One of the San Diego restaurant openings I was most anticipating this year was Seasons 52. It’s a chain of restaurants that is most known for offering a menu where every dish is under 475 calories. The menu is not comprised of salads and diet foods either. It’s real food like filet mignon, seared scallops, flat breads, etc.
I became very interested in this restaurant after reading an interview with the Chef about how they make their dishes without any butter, cream or deep fryers. It’s a subject that is close to my heart. My mom and brother are of the camp that everything needs a little butter to taste better, whereas I’ve always believed that a lot of savory dishes can be accomplished without the use of butter or extra oil and still taste delicious.
The San Diego location is inside the newly redesigned UTC mall. Seasons refers to the fact that their menu changes with each season, to reflect the seasonal fresh produce. 52 refers to a chef’s special menu also offered, which changes each week.
From the exterior, the restaurant looks quite nice, complete with valet parking (which seems pretty unnecessary since parking is free at the mall) and fire torches surrounding the restaurant. Upon entering, there is a lounge area with a huge circular bar. Seasons 52 offers about 100 different wines.
The actual dining room seemed smaller than I expected and you can watch the kitchen in action through the clear glass windows.
Steak & Cremini Mushroom Flat Bread
We started with a flat bread appetizer. The flat bread is very thin and crunchy. Normally I prefer thicker flatbreads over the cracker-thin ones, but even though this flatbread was so thin, it still had the slightest chew letting you know you’re eating dough and I quite enjoyed it.
Caramelized Grilled Sea Scallops roasted asparagus, sun-dried tomato-mushroom pearl pasta
This was DH’s entree. The scallops were grilled perfectly. I thought the dish had a lot of flavor and tasted on par with the quality of other grilled scallops we’ve had at higher end restaurants. I didn’t miss the lack of butter one bit.
Update: Please note this giveaway is now over. Congratulations to the winning entries #25, 42, and 45!
You know how much I like Biscoff right? I’ve raved about the Biscoff spread on the blog several times and made recipes using the spread like chocolate chip Biscoff cookies, almost flourless Biscoff cookies, Biscoff cake, double stuffed Biscoff cookies, Biscoff mug cake, and Biscoff chocolate cups. I tell people about Biscoff all the time. I also often gift friends with Biscoff cookies or the spread if they haven’t yet tried it.
For those who don’t know what Biscoff is, it’s a caramelized spice cookie biscuit from Europe. It’s now also become a cookie butter spread which is available at Walmart, Cost Plus and some grocery store chains like Vons. You can also buy it online on Amazon though it’s cheaper to get in-store.
Last time we were at Walmart and I loaded up on Biscoff Crunchy spread because all the markets I had checked had been out of it for awhile. DH looked at the cart and remarked “You know we’re not preparing for Armageddon right?”
So anyway, I’m so excited to be doing a Biscoff giveaway! And also to present to you my newest Biscoff recipe: hot Biscoff milk. Like hot chocolate, except with Biscoff spread instead!
This drink is heavenly if you like Biscoff spread. I made it for DH and I to drink while we decorated our first Christmas tree together. I originally tried making it a Biscoff chocolate milk. But the chocolate completely drowned out the Biscoff flavor. So I got rid of the chocolate altogether. And ended up with this creamy tan colored drink. Yum.
Now, onto the giveaway.
I’m not quite sure what to call this place since it currently has no sign. I found out about it after reading a post from mmm-yoso!!!, where Kirk referred to it as Restaurant Kazu. If you look on yelp, it’s also listed as Restaurant Kazu. However, on our bill, it said “Ristorante Kaz.” Perhaps they are still trying to make up their mind on the name.
Well whatever you call it, it’s a fairly new Japanese Italian restaurant opened up by the same owner as Sakura. It’s located in the same plaza as Sakura, and like Sakura, it currently has no sign. We actually had a bit of trouble finding it at first before finally spotting it situated between Imperial Mandarin and Tsuruhashi Japanese BBQ.
Having enjoyed my lunches at Sakura, I was excited to check this place out and was happy to learn from mmm-yoso’s post that this new place also offered lunch specials.
There is a menu written in chalk as well as the lunch special menu. For the lunch special, you start with a base price of $12 which includes salad, soup and a pasta dish. For additional surcharges, you can upgrade your salad, soup and/or pasta dish.
Lunch also includes coffee or orange juice. I didn’t see that on the menu but the person helping us helpfully brought it to our attention.
The house salad looked very simple and a little sad. I wished they had some variety other than a few pieces of lettuce tossed in some vinaigrette.
For $2, you can upgrade to this, which looks so much more impressive and was worth the extra money for us. This reminded me of our time in Italy. They did pour a little too much salt and pepper over it though so some components were too salty. I loved the fresh basil.