Alexis Hayes| Contributor
This restaurant is one of Cherry Hill’s many best kept delectable secrets. Season 52 boasts daily amenities such live nightly entertainment, complimentary Wi-Fi, online reservations, chef’s table, complimentary valet parking, patio dining, group event dining, and the convenient hours of operation. Monday thru Friday lunch is served from 11:30 AM until 4:00 PM, dinner from 4:00 PM- 10:00 PM (11:00 PM on Friday), and Saturday thru Sunday from 11:30 AM until 11:00 PM (10:00 PM on Sunday). 52 is also conveniently nestled in the sea of restaurants surrounding the Cherry Hill mall.
Though just a short drive away the cuisine sends your taste buds on a plan ride to the Californian coast. This menu has something for everyone’s taste platte and dietary restrictions. Upon request Executive Chef Clifford Pleau can create alternative menus for lactose free, gluten free, garlic free, low sodium, vegetarian, or vegan diets, and are equally scrumptious as the menu’s originals. Executive Chef Pleau ability to formulated these decadent menus through his varied cooking experiences. Pleau started his career at the culinary Institute of America (CIA) career interest meeting.
Immediately after his graduation, he was off to Boston with just the clothes on his back and the plan to rent a local room at the YMCA. Nonetheless his hopes to becoming a professional chef were not broken from his poor projected living conditions. Soon after his arrival he decided to try his luck at the Ritz Carlton two blocks away from the YMCA where he was staying. He admits that this job was at the bottom of the culinary totem pole, however, he took the position with stride due to his eagerness to learn more. With diligence and effort Pleau became the saucier of the Ritz-Carlton and participated in the Monte Carlo apprenticeship with the SBM Hotel. Soon after Pleau was given an opportunity to take a sous chef position in Berkley, California, he eagerly accepted the position. Several positions later ,in 1991, Pleau took on a position within Euro Disney. This position was located in Paris and was the opening the first version of the California Grill. It was from these various experiences that enabled him to develop the prototypes of the Seasons 52 menus. Which ultimately allowed the Seasons 52 empire to become what it is today.
I had the pleasure of the experiencing Pleau’s Season 52 with a group of friends. As I walked into the door I was immediately met by the pleasant aromas of the various entree’s and deserts. The overall ambiance of 52 was both relaxing and elegant. At first glance I saw a sea of faces fill the room. I was amazed that we were able to find seats at the center bar as quickly as we did. As I sat down on the leather back chairs my attention was immediately drawn to the pianist positioned in the center of the bar.
He was providing his dinner audience with the sweet melodies of Stevie Wonder to Elton John, and was willing to take tipped requests. Only moments after we had taken our seats we were greeted by our pleasant and obsequious waitress. We started out with the Lump Crab, Roasted Shrimp & Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms under Parmesan-panko crust. These delicious morsels were falling apart in my mouth. This dish was seasoned to perfection, having hints of sweetness from the parmesan cheese. At the time I was thinking that if this dish was any kind of representation of how the rest of the night, than this experience would be exceptional. The exceptionality continued on with our main courses. I choose the Cedar Plank Roasted Salmon roasted sweet rainbow carrots, fresh asparagus, red bliss potatoes. I must tell you that this dish did not disappoint. Each bite was better than the next and paired with the house wine this dish was to die for.
I finished the night off with the mini indulgences: key lime pie. I felt engorged at the end of the evening and honestly felt a little guilty at the amount rich items I partook in that evening, however, to my surprise nothing on the menu is more than 475 calories. I left the Seasons 52 feeling extremely satisfied and content with the overall experience. In my book Seasons 52 comes highly recommend.
The pros of this restaurant was the delicious entrees, the inviting ambivalence, and the extremely helpful and knowledgable wait staff. As far as con’s the only things I could mention is that the price is generally steep for the average college student. I would say that most of the entrees were coming out at about $30 a plate. This is a far cry from the usual dollarmenuaires nights of college life. The other thing I would possibly consider a con is the atmosphere. Though I found the atmosphere of 52 inviting and elegant it is definitely not for everyone. Majority of the individuals who were attending the restaurant were in their late twenties and up, and that was on a Friday night. Which leads me to say this restaurant is best for those who are of a more mature nature Seasons 52 also serves well for romantic date night.