Seasons 52 Tampa Westshore was a real treat for today’s lunch review. Part of the nationwide Darden Group, which includes Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse and Yard House, this is their higher-quality, upper-end restaurant line. The concept at Seasons 52 is actually quite interesting. They pride themselves on a rotating seasonal menu which promises not to miss out on flavor to save calories. Most of the menu items fall right around the 500 calorie mark and every item has a calorie count posted on the menu. The Tampa location has this concept is well executed.
We arrived on a weekday for lunch and were taken to a table just off the bar. The restaurant was quite busy with locals and tourists and there was a good buzz in the air without feeling crowded. The décor is rich woods with all kinds of little rooms and half walls that help give some privacy and makes for a cozy feeling. We had a view of the actual bar which was empty, probably due to the time of day.
Our server was over quickly to greet us and explain that the new ‘summer’ menu is now available. While it does rotate each season, they do have a few ‘staple’ favorites that remain, so rest assured, your might be around for a while. While the calorie counts are in plain view on the menu, some plates do not come with a side. You must order it separately and that (obviously) raises your calorie count. We had a coupon for a free flatbread and placed our whole order at once. Drinks were served quickly, but the flatbread seemed to take a bit longer than expected, maybe 25 minutes. Our entrees were spaced out well and arrived maybe 10-15 minutes after we had finished our flatbread.
Blackened Steak & Blue Cheese Flatbread ($10.00, 420 calories). The toppings also included cremini mushrooms, spinach and caramelized onions. The presentation of the flatbreads here are really a spectacle. They are served on a long and narrow board and really make for a cool site. The crust is very thin and crisp, almost cracker like, and the toppings were really fresh. There was just enough blue cheese to give it that kick and Jeff was happy.
Grilled Flat Iron Steak ($16.00, 450 calories). Served with sugar snap peas, mushrooms, toybox tomatoes, Yukon mash & red wine sauce. While the portion looked a bit small on the plate, it was quite filling. The steak was cooked perfectly and was very tender. Packed with flavor, it made us wonder how the heck this whole plate can only be 450 calories. The sugar snap peas were cooked al dente and very fresh. The calorie savings was probably in the smaller portion of potatoes, which was fine by us.
BBQ Chicken Entrée Salad ($13.00, 470 calories) with baby spinach, romaine, sweet corn, roasted red peppers, sunflower seeds, crumbled blue cheese. The presentation is the most unique we’ve seen. The bowl is brought out with the grille meat on the side and the greens are dressed and in this clear cylinder.
When they make it to your table and set the bowl down, the cylinder is removed and it perfectly falls into place. It’s actually a little cool to watch, but we really don’t know what the purpose is. This salad was fresh and one of the best I’ve had in quite a while. The dressing was a bit sweet for Jeff’s taste, but I really liked it. Every bite contained a different mixture of greens and veggies and I never grew tired of it. The chicken was cooked perfectly, still juicy and had lots of flavor.
Now it was time for the BEST part of the meal. Seasons 52 brings the entire dessert assortment to the table and every item is in a ‘shooter glass’. This keeps the calories manageable, but it’s so hard to just choose one. We kept our will power on this trip though.
Key Lime Pie ($3.00, 290 calories). This was the perfect bite and had just the right balance of sweet and tart. The layers are fun and Jeff was happy with his pick.
S’Mores ($3.00, 300 calories). I’m a chocolate lover so I just had to pick this one. It didn’t disappoint either. The layers of chocolate were rich and the perfect way to end the meal. I gave Jeff the marsh mellow on top, I’m just nice that way (but really because I don’t like marshmallows).
We usually don’t highlight beverages, but Jeff ordered the specialty Mint Lemonade ($3.00, 130 calories). . He must have enjoyed it because the waitress had to refill the glass at least three times. The lemonade was loaded with lots of fresh mint. It also seems that they don’t charge for refills of the specialty beverage.
While we didn’t quite keep our meal under 500 calories, we really liked the smaller portions and having the calorie count in plain sight. It’s an excellent way for anyone to watch their intake and not miss out on any flavor. Each dish was satisfying and we will definitely be back. The service was a bit slower than usual, but we were lucky we didn’t have a time constraint and the food was good enough for us to not mind.
Seasons 52 is located at WestShore Plaza, 204 N Westshore Blvd, Tampa, FL 33609