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Sunsets, Specialties and Surprises Abound at Seasons 52

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“It’s about discovery,” said Jake Johnston, managing partner of Seasons 52 on the Country Club Plaza, when I asked about the concept of his restaurant. “We want our guests to discover new things and get excited about great food and wine.” Be still, my food adventurous heart. Their experimental menu is continuously evolving to include items and cooking techniques that are on trend and not necessarily familiar to a typical guest.

Seasons 52 is about celebrating what’s in season, using ingredients that are picked at the peak of ripeness. They are passionate about sourcing the highest-quality ingredients and then preparing them in ways that illuminate their best flavors and textures. There are many different influences represented on the menu–Asian, Mediterranean, coastal, southern. “We take the best that all these different regions have to offer and make them our own,” said Jake. The menu changes seasonally and features the freshest ingredients available. But don’t fret if change makes you nervous, because many guest favorites are served year-round.

Seasons 52 enjoys an idyllic location at the corner of Ward Parkway and Baltimore, with a beautiful Kansas City fountain at the center of its courtyard entrance. Sidewalk seating is available to dine al fresco and take in the sights and sounds of the Plaza. The atmosphere is flexible and casually sophisticated. They take extreme pride in providing a customized experience for every single guest; your comfort is their priority. There’s a wide variety of dining options, including gluten-free, vegan and lactose-free variations of many menu items.

Sunday Brunch is a relatively new addition at Seasons 52, and it includes traditional favorites such as French toast and eggs benedict, but prepared with a unique twist in the spirit of discovery. If you like your brunch boozy, pay attention; bottomless mimosas, Bloody Marys and bellinis are only $14.

Lunch on the Plaza is always a treat, but sometimes the time constraints of the work day make it feel indulgent. However, at Seasons 52 they want you to be able to enjoy a high-quality meal and leave ready to tackle your busy afternoon. The lunch menu is food you can feel good about; you’ll leave energized rather than needing a nap, with handheld items such as fish tacos and lettuce wraps or entree salads and flatbreads. They strive to have you in and out in 45 minutes because they know you have things to do.

Happy Hour is an opportunity to experience new grapes through the expertly curated wine list, or to sample artisan spirits through partnerships with local distilleries. The hand-crafted cocktails blend vibrant flavors in refreshing and creative ways. The Cucumber Basil Smash is my favorite, the perfect way to end a summer day at the office. Monday through Friday from 4:00 to 6:30 p.m., small plates are $5 and select wines and cocktails are $6, an amazing value for top-notch bites and sips.

Flights and Flatbreads allows you to sample their delicious flatbreads paired with a wine flight selected by the staff sommelier, Brian Phillips, who is extremely passionate about bringing the best and trendiest wines to Seasons 52 guests. He regularly refreshes the wine list to reflect emerging winemakers and industry trends. The Flights and Flatbreads special is available daily for a mere $15, or $20 for a flight of acclaimed wine, which means they are rated 90+ points by Wine Spectator, The Wine Advocate, Wine Enthusiast or International Wine Cellar. Included in the price is a full glass of your favorite selection from the flight.

I love wine, but I’m not an expert. What I love about Seasons 52 is that they are passionate and knowledgeable, but approachable. Their passion translates into providing each guest with the type of service and experience they want to have, whether they’re a novice or a connoisseur. It’s all about discovery and a celebration of great food. The enthusiasm of the staff is contagious. You might just find yourself sampling a fiddleweed fern for the first time, contemplating its earthy flavor while your server tells you how it is harvested in the early spring.

Private and group dining is an excellent way to experience Seasons 52. With a full-time event and sales manager, Jennifer Turner, you can be certain that every detail will be attended to, in order to make your event the best it can be. Two private dining rooms accommodate 30 to 40 people each, or 80 combined. There are also semi-private spaces for a smaller, more casual group affair. No matter what event you are hosting, you will experience the same attentive, enthusiastic service and fine cuisine that makes Seasons 52 a wonderful culinary adventure. ■

July is the perfect time to visit Seasons 52 at 340 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, Missouri, or at