Let’s state the obvious: All chains have a theme. (And these days, a fireplace and stacked-stone décor.) But Seasons 52, the Orlando-based, new-to-the-area restaurant in the Cherry Hill Mall has a theme we never dreamed we would see in a chain — healthy eating.
How? First of all, you won’t see the words “tofu” or “low fat” anywhere on the menu. And the vibe — as generic as it may be — is like any normal dining experience, with a big bar, open dining room, outdoor seating, and even a live piano player on occasion. But nothing on the menu has more than 475 calories, the entire menu changes seasonally, and a menu of specials changes weekly (as in 52 times a year). The lower-calorie food doesn’t skimp on portion sizes, and the dishes sounds exciting — pork with a polenta and a sherry glaze; an entrée salad has BBQ grilled chicken and crumbled blue cheese. Sadly, while dishes are well cooked, they tend to be under-seasoned.
But for an easy and affordable dinner that won’t make you feel gross after you eat it (like other not-to-be-named places), don’t discount Seasons 52 altogether. Stick with the appetizers — we liked the tender housemade ravioli filled with an herby goat cheese and chopped tomatoes — or one of the large flatbreads, with toppings like grilled steak or roasted tomato. And definitely, definitely order dessert. Mix-and-match shot glasses filled with four or five bites of a variety of desserts (like yummy key lime pie with graham cracker filling, a creamy roasted banana pie, and carrot cake) are not only delicious, but mostly under 300 calories.
Seasons 52, at the Cherry Hill Mall, 2000 Route 38, Cherry Hill, N.J.; 856-665-1052.