The restaurant scene in Greater Cincinnati has been making an exciting comeback in recent years offering a wide range of dining experiences, along with a not-quite-as-strong but still respectable push for local, sustainable agriculture. We here at One Clean Plate love both – especially when the two come together. While we prefer to focus most of our attention on locally-based businesses and food issues, every once in a while a large chain catches our attention. One such chain generously offered us a chance to visit their latest addition for a tour and sampling of the food with the promise of healthy, seasonal food. Intrigued, we had to check it out.
Seasons 52, which opens its first Ohio location on February 4th in Rookwood Exchange, is a grill and wine bar offering ’seasonally inspired flavors’ modern American fare. The menu changes four times a year to focus on what is in season, and also features lots of organic produce – although unfortunately not local. Darden Restaurants which owns Seasons 52 recruited award-winning Chef Clifford Pleau to be their Senior Director of Culinary where he has crafted the menu with an eye toward fresh, in-season ingredients prepared in a simple and elegant way to showcase their natural flavors. Along with the focus on ingredients is also a focus on utilizing natural cooking methods such as wood-fire grills and brick-ovens. To top it off, all items on the menu are 475 calories or less.