Seasons 52, Edison NJ Menlo Park Mall. (A Darden Restaurant)

I’ve heard and read somethings about this brand, I knew it was a chain restaurant, but I had NO IDEA it was a Darden restaurant. (Until I Googled them for this post)

I was passing through the Edison area last night, my intended destination was The Metuchen Inn, but the bar was too crowded and I decided to move on. Seasons 52 is only a few miles away and a place I’ve wanted to try for awhile so I decided to head over.

The place is VERY NICE…honestly a great bar area, great ambiance and vibe. They have a piano player, singer behind the bar and a very comfortable feeling to the place. The bar is surrounded by booth seating, well spaced out, nothing over crowded about the layout. Honestly I find it very hard to believe this is the same parent company as Olive Garden and Red Lobster.

Theme of the restaurant is seasonal menu’s, fresh ingredients, and supposedly no menu item over 475 calories. The menu is pretty extensive and had many “heartier” type meals and soups and salads based on the current North East fall season. I decided on a cup of black bean chili, seasoned mozzarella and heirloom tomato salad, NY Strip Steak.

The chili was very good, I would call it more soup texture then a thick chili, but that’s just splitting hairs, it was very good and sure tasted homemade. Tomato and seasoned mozzarella was delicious. The mozz was fresh, and it was coated in seasoning almost as if it was being prepared to be fried, and served on top of individual slices of tomato. While I’ve never had fresh mozz served like this, the seasoning worked very well and I really enjoyed this salad.

The Steak was ok, but nothing special. It was the “let-down” of the meal, again not bad, just nothing special. Probably about a 10-12 oz steak and of average quality, I forget how hey were crusting it, but it was just ok.

Again I can’t stress to you enough how surprised I am at this restaurants parents being the same as Red Lobster and Olive Garden, two of my most despised locations on earth. I would certainly go back to Seasons 52, they had a duck wing appetizer I was dying to try, but last night it was going to be too much. Lovely place, truly a very welcoming and comfortable environment. Also I should note they take pride in their wine pairings for the menu, while I’m not drinking I didn’t pay significant attention to it, but for you wine lovers this might be a great destination.

Good post and topic NotJrvedivici. I enjoyed the restaurant the one time I was there about a year back. I too was surprised by the decor, food and service of this restaurant. I specifically recall enjoying their take on a Moscow Mule, a flat bread appetizer (though I don’t remember the toppings), a very decent rack of lamb and then their excellent dessert shot glasses. To top it all off, I left feeling happy that I had eaten sort of healthy (though I’m sure my order tipped the scales of their calorie count). I would not hesitate recommending the chain and will definitely return if I’m in the area.

While I haven’t been to a Seasons 52 in a few years, this post doesn’t surprise me a bit. It was many years ago that my folks discovered the chain down in FL (iirc)–or it was MD–and they were so impressed w/the concept that they actually bought Darden stock! I know there’s another outpost in Cherry Hill now…any others in NJ?

Personally, I’m a fan not only of the overall menu, but also of the 2-3 bite desserts, since I’m the rare woman who isn’t plowing through dinner just so I can get to the sugar. :smile:

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There’s a location in Princeton/West Windsor at the Market Fair Mall.

Also one in Bridgewater from what I’m being told.

Been to the one in Boca Raton, FL. Really liked their flatbreads, especially the special one they had with lobster. We’ve been talking about going to the one in Edison but have yet to do it.

Had dinner at the Seasons 52 in South Coast Plaza (South OC, SoCal) last night and had to resurrect this old topic. My wife’s been there several times with friends and suggested it. Everything about it was really good. The mnu IS seasonal and seems to feature their own take on classics. My wife has jump come back from Italy and had the gnocchi. She said it was done unlike any she had there but was very good. I had shrimp and grits. Again…… unlike my recollection of the dish in the American South, but very good.

One thing that surprised me was that the pricing seemed very reasonable given the high rents at this location. But, then, I couldn’t book a 5pm reservation through open table on a Thursday. Called and got a nice booth in the bar area. The place was jammed when we got there.