Saturday, July 21, 2012

SEASONS 52 - Date Night!

So at the last minute, on a Friday night, my husband and I decided to try Seasons 52 at Perimeter.  We arrived around 6:30PM and had no wait (although the restaurant was almost full). The hostess was very friendly and outgoing and seated us in a booth near the bar immediately.

At first blush, it's a glorified California Dreaming atmosphere: big bar to the right, cushiony booths, lots of wood accents.  It was fine, but I wouldn't go there for a special occasion.  Ambiance feels like what it is - a chain.

From their website:

Our Specials Menu features specials and new market inspirations 52 weeks a year. It features the future of Seasons 52, offering guests the adventure of tasting fresh infusions and flavor combinations which feature ingredients at their peak of freshness and flavor profile. Because the Specials Menu is constantly evolving, we keep it flexible and nimble enough to change on a moment’s notice.

So the big sell is that they are serving what's fresh and in season each week of the year.  They have numerous items that aren't on the basic menu that change weekly.

Here's a sample menu:

Artichoke & Goat Cheese leaf spinach, balsamic onions, roasted peppers Ripe Plum Tomato fresh basil, roasted garlic, melted Parmesan cheese Garlic Chicken balsamic onions, roasted red peppers, mozzarella cheese Spicy Chipotle Shrimp grilled pineapple, feta cheese, roasted poblano peppers Steak & Cremini Mushroom fresh spinach, crumbled blue cheese
All-Natural Beef Chili black beans, cilantro sour cream Sno-Pac Farms Organic Edamame steamed whole soybeans, Japanese green tea salt Grilled Chipotle Chicken Skewers summer corn relish, guacamole, chipotle BBQ glaze Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli organic tomato broth, roasted garlic, fresh basil Maryland Crab, Roasted Shrimp & Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms under Parmesan-panko crust
*Sushi-Grade Ahi Tuna Seared Rare sliced and served chilled, Asian cucumber salad, sesame crisps Grilled BBQ-Glazed Shrimp guacamole, corn salad, tomatillo salsa verde Spicy Chicken Chile Relleno sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, spinach on pico de gallo
Small Salads
Organic Arugula watermelon, grilled golden beets, goat cheese, jicama, toasted pistachios Kalymnos Greek feta cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, sliced red onions, kalamata olives Organic Baby Spinach raspberries, toasted pine nuts, crumbled gorgonzola cheese Organic Mixed Greens toasted sunflower seeds, tomatoes, cucumbers, white balsamic vinaigrette
Entrée Salads
Summer Vegetarian Tasting “grains of life,” soft taco, chili relleno, vegetables, cedar roasted tofu, mango chutney BBQ Chicken organic field lettuce, corn, roasted red peppers, sunflower seeds, crumbled blue cheese Mediterranean Shrimp organic greens, garbanzo beans, roasted red peppers, cucumbers, feta cheese
*Maui Tuna Crunch sushi-grade seared tuna, tropical organic greens, toasted almonds, miso vinaigrette *Lemongrass Salmon organic greens, pineapple, mango, jicama, toasted sesame dressing
E.U. Certified Organic Salmon, $6 Surcharge
Fish & Seafood
Grilled Boneless Rainbow Trout parsley new potatoes, roasted rainbow carrots, broiled lemon Caramelized Grilled Sea Scallops roasted asparagus, sun-dried tomato-mushroom pearl pasta Grilled Jumbo Shrimp Cavatappi Pasta caramelized garlic, organic tomatoes, fresh broccoli Roasted Artichoke-Stuffed Shrimp wilted leaf spinach, pasta pearls, clam cioppino sauce
*Cedar Plank Roasted Salmon roasted sweet rainbow carrots, fresh asparagus, red bliss potatoes E.U. Certified Organic Salmon, $6 Surcharge
Poultry & Meat
Springer Mountain Farms All-Natural BBQ Chicken Yukon Gold garlic mashed potatoes, haricot verts, corn salad *Wood-Roasted Pork Tenderloin soft herb polenta, cremini mushrooms, broccoli, shallot-Dijon glaze *Grilled Lamb T-Bone Chops asparagus, truffle mashed potatoes, red wine glaze *Oak-Grilled Filet Mignon cremini mushrooms, rainbow carrots, asparagus, garlic mashed potatoes
*Piedmontese All-Natural Bone-in Strip Steak, 11 oz. roasted asparagus, cremini mushrooms, Fingerling potatoes
Desserts Mini Indulgences... individual servings of classic desserts
Mocha Macchiato Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Blueberry Cheesecake Pecan Pie with Vanilla Mousse
Key Lime Pie Belgian Chocolate Rocky Road Raspberry Chocolate Chip Cannoli Market Fresh Fruit

Our waiter took a while to bring us 2 waters, but he was knowledgeable and friendly and took our drink and appetizer order immediately.

I decided to try an Organic Strawberry Vodka martini with fresh Basil.  This drink was listed as one of their specials.  It was good, and the presentation was great, as they bring the glass with just a Basil leaf in the bottom of it.  Then the server actually shakes it at the table in a drink shaker, and slowly pours your drink.  Fun.  After a couple of sips though, it was a bit too sweet for my taste, but A+ for looks and presentation.

We ordered an ahi tuna appetizer, and we were told that they unfortunately were "all out of tuna." Huh? At 6:30PM on a Friday night, when they have tuna on the menu 3 different places, they are OUT? Wow.  Nothing else spoke to us for starters so we went with salads and entrees.

I had the arugula salad, and my husband had the mixed greens salad.  They were both good, and they arrived almost instantaneously.  Seriously.  We ordered, took a sip of our drinks, and voila!  There the salads were - almost too fast.  Definitely felt like they were sitting pre-made on a shelf somewhere.  But - they didn't taste that way.  Both were fresh and crispy and delicious.  The arugula was served with golden beets, goat cheese, toasted pistachios and watermelon.  I've never had that salad with those combinations, but it worked!

For entrees my husband ordered the cedar planked salmon, and apparently it's one of their signature dishes.  It might have been the best salmon I've ever tasted.  It's served with a grilled lemon half that just gushes with juice with a simple squeeze - nice touch.  Perfectly prepared.  I'm including a picture from their website, as the picture quality is so much better than my iPhone shot.

And I ordered the Grouper dish.  This dish was advertised as one of their seasonal specials.  It was eh.  It's served "Mayan" style - whatever that means?  It was grilled (maybe past optimum cooking time) and served on a black bean and corn medley.  Nothing to write home about.  It was described as "spicy." Compared to what? It wasn't spicy.  And it was described as being topped with guacamole. The nickel size pat of guacamole was a joke.  IT however was slightly spicy with some good jalapeno in there, but it looked and tasted like the stuff you buy at the grocery store.  Again, not awful, but I expected better.

So, all in all, not a bad experience.  In fact I wish we had gone there with our friends instead of Goldfish a couple of weeks ago.  The cost was very reasonable, and the service and food are probably pretty consistent every visit and aren't bad at all.  But, there are so many other dining options in Atlanta, that I hate to waste a night out for something that's not really great.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Seafood night at GOLDFISH

Our good friends are relocating to Charlotte, NC, and we're dining at Goldfish before they leave.

Goldfish is located at Perimeter Mall at 4400 Ashford Dunwoody.  We were interested in seafood, so we thought we'd try this restaurant located equidistant between our homes.  I had read some reviews that were good on TripAdvisor, so we took a chance.

*Disclaimer - due to our seats staring at the glare of the outside window, the photos aren't very good unfortunately.

Here's the menu:

Appetizers East Coast Oysters half dozen 13.95
with cracked pepper mignonette & cocktail sauce
Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail or Crab Cocktail
cocktail & Marie Rose sauces Lump Crab Cake with red onion, tomatoes, & cucumbers Fried Blue Crab Fingerswith cocktail sauce Fried Oysters with tartar sauce Hot Chili Seafood tossed in a sweet chili garlic sauce Tempura Lobster Tail 4oz. with wasabi honey mustard Whole Sizzling Catfish with ponzu sauce
Fresh Catch (served à la carte)
Pan Roasted, Grilled, Blackened, Steamed or Fried
Soups and Salads
Chilled Seafood Tower 39.95
Half of a chilled Maine Lobster, half a pound of Peel & Eat Shrimp, Lump Crab Meat Cocktail, Mussel Salad, 4 East Coast Oysters, 4 Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, Imported Scottish Smoked Salmon all served on a bed of ice, with Cracked Pepper Mignonette, Cocktail Sauce, Marie Rose Sauce, Lemon & Crackers
Small Plate Appetizers $6 individually or $15 for 3
Mediterranean Hummus with warm pita Mini Burgers (2) with pickles Shrimp & Chicken Dumplings (4) with ginger sauce Tempura Shrimp (3) with tamarind sauce
Oysters Rockefeller (3) with Rockefeller spinach & hollandaise Beef Satays with Thai curry sauce Crispy Calamari with marinara sauce & garlic aioli Old Bay Peel & Eat Shrimp with cocktail sauce
Mussels in White Wine Cream or Spicy Thai Curry Sauce Crab and Shrimp Spring Rolls (2) with plum sauce Lettuce Wraps with ground turkey, cilantro, red onion & fresh ginger
* Tilapia * Trout * Catfish * Atlantic Salmon * Blue Cod
Lemon Sole Jumbo Shrimp Twin Lobster Tails Yellow Fin Tuna Mahi Mahi Swordfish
Chicken Tortilla with tomato, corn, tortilla, avocado and lime Seafood Gumbo with andouille sausage Tossed Salad chick peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, herb vinaigrette Classic Caesar white anchovies, parmesan cheese, & croutons Iceberg Wedge blue cheese dressing, tomatoes, bacon, croutons Baby Spinach & Arugula goat cheese, pine nuts, cranberries Mediterranean Salad grilled eggplant, fresh mozzarella,
sweet red peppers, baby arugula, balsamic vinaigrette
Sandwiches and Baskets
Sandwiches are served with lettuce, tomato & fries Baskets are served with fries & coleslaw
“Fish & Chips” Cod, Tilapia, or Catfish tartar sauce Fried Shrimp or Oyster Po Boy spicy remoue Grilled Salmon BLT herb mayonnaise Blackened Mahi Mahi tartar sauce
Angus Burger bacon & blue cheese Chef’s Specialties
Barbecue Salmon pepper jack cheese grits, jicama slaw Swordfish Au Poivre cracked pepper seared, herb goat
cheese whipped potatoes, grilled asparagus, cognac cream sauce
Charleston Shrimp & Grits shrimp, andouille sausage, spinach, tomatoes, roasted garlic cream, pepper jack cheese grits
Crab Stuffed Shrimp six jumbo shrimp, crab meat stuffing whipped potatoes, lobster cream sauce
Grilled Mahi Summer Salad baby arugula, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, olives, red onions & peppers, red wine mustard vinaigrette
Parmesan Herb Tilapia fresh mozzarella, tomato & basil salad with balsamic vinaigrette
Tom TomLemon Sole whipped potatoes, green beans, mustard brown butter sauce & fried capers
Wasabi & Soy Glazed Tuna tempura fried portobello mushrooms with wasabi honey mustard sauce
Pan Seared Scallops mushroom ravioli, wilted spinach & tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, aged parmesan cheese
Crab Cake Entrée summer squash, oyster mushrooms, asparagus, corn & leeks, tomato vinaigrette
Pan Roasted Trout roasted sweet potatoes, caramelized apples, wilted baby spinach, apple cider vinaigrette
Herb Roasted Chicken Breast whipped potatoes, garlic green beans, red wine jus
Hanger Steak and Shrimp iceberg wedge, Tabasco fried onion rings, red wine jus

* Fish available for $5 à la carte daily 4:30 - 6:00PM Excluding holidays.
Available for an additional charge: Hong Kong Style sautéed spinach, sherry-soy broth, sticky rice 5.95 CrabStuffed toppedwithlumpcrabmeat&lemonbutter 7.95 Oscar Style whipped potatoes, asparagus, lump crab meat, hollandaise 12.95
Chargrilled Steaks Rare: Cool Red Center Medium Rare: Warm Red Center Medium: Hot Red Center Medium Well: Thin line of pink
Well: No pink We are not responsible for steaks cooked Medium Well and above.
Please allow us to “butterfly” your Medium Well or Well Done steak.
** 8 oz. Filet 29.95 14 oz. Jumbo Filet 37.95 ** 12 oz. New York Strip 31.95 24 oz. Cowboy Ribeye 36.95
Excluding Holidays
2.95 Whipped Potatoes or Pepper Jack Cheese Grits or French Fries 3.95 Macaroni & Cheese or Sautéed Spinach or Steamed Broccoli 4.95 Mushroom Ragout or Loaded Whipped Potatoes 5.95 Steamed Asparagus with Hollandaise 6.95
** Steaks available for 1/2 price daily 4:30 - 6:00PM
Au Poivre topped with cracked pepper & cognac cream 2.95 Add 3 Jumbo Shrimp to any entrée 8.95 Add a Lobster Tail to any entrée 14.95
Garlic Green Beans or Coleslaw

Unfortunately, there weren't a lot of highlights at this restaurant (other than an enjoyable visit with our friends).  

We began the meal by ordering some wine and a couple of cocktails.  Can't go wrong with the wine, but both of the drinks were subpar.  

And the service was less than prompt.   In fact, throughout the meal, whenever we needed our waiter, we had to hunt him down.

Next was the best part of the meal - oysters!  We ordered a dozen East Coast oysters.  They came with a cocktail sauce, a very weak mignonette  (not one shallot to be found), lemon halves and crackers.

They were delicious, and in hindsight, I should've ordered 2 dozen!  I even converted one of our friends to an oyster fan!

We finally tracked down our waiter, and we ordered dinner.

I ordered tuna, which was seared very slightly and served with soy sauce.  It was an appetizer portion, and it was just OK.  I think it's difficult to mess this one up - as long as you have good quality fish, the preparation doesn't get much easier.  But the presentation left a lot to be desired.

Another dish that we ordered was the tilapia (Parmesan encrusted and served with a caprese side).  This dish was horrible.  It arrived looking like it had either been sitting under the heat lamp too long, or it was microwaved too long.  The fish looked and tasted like frozen reheated fish sticks, and the tomatoes and basil were cooked (!) onto the scalding hot plate with the balsamic burned on the bottom of the plate.  It truly was the worst tilapia meal we've ever tasted.  Again, this fish is so easy to prepare, and it's so mild, you only mess this dish up by overcooking.

One of our friends ordered crab stuffed shrimp, and it wasn't too bad, other than being a bit chewy (and I wouldn't have paired it with mashed potatoes).  But the sauces that accompanied the dish were not appetizing.

Another friend ordered the scallops.  I hesitate to order scallops, as I had some bad ones a few years back, but regardless of that, these didn't entice me.  My friend ate them, and he didn't complain, but the word "mediocre" comes to mind.  Sorry again for the poor picture quality.

Finally, I can't say I enjoyed the atmosphere at Goldfish either.  It's large, loud, and it feels more like Red Lobster than fine dining.  For what came to around $50 per person, I expect more.  There are way too many fabulous options in the Atlanta area.  And I'm very excited to quickly try somewhere new that knocks my socks off.  My advice: stick with the goldfish that swim in a little bowl.  We won't be returning to the restaurant named Goldfish.