TURN, TURN, TURN
Seasonally focused wine bar and eatery breaks ground at the Quarry
To quote the great Miami troubadours Exposé, “seasons change, feeling change.” Once dominated by the garish flair of TGI Friday’s, the U.S. casual dining landscape has shifted as upstart chains enter the market with healthier ingredients and more contemporary corporate ethos. It also doesn’t hurt to add a little booze.
The latest nail in the southwestern eggroll comes from Seasons 52, an Orlando-based chain hawking fresh ingredients and 52 wines by the glass. The first San Antonio location will land at 255 E. Basse Rd. in the Alamo Quarry Market on May 20.
The concept hinges on offering meals under 595 calories. True to the name, Seasons also rotates its offerings to take advantage of peak produce — promising that the vegetables never hit the freezer shelf. Meats and fish are responsibly sourced, but most of the pricing is well below $20 per dish.
While triggering all the Pavlov responses of a Food Network-weened customer base (Ahi tuna! Preserved lemons! Korean barbecue!), the menu has a vaguely Californian bent. Options range from flatbreads to more upscale entrées like cedar plank-roasted salmon, Kona coffee-crusted lamb, and wood-grilled filet mignon.
Seasons also boasts an, erm, seasonal menu that changes four times a year. Local managing partner Jennifer Patterson and executive chef partner Brandon Kimball will welcome Alamo City’s first guests with summery dishes like watermelon and tomato salad and wood-grilled corn, aged Cheddar, and spiced bacon flatbread.
Not defining health as deprivation, the eatery also offers eight “mini indulgence” desserts, diminutive versions of classic desserts like pecan pie, raspberry cannoli, and Belgian chocolate s'mores. And, of course, patrons are free to get sauced.
Wine is the primary focus of the beverage program. Guests can discover new favorites with “Drink Them Before They’re Famous,” a collection of wines from emerging producers. Or they can indulge in one of the seasonal rotating wine flights. Cocktails are also available. Summer menu exclusives include a watermelon margarita and a Bourbon sour.
Once open, Seasons 52 will serve lunch and dinner daily while offering a 3-6 pm happy hour Monday through Friday. Reservations are recommended, but the eatery will accept walk-ins. Patrons can also opt for Green Boxes of grilled tenderloin or roasted salmon, take-home meals for four to six people.
And, yes, the mini indulgences are available as a flight — 595 calories be damned.