Salmon is one of my favorite fish. Salmon roll? Salmon sashimi? Tempura salmon? Smoked salmon? I love them all and was recently invited to Seasons 52 at the WestShore Plaza in Tampa for a tasting of their new Alaska Copper River Salmon. Available for a limited time at Seasons 52 starting May 29th and for 7 weeks outward. Alaska Copper River Salmon is a very popular type of salmon that is well-known in the seafood world and a hot grab for restaurants during this time of the year. Seasons 52 specializes in seasonally inspired dishes and changes their menu frequently to keep the freshest available on the menu. All items on the menu are also maintained at or below 475 calories, which is really interesting considering many restaurants spike over 2,000 calories per dish.
We started our meal with wine selections and a starter – the Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli. We went with a light wine choices to start our palate off right. I decided to go with King Estate Pinot Gris, 2010, Oregon. A refreshing white wine, it was sweet yet not too sweet as to overpower my taste. The Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli was excellent. Light and not overly cheesy, it was a great starter and the bread throughout the meal was great as well.
Our waiter mentioned the popularity of the flatbreads at Seasons 52 and brought one out for us to try. The Ripe Plum Tomato Flatbread was excellent and I could completely see myself enjoying a flatbread and some drinks at Seasons 52 even with a light appetite. The flatbread consists of fresh basil, roasted garlic, and melted Parmesan cheese in addition to the fresh tomatos.
One thing I really loved about our visit was that our waiter, Jorge, was extremely knowledgeable about everything on the menu. He went beyond knowing what was in the dishes and could offer background on the dishes and background information the wines to pair. I am still somewhat new to wine and it is nice to have someone explain more than the location and year. Jorge could tell us anything we wanted to know about the wines and the places they come from and how they would interact with our dishes. He was also extremely polite and I could tell he must be one of the best waiters at Seasons 52. If you are dining there, I recommend Jorge as a waiter.
The next dish we tried was the Tomato & Hass Avocado Salad which consists of organic arugula, balsamic graze, and grilled bruschetta. Another great starter if you’re looking for something to try before your main dish. The avocados were all great and balsamic was certainly a step up from the kind I enjoy at home. As the Copper River Salmon finished up, Jorge came back to offer us some choices on wines to pair with our dinner.
From a choice of four wines, we narrowed our wines down to Mer Soleil 2009 Chardonnay and Kim Crawford 2011 Pinot Noir.
The Alaska Copper River Salmon arrived at our table. The salmon was served over summer corn risotto with roasted asparagus, roasted red peppers, and dill mustard sauce. The salmon was completely tender and seasoned perfectly and the summer corn risotto was an excellent addition to the dish. I am picky with cooked fish, if it tastes too fishy I will not eat it, but there was no fishy taste in this dish. The vegetables were all great as well and my fellow diner and I agreed that roasting the vegetables was a great finishing touch to the vegetables.
My wine pairing choice for the Seasons 52 Alaska Copper River Salmon is Mer Soleil 2009 Chardonnay. The white was light and a nice finish after each bite of the fish. The Pinot Noir was still good with the vegetables and risotto. During my live tweets, Restaurant.com also voted for the Mer Soleil on Instagram.
After our dinner, Jorge brought out some dessert shooters and offered us one to complete our tasting. I have tried something similar at Olive Garden in the past and remember it being an unpleasant experience. I decided to try one anyway and see how Seasons 52 fared against the OG.
The shooter was excellent and I was really impressed with how great it tasted for such a small dessert. They packed the substance into each layer and it was not long before the dessert was completely devoured.
After our dinner we asked to grab some shots in the kitchen and show what happens behind the scenes on my blog. Here are some of our photos:
The Alaska Copper River Salmon shot in the raw. Looks great right? The dish will still be available for 6 more weeks so head on over to Seasons 52 and try it yourself. Seasons 52 has supplied me with a $52 gift card to give away to my readers so you can try it yourself and see how it fares. You can enter the contest below and the contest will end on Sunday, June 10th so that I can have the gift card delivered in a timely manner to you.
Restaurant name: Seasons 52
Address: 204 N Westshore Blvd. Tampa, FL 33609
Phone Number: (813) 286-1152