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An Interactive Tasting At Seasons 52 in Cherry Hill


By Beth Christian
On a recent evening, we were invited to a media event showcasing the new spring menu at Seasons 52 in Cherry Hill. Events like this are always a treat, but this one used the power of social media to kick things up to a whole different level.

We walked into the private dinning area in the back and were presented with a kick off libation in the form of a luscious Strawberry Basil Infusion drink. This recipe would make great use of local strawberries and basil when they are in season, and looks like it would be a snap to make with advance planning. Here is the recipe for your sipping pleasure-have fun infusing and muddling!

Strawberry Basil Fusion

Ingredients:
3 oz Strawberry Infused Vodka
¼ oz Agave Nectar
4 ea Basil Leaves, large
Ice
Infusion Recipe:
2 pounds fresh strawberries, washed, top removed, cut in half
1 liter vodka
Procedure:
In a shaker, add agave nectar and 3 basil leaves. Lightly muddle basil in shaker.
Add ice and strawberry infused vodka.
Shake well, then strain mixture.
Pour in a martini glass and garnish with a large basil leaf

After sampling this choice cocktail, we were ushered into a room with a bevy of smartly set tables. That’s where the fun really began. Seasons 52 Executive Chef Clifford Pleau and Master Sommelier George Miliotes were live in Orlando and began chatting with us interactively via a live Webcast about new spring menu selections and the best wines to pair with spring dishes. Since the room was filled with social media types, we furiously tweeted questions to both Clifford and George and were rewarded with fast, helpful answers even though they were a thousand miles away. Gotta love what technology can do! My question was the one dealing with South African wines. For a recap of the Webcast, you can go here:

Next, we were treated with a delicious food and wine pairing. The Artichoke-Stuffed Artichoke Leaves were a huge hit, with the sweetness of the concentrated balsamic glaze drizzle on the fresh artichokes contrasting beautifully with the snappiness of the organic arugula and Parmesan ingredients. We also tried a Plum Tomato Flatbread and another made with artichokes, each of which were devoured quickly. Our Tomato and Haas Avocado Salad was paired perfectly with a delicious Aveleda Vinho Verde from Portugal. I had never tried Vinho Verde before, and never thought I would like something that translates to “green wine,” but I am now a convert.

A trio of entrees followed: Columbia River Steelhead Trout, Lamb T-Bones with Truffled Mashed Potatoes and Snow Peas With Shitake Mushrooms. All were decadent, yet healthy at 450 calories or less per serving. A selection of Mini Indulgence Desserts in shot glasses rounded out the meal.

With food choices like this, and the food prep and wine pairing tips that the Webinar provided, I’m ready to dive headfirst into spring!

Beth Christian subsisted primarily on cheeseburgers and liverwurst sandwiches during childhood and refused to try most new foods.  Her culinary horizons were expanded during her college days in Schenectady, New York, where she learned the joys of trying slow-simmered Italian dishes, Szechuan cuisine, and everything in between.  When not engaged in the practice of law in Monmouth County, Beth is busy scouting out interesting restaurants,  farmer’s markets and food purveyors near her home in Burlington County. Beth’s primary dining sidekick is her husband John, but she also enjoys having her daughter Meghan, son Michael and her wonderful friends come along for the ride. Email Beth at BChristian@JerseyBites.com

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