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Seasonal Restaurant and Winebar - worth it?

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?

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  1. 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...

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

    1. 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

        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

          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

            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. 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. 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

            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

              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

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

                1. re: Pan

                  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

                    Thanks.

                  2. re: Pan

                    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...

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

                    1. re: Pan

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

              2. 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.

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

                2 Replies
                1. re: buttertart

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

                  1. re: ellenost

                    It really is a most enjoyable restaurant.