After 20 years, Houston’s closed in Century City this October. The space has now been completely remodeled to house Seasons 52. The idea behind the restaurant is seasonal menus based on local ingredients and they seem to have mastered both the spirit and execution of this popular concept. The result is a very welcoming outdoor and warm indoor space with an equally warm and welcoming service team.

With wines by the glass starting at just $8 (I chose an ’09 Bordeaux for $10.50) and a full bar for premium alcohol, you can come in just for a drink and some appetizers, like their varied flatbreads starting at $11, or their crab, shrimp & spinach stuffed mushroom caps.

Every item on the menu is under 475 calories, so this is the perfect spot to go for a sensible meal without sacrificing ambiance and flavor. Their salads are made with organic greens and they even offer an EU certified organic salmon (for a $6 supplement).

The mixed organic green salad was dressed in a white balsamic and the greens included pumpkin seeds, cucumbers, and grape tomatoes. This would have been the ideal light meal, but as a side to my Buffalo burger, it was a fresh and flavorful accompaniment.

Since bison is one of my favorite meats, I had to order the buffalo burger, oak-fired and served with roasted red pepper salsa, and spicy chili sour cream for $12. The description included guacamole, but aside from a thin smear of green, I can’t say that guacamole was evident in the burger (probably to keep within the 475 calorie allotment). It was done rare as I requested, and the quarter pound portion was perfect for me, although some hungrier people might have wanted a bigger serving.

Dinner items offer a much heartier portion. This crimini mushroom sauce on the bone in New York was a delectable way to enhance the meat without detracting from it. The sides of asparagus and roasted potatoes were simply done, but satisfying, and surprisingly this entire meal was still less than 500 calories! For $27, this dinner is easy both on wallets and waistlines.

A beautiful tray of mini desserts (all $2.75) allows you to choose from a Meyer Lemon meringue pie, a canoli with white chocolate filling, s’mores, peanut butter and chocolate, or a tropical fruit mix.

In keeping with the season, I opted for the pumpkin pie, decorated with a gingersnap 🙂 It was the perfect small bit of sweetness to round off my meal.

With a location next to shops, this is a great place for a respite from holiday shopping; after all even Santa gets milk & cookies, why shouldn’t you?

Seasons 52 on Urbanspoon