My Spring Break travels take me to Fort Lauderdale, where I dined at Seasons 52, an Orlando-based restaurant specializing in fresh, seasonal ingredients. At the top of the menu is a promise – “nothing on our menu is over 475 calories.” Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Scanning over the menu, the options are health-conscious and emphasize more vegetables than carbs. It’s brilliant, really. If you study the menu, the options avoid butter and use healthier cooking techniques such as grilling and brick-oven cooking.
We started with a Steak and Cremini mushroom flatbread, essentially a mini pizza, but with much less bread, sauce and cheese. Crunchy and flavorful, the dish made an ideal appetizer for four.
For my entree, I ordered the Grilled Rainbow Trout with roasted potatoes, vegetables and a broiled lemon on the side. I loved the simplicity and cleanness of the presentation – whole carrots and green asparagus alongside a filet of trout that blanketed crispy roasted potatoes. And for being under 475 calories, I was impressed with the size of the portion.
However, the best part of the meal came last (as it most often does). Seasons 52 claims to be the inventor of “Mini Indulgences,” pint-sized desserts with incredible flavors. The desserts come in containers slightly larger than a shot glass and are reasonably priced at $2.50 each. Key Lime Pie, Rocky Road, Pecan Pie, Red Velvet Cake, Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse and Mocha Macchiato are among the flavors offered.
Unfortunately, I may have missed the point a little by devouring three of these little things, but what can I say? I loved the richness of the Red Velvet Cake, but the tangy, cool flavors of the Key Lime Pie was the perfect note with which to end my meal.
The “Mini Indulgence” trend has apparently caught on in numerous chain restaurants, such as P.F. Chang’s and Applebee’s. As far as for local Baltimore restaurants, I’m still looking. I have heard word that Iced Gems, the popular mobile cupcake truck, might be offering mini cupcakes soon. It’s a great concept, for those who a want to sample more than one flavor but not overstuff themselves (such as myself), the mini-dessert is a great way to please the indecisive palate.