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Seasons 52 – Columbia, MD

This is the first year since moving to Oklahoma that I’ve been able to come back to Maryland for Thanksgiving. The first couple years we played Thanksgiving weekend. And even after Bedlam got moved to the following week, I was still really busy. And since my parents really don’t do much for Thanksgiving, and normally I would see them a month later for the bowl game.  Unfortunately we’ve struggled this season, so our bowl chances are extremely slim. And our last home game was Nov 15. And Maryland played Rutgers at home this weekend. So it all kind of worked out.

My flight landed at almost 8 Monday night, so my original plan was to find something near the airport. But really, the options are very limited. I had found a place, but as we were driving away from the airport I changed my mind. And decided we would go somewhere in Columbia, which is a little more along the way home.

Columbia Mall is about a mile from my old house. It’s one of my favorite malls in all of Maryland.  They’ve got all the stores you want & need and it’s not usually super crowded. Most of the mall is enclosed, with the movie theater and a few restaurants outside.  In the past few months, a new part of the mall opened up outside, kind of adding a new walkway, almost like a courtyard.  They added about 15 new stores and a couple of restaurants.

Originally we were going to eat at Maggiano’s.  But then I saw Season’s 52.  I had seen the same restaurant in Houston and suggested to my parents that we try it, but they weren’t too fired up about the menu.  But we looked again that night, and they decided to give it a try.

Seasons 52 is a seasonally inspired restaurant, and we found out that they had just begun to feature their winter menu last week.  I was really surprised to see how many locations there are.  None in Oklahoma; go figure.  But I swear almost everywhere else in the country.  One of the first things you notice is that everything on the menu is 475 calories or less.  I really like that.  I wish more restaurants would go that direction.  It’s very warm and inviting inside; dark woods, dark walls, light music, fireplace in the waiting area and a wine room with huge windows.  I think the room is more for storage, but it looks like you can go in there and taste as well.  We were seated in the bar area.  The bar itself is in the middle of the space, and there are booths all the way around.  There’s a large open kitchen in the main dining area, and another seating area on the other side of the bar.

After we had been there about 10 minutes the music all of a sudden changed and got quite a bit louder.  I was really surprised, then realized that there was a guy sitting literally in the bar with the bartenders, playing the piano and singing.  He was really good.  Never seen anything like it, especially on a random Monday night.

We started with edamame.

Season's 52,  Columbia MD - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

I really like that the salt comes on the side.  Most places put way too much salt on it, and it is complete overkill.  Also, this was Japanese tea leaf salt.  So yummy.  By the end I was just eating the salt straight.  Probably not the best idea, but I couldn’t stop eating it.

I went with the caramelized sea scallops

Season's 52,  Columbia MD - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

This was absolutely delicious.  The scallops were perfectly cooked, and the caramelization added great flavor.  I’m not usually a fan of butternut squash, but it really worked in the risotto.  The squash was firm but cooked through, a good contrast to the creaminess.  The leek wasn’t prominent, but you could kind of taste the flavor in the background.  The broccolini was just okay.  I wanted to substitute the caramelized brussel sprouts but it comes with bacon so I knew my parents wouldn’t eat it if I didn’t like it.  And I didn’t want to waste it.

My mom had the trout.  I was really surprised at how big of a piece it was.  I tried a bite, and was sold.  And then ate a couple more bites when she was done eating.  My dad had the sesame grilled salmon salad.  The presentation was very unique, with the salad coming in this large glass jar to keep it separate from the salmon until served.  Both the top and bottom are open, so the server lifts the jar off the plate, and the salad kind of falls onto the rest of the plate.  It’s really kind of cool and I was caught off guard by it, so didn’t get to take a picture.  The glaze on the salmon was really delicious.

I wasn’t even thinking dessert, and we had actually already gotten the check.  And then the waiter walked by us with the tray towards another table.  He saw me looking, and asked if I wanted one.  I hesitated, but then decided to at least listen to what they were.  I couldn’t even begin to tell you what they all were because he rattled them off so fast.  But I also couldn’t resist.

Season's 52,  Columbia MD - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

No, of course I didn’t get the entire tray.  The server explains all the desserts, and you can choose one… or two… or 3 if you must.  I took the one on the left, which was called Mocha Macchiato.  Chocolate mousse, vanilla mousse, chocolate cake, whipped cream, sprinkles.  So delicious.  Dad had the one on the far right, which was something with pumpkin.  So everything on the menu is 475 calories or less.  But the server made sure to point out that the desserts “may” be more.  But they are all little, with only a few bites in each one.  So as long as you are good and just get one, you should be okay.

Will I go back?  No question.  My parents both raved about their meals, and I’m very interested in seeing what they offer during the other seasons.

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