Fall is here at Seasons 52

I had an opportunity recently to attend a media dinner at one of my very favorite restaurants, Seasons 52, to introduce the new fall menu items along with the "Drink Them Before They're Famous" wine selections of Master Sommelier George Miliotes. 

Joining me was my friend, Pat, who blogs over at Sweet Treats to Eat, The live stream webcast took place at the Oak Brook location with Miliotes and Senior Culinary Director Cliff Pleau guiding us through each course and wine pairing. The duo is full of charm and an enthusiastic pair. I attended the Oak Brook opening back in May where the two were there in person and their passion for what they do just oozes out in every word. 

There for the event as our host was Michael Jong, Director of Operations, who went way beyond simply greeting us. He talked individually to each guest, filling us in on the Seasons 52 expansion and explaining a little on the training process of their team. This was my third media event at a Seasons 52 restaurant and I throw out a lot of questions, which are always welcomed and answered thoroughly by the knowledgeable staff.

So, to start us off at the cocktail reception was the Double Hummus & Sea Salt Lavosh. The presentation was lovely, as each crisp chip was accented with fire roasted pepper or edamame. 

A second appetizer was offered that is a popular item at Seasons 52, the brick oven baked flatbread. I have sampled several of the flatbreads, which have been loaded with such toppings as artichoke, garlic chicken, feta cheese, balsamic red onions, chipotle shrimp, blue cheese, spinach and cremini mushrooms, adding layers of flavor on a crispy base. And in sticking with the restaurant's concept of 475 calories or less per dish, the entire flatbread comes in and under that amount. I could totally make a meal out of one, but there are so many other tempting menu items that I don't think I could stop there. At the media dinner, they offered a Portobello Mushroom Flatbread.

Another presentation of the Double Hummus & Seas Salt Lavosh.

And of course, at Seasons 52, the wines are as central to the experience as the food. Here's a peek at the wines we had paired for our courses at the event.

This fabulous Vista Hills Orange Pinot Gris was paired with our appetizers, which Miliotes explained is truly a white wine, but produced like a red wine. It was my first time trying orange wine and I must say it was love at first sip - divine aroma and a sweet hint of citrus. This variety comes from Oregan's Williamette Valley, an exclusive to Seasons 52. Only 250 cases have been made thus far, which have been distributed only to Seasons 52 restaurants.

Check out the Vista Hills blog for some fascinating reading on wine making.

Following was five courses of autumn specialties created by Pleau to highlight the hearty flavors of the nippy season that is trickling in. Watch for more posts this week on Seasons 52.