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DINING: Seasons eatings at new restaurant

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Dining - A&E

Whether it’s gigantic portions, a spinning dining room, a few dozen varieties of cheesecake, or breakfast available all day long, it’s helpful marketing-wise for a restaurant to have a hook—something memorable besides good food that keeps it top of mind.

Seasons 52 (8650 Keystone Crossing, 846-5252), the newcomer taking over the former Keystone Grill/El Torito Grill real estate in front of the Fashion Mall, has more than its share of such differentiators.

For one, there’s the feature that helps define its name: The menu changes seasonally, with specials added 52 weeks a year depending on the fresh ingredients available.
 

Dining Like all entrees, the Rainbow Trout clocks in under 475 calories. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Another: Every dish clocks in at under 475 calories.

Need more? There’s a piano player at the bar every evening. The desserts come served as Mini Indulgences, in double-shot shot glasses. And the salads fall out of a tube lifted from the bowl in front of you.

Seasons 52 is also the place with the delicious flatbreads.

That’s what we started with on a recent visit—the Spicy Chipotle Shrimp Flatbread ($9.95), accented with grilled pineapple, feta cheese (a popular element this season) and roasted poblano peppers. On its crisp foundation, the flavors mixed nicely and every slice disappeared quickly.

Grilled Boneless Rainbow Trout ($15.95) also proved a lunchtime winner, with a substantial portion of broiled-lemon-squirted fish surrounded by clean and simple spring new potatoes, and roasted asparagus and carrots. The Oak-Fired Western Buffalo Burger ($9.95) held its own on a beef-free menu, served on a two-tier platter with guacamole, roasted pepper salsa, and spicy chili sour cream.

A trio of Blackened Fish Tacos ($10.95) was already flavored with the chipotle cream that also came on the side (along with salsa verde and pico de gallo). No complaint, but if chipotle isn’t your thing, you might want to state that upfront. The combination stated in the name Wasabi Beets ($3.95) intrigued me enough to order a side, and while the creative mix didn’t convince others at my table, that just meant more of the fresh combination for me.

Dining Mini Indulgence desserts arrive shot-glass style at Seasons 52. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Only a revisit, at which I tried the Spicy Chicken Chile Relleno ($8.95), proved disappointing. Using goat cheese, spinach and roasted corn cakes, the stuffed pepper dish was attractively presented but nonetheless lacked the promised spice. With a name like that, subtle shouldn’t be a goal.

Back to the good stuff, there’s always those Mini Indulgences ($2.50 each—I’m surprised there’s not a special price to order them all). Pointed out on a platter one by one by the penlight-toting wait staff, the treats contain just enough good stuff without leaving you regretting your lack of resistance. Personal favorite: The Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse. Or maybe the Old-Fashioned Carrot Cake …•
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Third in a month-long series of numeric restaurant reviews.

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  1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

  2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

  3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

  4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

  5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.

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