Thursday, January 15, 2015

How to Gain the Sophomore 70: Seasons 52 Edition

Let's be real: everyone is warned about the freshmen 15 (aka gaining 15 pounds your freshmen year of college), but the sophomore 70 is much more riveting, and not just because I made it up.

The How to Gain the Sophomore 70 series will review the different restaurants and cafes I try eating at (for the sake of writing, not my own gluttonous pleasure! i swear) (hah) and offer steps/advice so that you too can gain 70 pounds with me!

For my very first edition of How to Gain the Sophomore 70, I went to Seasons 52 (Edison, NJ) with two old friends from highschool- Anika and Arun. Seasons 52 is an upscale American restaurant with pretty great food that changes seasonally. The menu switches every few months and creates new dishes based on seasonally fresh ingredients, and I've never been disappointed eating here.

Step 1: Eat out as often as possible. Go with your closest friends so that you can all order massive entrees and share, ensuring that an ungodly amount of food will be consumed. 

Step 2: Don't get water- order the cool sounding drinks (non alcoholic if you're underage too) because they are delicious (ignore the price) and this is what adults do (we are adults now) (kind of). We got two mint lemonades and a raspberry lemonade. Yum.

Step 3: APPETIZERS ARE YOUR FRIEND. Ignore people who tell you that appetizers are a waste of money and calories, you don't need that kind of negativity in your life.

My friends and I got the famous Salumi Piccante flatbread at Seasons 52- it was amazing and large enough to share between the three of us comfortably. The bread was soft and chewy, but toasted enough to give it that perfect, satisfying crunch, while the toppings created a masterpiece of Italian flavors. I plan on ordering two, next time.

   Salumi Piccante Flatbread
 (dry-cured artisan sausage, roasted Roma tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, & basil pesto)

Step 3: Don't be afraid to order whatever you want. Whether you try something new, stick to the same entree you eat whenever you go out- as long as you're getting what you want, who cares! I got the Sesame Grilled Salmon salad, Arun ordered the Maui Tuna Crunch salad, and Anika got the Shrimp Cavatappi pasta.

Sesame Grilled Salmon 
(organic greens, pineapple, mango, jicama, lemongrass sauce, & toasted sesame dressing)

Maui Tuna Crunch Salad
(sushi-grade seared tuna, organic greens, pineapple, toasted almonds, sesame dressing)

Shrimp Cavatappi Pasta 
(broccolini, roasted Roma tomatoes, mushrooms, fire-roasted peppers, creamy lemon sauce)

The entrees were each tasty and satisfying- I can say this because I tried each one. Isn't that the great thing about eating with old friends? You're already comfortable with each other and going out to eat is so fun when you share your food.

I also really like the portion sizes at Seasons 52- they fill you up but you're not dying to unzip your pants at the end of it.

Step 4: Desserts are important, do not skip over them. Everyone's stomach always has room for dessert. No matter how full you may think you are, once the waiter brings delectable and very Instagram-able desserts over to your table, your mouth will water and your brain will override the protests of your ever expanding stomach.

Seasons 52 has a unique dessert array- there's no menu. Instead, your waiter or waitress brings over a tray holding a selection of 8 medium-sized shot glasses, which they'll refer to as 'mini indulgences'. 

The shot glasses each hold a different type of dessert, and unlike the rest of the menu the dessert collection is year-round. 

You can choose from Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte, Key Lime Meringue Pie, Mocha Macchiato, Pecan Pie with Vanilla Bean Mousse, Carrot Cake with Cinnamon Honey, Belgian Chocolate S'more, Raspberry Chocolate Chip Cannoli, and Blueberries with Lemon Curd.

We got the Pecan Pie (left), Belgian Chocolate S'more (right), and the Mocha Macchiato (center). 
All of them were delicious and Anika and I are determined to order all 8 'small indulgences' one day, because that's what responsible adults do (ayyy).

Overall, Seasons 52 is always a lovely dining experience. It's upscale, which can be uncomfortable if you're not accustomed to that kind of thing, but I still think it's a great place to go whenever you find yourself in Central Jersey and craving something good to eat.

With Valentine's Day coming up, Seasons 52 would be an ideal dinner-date spot for those of you in Jersey. Just make sure to make a reservation! A former boyfriend and I came here to eat once and found a 3 hour long wait. Needless to say, that dinner never happened.

Let me know if you guys try eating here & tell me what you think of it!

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