecans to tumble onto the plate for a ta-dah. Avanthia Godello, Valdeorras, ‘10/’11 (Spain), made from the nearly extinct Godello grape varietal accompanied this course.
No dish at Seasons 52 is ever more than 475 calories, which may be why leaner Piedmontese beef is the choice for the strip steak. Roasted asparagus, a cremini mushroom glaze, and fingerling potatoes round out the dish. Miliotes paired the dish with an Argentine wine, Tilia Bonard, Mendoza’11/’12.
The Manchester Farms grilled quail is all juicy tenderness with a smooth, rich mushroom risotto and sautéed spinach. This much flavor and so few calories! Two red wines, one old world, one new world, were served with this vegetarian dish. Glenelly Cabernet Sauvignon ’09, Stellenbosch, (South Africa) represented the old world as the vineyard is owned by Madame de Lencquesaing of France.
Michael David Petite, Petit, Petite Sirah, Lodi ‘09/’10 (California) represented new world. Labeled with two dancing circus elephants, this blend of petite sirah and petit verdot delivers a dense full bodied wine.
The season’s mini-indulgence, pumpkin pie (see recipe) with ginger snap crust consists of layers of pumpkin mouse and crushed ginger snaps. Light, yet satisfying, it’s the perfect end to a meal.
Seasons 52’s fall menu is in place until December 21 when the restaurant will launch its winter menu.