The Seasons is a restaurant strategically situated on the far west side of town, near the mall and the airport. Thus, those Lawrentians minus cars won’t be walking there anytime soon, while those with wheels may want to consider it as a dining option, either when the rib place down the street is packed, or when the food and the murals in the Fox River Mall food court seem less than appealing. But beware: appearances and prices can, and were, deceiving when my friends and I dined there for lunch this past week.Walking in, The Seasons is a welcome haven from the gimmicky restaurants that line the Avenue, though it’s pushing its own gimmick as a self-proclaimed “American Bistro.” With a clean cut and lofty interior, somewhat sparse dcor, and walls littered with the occasional stereotypical mural that smacks of Botticelli-esque chicks in flowing gowns dancing with urns of wine, its dining area is a comfortable, well-lit area, and its servers are more than willing to work hard for their tip.
Their lunch menu consists of a small range of impressive-sounding salads, sandwiches, and entrees, that aren’t really that impressive. Their seasonally revised menu relies on a base of regionally available ingredients peppered with a few exotic ones. I ordered their cream of mushroom soup and a Boston and Hobbs salad, along with a cup of coffee that was sub-par for an establishment of such good repute.
Along with a basket of soft and crusty assorted breads, our soups arrived. A thick, creamy concoction, brimming with fresh-chopped mushrooms and a hearty, refreshing flavor, my cream of mushroom soup was delicious. The salad that arrived later, however, was not. Though a pretty arrangement on the plate, the Boston and Hobbs salad, a simple toss of iceberg lettuce, Roma tomatoes, and spaghetti-stringed cucumbers, was a dish whose appearance overpowered the pathetic amount of “buttermilk dressing” that the salad was purportedly topped with.
A large dish of vanilla crme brulee topped off the lunch, and was a fairly decent stab at a French food staple. It’s sweetly crisp top and creamy custard interior provided a satisfying finishing touch to the meal.
All in all, The Seasons was an experience that combined mediocre food and dcor with exemplary service and inflated prices. It’s catch-phrase of an “American Bistro” leads one to wonder if such an oxymoronic phrase can ever be defined, and convinced me that The Seasons probably won’t be the restaurant to do it.