Season’s 52 Restaurant in Boca has a few interesting menu concepts that makes them stand out from other chain restaurants. Season’s 52 tweaks their menu every ‘season’, offering new fresh items to keep things interesting while sticking to the ‘all menu items are under 475 calorie’ mantra. I’ve always liked this concept and in theory, it’s really smart.
Season’s 52 is part of the Darden Restaurant Group which includes the chains Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Yard House, Eddie V’s and The Capital Grille. The roster spans the market from casual to more ‘upscale’ and Season’s 52 is in the middle. The location in Boca Raton, FL is located near the Boca Towne Center Mall and usually has a busy lunch service. We got lucky and were shown to our booth immediately. Walking through the restaurant I noticed they have a large bar area and lots of booth seating all around. The natural wood and stone is paired well with the reds and earth tones used to accent the space. The whole restaurant is set up in smaller rooms that give it a cozy feel and our booth was large enough for a large party.
Our server was over quickly and asked if it was our first time here. We both had dined at Season’s 52 before, so that meant that our server could skip the ‘concept’ and menu set up. Looking over the menu, I was impressed on how many options they offer and wondered how they managed to keep some of the items below 475 calories. They have flatbreads, sandwiches, steaks, salads, you name it. The menu didn’t have the calorie count for each item, but it’s good to know you can pick ANYTHING and still be less than 475 calories. We decided to share a flatbread as an appetizer and both ordered an entrée. Our server was excellent and kept our waters filled and our flatbread was at the table in about 15 minutes.
Braised Short Rib & Cheddar Flatbread ($10.95, 460 calories) – with pickled beet and red onion confetti, horseradish sour cream, micro cilantro. They serve it on a long narrow board, maybe 16×5 (I’m guessing) and it looked really cool. The toppings were evenly distributed and we dug right in. The crust is very thin, but held up well. The braised short rib was very flavorful and I really liked the pop of cilantro. I felt that there could have been a bit more horseradish flavor, but it still worked well. The pickled beet and red onion confetti was outstanding and now I’m afraid that I like beets.
Crispy “Banh Mi” (10.50, 470 calories) – chili-glazed Maple Leaf Farms duck, vegetable-pear confetti, cilantro, mint. When they dropped it off, I saw some of the ‘calorie’ secret. It appears they use the ‘flatbread’ as the bun for the Banh Mi and this saves some calories. While this is a smart trick, my brain just thought I was eating a folder over flatbread. There was a slight spice from the chili, just right for me, but too mild for Chris. While the flavor was on point, I just couldn’t get past the flatbread aspect of the dish. Maybe if we didn’t have the flatbread to start, I wouldn’t have been the wiser. I would order this item again an appetizer to share, not as my main dish.
Grilled Flat Iron Steak ($15.95, 450 calories) – harvest mushrooms, roasted tomato, broccolini, mashed potatoes, red wine sauce. The steak was tender, flavorful and cooked to a perfect medium. The steak was a nicer cut than we expected and the mushrooms were meaty, which almost felt like more steak. The mashed potatoes were also very tasty and the broccolini was fresh. This was a nice plate of food and I was amazed it was actually LESS in calories than the Banh Mi entrée.
Our server was excellent and kept things moving through lunch and always kept drinks filled. After our entrees, he brought over the desserts. Ahhh…the desserts. Chris said this is the highlight of eating at Season’s 52 and I’m almost with him on this. All their desserts are made fresh through the day and they are served in shot glasses. They bring you the full assortment to the table and you just take the ones you want. What’s sneaky, is that if you have two, you’ve already had more calories than your main entrée. That’s just for a shot glass size too! I guess I won’t be eating a whole piece of cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory anymore. We both picked two and dug in.
These desserts were amazing. Each one packed everything in a small portion and it was definitely enough to crave your sweet tooth.
S’Mores ($2.95, 290 calories) and Pecan Pie ($2.95, 370 calories).
Pumpkin Pie ($2.95, 310 calories) and Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl ($2.95, 330 calories).
Overall, I really liked Season’s 52 and will definitely return. The prices for lunch are as expected and you can actually get by on a slimmer budget with some options in the $10 range. I do like the calorie limit on the menu, but you really have to watch what you order if you want to stay on the lower side. The disserts are what took us over the 1,000 calorie mark, so you need to keep that in mind if you are really concerned with intake. Even if you are not watching your diet, I think Season’s 52 appeals to everyone with their changing menu and use of fresh ingredients.
Season’s 52 Restaurant is located at 2300 NW Executive Center Dr. Boca Raton FL 33431.