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Seasonal Restaurant and Winebar - worth it?

m
mrgdess May 27, 2010 12:58 PM

I'm thinking of taking my ILs there when they are in town. How is the food? Good place for southern ILs who aren't very sophisticated, but like to think that they are?

  1. r
    RGR May 27, 2010 01:12 PM

    The contemporary Austro-German cuisine at Seasonal is delicious; service is friendly and competent; and the space has understated decor and a sophisticated feel. Highly recommended.

    Seasonal photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157622915332504/

    and here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

    1. ellenost May 27, 2010 01:21 PM

      I had a great dinner at Seasonal last year. The food is excellent. Very traditional Austrian cuisine in a relaxed setting.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ellenost
        r
        RGR May 27, 2010 01:40 PM

        ellenost, I have to take a small exception to calling Seasonal's Austrian cuisine "very traditional." While they do have several dishes on the menu that fit that description -- the weiner weiner snitzel and the tafelspitz immediately come to mind -- many are, imo, more like contemporary American cuisine with Austro-German influences, and sometimes not even the latter. For example, there really was nothing particularly Austrian about the foie gras torchon. In any case, we do agree that the food, including that foie gras, is excellent.

        1. re: RGR
          g
          gutsofsteel May 27, 2010 04:28 PM

          RGR, in German, foie gras is called GÄNSELEBER or ENTENLEBER. GÄNSELEBER IS is how it appears on Seasonal's menu (the former is goose liver, the latter is duck liver). It is certainly eaten traditionally in Austria. Seasonal serves a very Austrian menu, with some modern touches but steeped in tradition. Take a look at their website - the menus that are on there now are quite traditional, and every time I have gone there, although there are occasional specials with modern touches, the menu has remained steeped in tradition throughout. There is really very little on the menu that I would describe as "American" with "Austro-German influences." And in fact nothing on the menu is German at all. And I find nothing "American" about it either. (I have spent plenty of time in Austria and Germany). Just because the cuisine has modern touches, does not mean it is not steeped in Austrian tradition. And I repeat: it is not German in any way.

          Seasonal is a lovely Austrian restaurant. The food is quite nice, and although I had one meal where the service was off, the rest of my experiences before and since there have been delightful.

          Their "kaisergulasch" made with veal cheeks is something I order again and again.

          Look at some of the ingredients they are using:

          Goat cheese
          pumpkin seeds
          elderflower
          potatoes
          speck
          cherries
          sweetbreads
          venison
          berg kase
          wild mushrooms
          duck breast
          schnitzel
          lingonberry

          not to mention zwiebelrostbraten, wiener schnitzel, kaisergulasch, tafelspitz, rosti, creamed spinach, and the traditional desserts using quark, fruit compote, hazelnuts….kaisershmarrn, apfelstrudel…and powidltascherl! Sacher torte and palatschinken!

          It really doesn’t get more Austrian than this.

          1. re: gutsofsteel
            Splendid Wine Snob May 28, 2010 02:13 PM

            Agree with gutsofsteel here...I've described the food as a slightly modernized version of Austrian classics. The food was excellent, and the service extremely professional at the bar.

      2. coasts May 27, 2010 03:52 PM

        while the food is very good, the space is fairly plain and the service can come off as uptight. i really enjoyed my meal there and would definitely return, but i'm not sure i'd take out-of-towners there.

        1. Wilfrid May 27, 2010 05:04 PM

          I think it's an excellent choice, and in fact has a sophisticated look without being uncomfortably trendy or edgy.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Wilfrid
            ulterior epicure May 28, 2010 08:41 AM

            I agree with Wilfrid. I recently went and had a decent experience. You can read about it on my blog. http://ulteriorepicure.com/2010/05/20...

            1. re: ulterior epicure
              u
              uwsgrazer Jun 30, 2010 12:38 PM

              The owners of Seasonal are supposed to open another restaurant in the East Village, I believe around September or so. My understanding is that the cuisine will be similar but at a lower price point.

              1. re: uwsgrazer
                p
                Pan Jan 9, 2011 01:49 PM

                Did they open it? If so, what is it called?

                1. re: Pan
                  f
                  fm1963 Jan 9, 2011 02:08 PM

                  Edi & The Wolf on Avenue C. I haven't been yet but here's the link:
                  http://www.ediandthewolf.com/

                  And here's a recent thread:
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7531...

                  1. re: fm1963
                    p
                    Pan Jan 9, 2011 02:47 PM

                    Thanks.

                  2. re: Pan
                    squid kun Jan 9, 2011 08:57 PM

                    And a Chow Digest summary from last week, for anyone who hasn't had time to read every darn post on the New York boards ... http://www.chow.com/digest/70020/aust...

                    -----
                    Edi & the Wolf
                    102 Avenue C, New York, NY 10009

                    1. re: Pan
                      u
                      uwsgrazer Jan 10, 2011 04:06 AM

                      Yes, Edi & The Wolf, as noted. Unfortunately I still haven't made it, yet. Sounds great, though ...

              2. buttertart Jan 9, 2011 07:25 AM

                We had a delicious dinner at Seasonal on Friday night.
                Ordered a la carte. For me, goose foie gras (cold pate style) in a long rectangular bar with a fruity thin firm glaze on top and a toasted brioche bun, Tafelspitz in broth with baby carrots, turnips, creamed pureed spinach, horseradish applesauce, mustard sauce, and little round roesti, and a pistachio torte with pistachio ice cream. The pistachio torte wasn't a torte as you'd expect it, it was a pistachio mousse (again in a long rectangular shape) on top of a pistachio nut crust that was fairly thick (3/4 in with about the same of the mousse on top). Very good. The foie was fantastic.
                M and our friend had sweetbreads with chestnuts and Brussels sprouts as appetizer (the sweetbreads were a tad on the underdone side for my taste but they loved them). He had roast loin of venison and she Wiener schnitzel (properly puffed) and a vinegary potato salad, followed by apple strudel (very small square piece, more millefeuille than strudel) with vanilla bean ice cream for her.
                I had an apricot-elderflower Bellini and a lingonberry martini, both very very good (don't normally drink froufrou cocktails but these sounded too appealing), they had highballs, and for wine we all had Austrian Riesling and Blaufraenkish.
                Service was pleasant and punctilious and we were made to feel very much at home.
                I could live on the Gaenseleber appetizer if I could get away with it, it was spectacular.

                -----
                Seasonal
                132 West 58th Street, New York, NY 10019

                2 Replies
                1. re: buttertart
                  ellenost Jan 9, 2011 03:20 PM

                  Thanks for your report. Definitely need to plan a return visit soon.

                  1. re: ellenost
                    buttertart Jan 9, 2011 04:08 PM

                    It really is a most enjoyable restaurant.

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