Seasons 52 presents a special Harvest menu in addition to its new winter offerings.
By Ashley Probst
Better is always in season at Seasons 52, a New American eatery at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa that is offering a special Harvest menu leading up to Thanksgiving—perfect for what’s come to be known as Friendsgiving gatherings—as well as a new winter menu. Known for its fresh, seasonal fare as well as its refined yet cozy ambience, this wine bar and grill is the place to be year-round for a sophisticated meal with a home-cooked feel.
The restaurant’s Harvest menu will be available through Nov. 21 and includes a three-course meal as well as suggestions for white and red wines that are sure to pair well.
For a starter, diners can choose from the organic field greens, spinach and caramelized Bosc pear salad, porcini mushroom bisque or butternut squash soup—all also available on the winter menu. At a recent dinner, we opted for the latter, as it is a quintessential fall and winter dish, and it was certainly satisfying. The thick soup is seasoned with cinnamon, making it reminiscent of homey Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts, and topped with crispy shiitake mushrooms for an extra, earthy layer.
Moving on to the main course, this menu features exclusive items that are not available as a la carte options. These include the venison chop with venison ragout and sweet potato mash, a round-shaped short rib lasagna with grass-fed beef Bolognese, and a Mediterranean-style Australian lamb shank with Yukon mashed potatoes and green beans. Other options are the cedar plank-roasted salmon with dill-mustard sauce and a wood-grilled filet mignon, both also available on the winter menu.
Naturally, we wanted to taste the limited edition items, so we ordered the lasagna and lamb shank for our entrees. Lasagna is already the ultimate comfort food, and this elevated version tastes as good as it looks topped with a hearty serving of short rib and smothered in a robust tomato-basil sauce. Plus, the unique presentation adds a bit of flare to this classic dish. The lamb shank is a lighter plate, but just as filling and herbaceous, with the meat literally falling off the bone after being braised in and topped with its own sauce, which consists of cinnamon, oregano, red wine, allspice and more.
Short rib lasagna (above) and Mediterranean-style Australian
lamb shank (below) | Courtesy of Seasons 52
For dessert, the prix fixe menu includes one of two mini indulgences: pumpkin pie or a poached-pear cheesecake. The latter option is the perfect after-dinner bite with its light, fruity flavors accented by a strip of almond-toffee crisp and pecan crust, all packed into a shot glass-size cup. Other flavors include pecan or Key lime pie, mocha macchiato, raspberry-chocolate chip cannoli and, for the chocoholic, a Belgian chocolate s’more with layers of chocolate cake and rocky road mousse topped with a toasted marshmallow and chocolate-dipped graham cracker, all of which are available on the winter menu.
If you can’t make it in before the Harvest menu ends, you can pop in for a taste of winter through early March. In addition to the aforementioned items, diners can enjoy a variety of seasonal plates. An ideal dish for sharing would be one of the crisp flatbreads, such as the lobster and mozzarella rendition that comes topped with roasted red peppers, scallions and a decadent lobster sour cream sauce.
The Cranberry and Sage cocktail is refreshing yet tart, with an
herbaceous undertone. | Courtesy of Seasons 52
Other house favorites include the burrata mozzarella, winter citrus and truffle honey starter that incorporates blood orange and grapefruit, as well as the grilled artichokes served with a preserved-lemon hummus. When it comes to entrees, you can’t go wrong with the wood-grilled tuna tabouli, roasted quail with mushroom-risotto stuffing or the gnocchi with winter vegetables for a meatless alternative. Also be sure to taste a seasonal cocktail, such as the Cranberry and Sage, which incorporates organic gin and white cranberry juice on the rocks with a cranberry and candied sage leaf garnish—the perfect way to start or finish your delectable meal.