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Spring, Summer, or Fall: Revamped Seasons features big ideas but uneven execution 

Resorts with overnight accommodations have a built-in clientele for their on-site restaurants. Sometimes that can mean resort restaurants are lax in quality control and overall

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Resorts with overnight accommodations have a built-in clientele for their on-site restaurants. Sometimes that can mean resort restaurants are lax in quality control and overall dining experience. That's not the case with Seasons. There is no doubt the management and staff have made huge efforts in the re-visioning of this fine dining restaurant. Although the menu is ambitious and the attitude is one of dedication, the overall dining experience comes up short of expectations.

Over the last three years, the entire resort has undergone some drastic remodeling, changed its name and completely overhauled the dining facilities. What used to be a dark room characterized by a bad '70s motif, the resort's fine dining restaurant, Seasons, is now surrounded by big windows with views of the new pool area and patio seating.

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The servers and management are exuberant about the establishment. After a slightly confusing walk to find the entrance, my dining partners and I were given a tour of the new dining room and bar before being seated.

Starting with appetizers, our party of four began with the Cracker Jack Oysters ($10) - big oysters coated in pulverized Cracker Jacks and fried to a crispy crunch. Slightly sweet, they were the best of the appetizers. We then moved on to the Carrot-Ginger Bisque ($3) which I found bland, even though it had some heat, The Tuna Salad ($13) had an unusual purple dressing surrounding seared ahi slices. It was slightly sweet with the intention (I would imagine) of offsetting the spice of the jalapeno and lime crust on the fish. It ended up being conflicting rather than complimenting. We ended our appetizer course with the Seafood Pistou ($12), a dish that comprised mussels, clams and halibut cooked in a pesto broth that lacked punch. However, the crusty toast for dipping was a nice touch.
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We spanned the offerings for our entrees starting with the special Copper River Salmon in a Green Curry Sauce ($28) - a big chunk of salmon well prepared with a bit too much spicy curry sauce. The burger ($9) was standard, organic beef, cooked a perfect medium and served on a substantial bun. Being that this is fine dining, it could have used something special, such as artisan cheese, oven roasted garlic, or nitrate free bacon to liven it up. The Chicken Fettuccini Balsamico ($18) had good flavor and the pasta was nicely cooked al dente. The Alaskan Halibut Cheeks ($29) were not to my taste, but one of my dining partners thought they were fine. The dish was served with a "sweet corn béarnaise" and judging by the taste, as well as the quotation marks, it was not a traditionally prepared béarnaise.

We fared better in the dessert arena, although the kitchen was out of the Pear Tart that I had my heart set on. I was also disappointed not to see the farmstead cheese plates as the online menu shows. Instead, we got a scoop of walnut ice cream, berry cobbler ($7) and the Half Baked Chocolate Cake ($8). The walnut ice cream was dense, creamy and packed with walnuts. The berries in the cobbler were plump and sweet, but the apples were a bit tough. The chocolate cake was rich, warm and decadent served with a tart raspberry coulis.

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The best part of the meal was a complimentary palate cleanser of lime ice with basil and candied ginger served between the courses. Presented on individual spoons, it was a nice mid-meal way to combat palate fatigue. The bread was also tasty - although not local. It's from La Brea Bakery, an establishment out of Southern California that half cooks crusty organic loaves that are finished at the restaurant. The sliced bread is served with honey butter and a house made caponata of garlic, tomatoes and onions.

If effort alone could make a good meal, Seasons would be serving up a first class dining experience. But the bigger part of the equation is inspired recipes and consistent execution, which Seasons has not yet mastered.

Seasons at Seventh Mountain Resort
18575 SW Century Drive, 693-9143,
5:30pm-9pm seven days a week 


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