Unlike a traditional hotel, the residence club amenities are exclusively available to the property’s guests. This lends a sense of community to these communal areas.
Opened in early May 2015, Seasons Restaurant pays homage to the local area. California, farm to table cuisine is highlighted. When thinking of local cuisine, olive and citrus are essential ingredients. They are emphasized not only in the food but in the décor. In fact, during construction, an olive tree was planted in the adjacent patio. It will grow concurrently with the restaurant.
The restaurant and dining area were designed to make guests feel at home. The dining room has plentiful seating, accommodating everyone from the solo diner to large, multi-generational groups. For more significant functions, the private dining room may be reserved. For a fun and interactive dining experience, the chef’s table may be a great option. Bar seating is also available. Going along with the theme of feeling like you are home, a very approachable wine list was developed. The best part- bottles of wine are priced at retail pricing.
Although Seasons is open for all three meals, Tom and I only experienced the dinner service. We enjoyed starting our evenings off with a cocktail. If you happen to be there when Sean tends the bar, you are in for a treat. Although we didn’t sample beer, each draft on tap is local. Instead, we opted for craft cocktails, using local and organic spirits. We ordered off the menu and let Sean work his magic. He didn’t disappoint! Sean also helped us select an excellent sparkling wine to go with our meal (and to take back to our villa to relax after dinner)!
Season’s menu was thoughtfully put together by Executive Chef, Jonathan Suder. Originally from South Africa, he was raised in San Diego. After graduating with a degree in economics, Chef Suder followed his passion for cooking and enrolled in the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. His interest in cooking started as a child when he spent hours in his mother’s and grandmother’s kitchens. In addition to life experiences and living several years overseas, cocktails and fresh, local ingredients inspire his cuisine.
One of my favorite dishes was the “old fashioned” clams. Inspired by the old fashioned cocktail, the broth has vermouth. The clams were perfectly prepared, but I enjoyed the soup. The presentation of pulled croutons dotted throughout the dish encourages diners to soak up the broth with the crusty bread. It’s so good! My other favorite was the Cioppino. The thing that sets this stew apart is the garnish of celery leaves, so it’s similar to a Bloody Mary.
Tom’s favorite appetizer was the chicken liver pate. Usually, pate is not my favorite. However, this pate is very approachable and is a great way to introduce diners to this dish. The pate is served with crusty bread and candied kumquats in a simple syrup. The sweetness of the kumquats helps make this dish tasteless “irony” than typical pates. Tom’s favorite main dish was the New York Strip Steak. He likes it rare, and it was prepared perfectly.
Dessert was fantastic, and we highly recommend saving room to indulge! My favorite was a “sandwich” of toasted brioche stuffed with Nutella and ripe bananas, served with peanut butter and jelly ice cream. It was truly decadent. Tom enjoyed the Crème Brulee cheesecake served with local strawberries.
Seasons Restaurant opened one day before our arrival. Despite this, we felt the service was flawless and the food and drinks well executed. A fascinating experience planned to commence shortly is “Taste the Senses.” Diners get to sit directly in front of the chef’s station and interact with the chef. There is no menu. Everything is prepared as the chef and guests interacts. It is a truly personalized experience. Tom and I hope to return and report on this experience after it is up and running!
Also in the works is a chef’s table for guests to have a unique “family style” experience. It will be a communal dining for guests to come together for a wonderful meal. This is perfect for families and groups of friends. Come summertime; Chef Suder will host a pizza making party for kids. Each child can choose from a large array of ingredients to build their pizza. It’s a personalized experience and a great way for children to learn more about food. If you’re interested in cooking or grilling on your own, Chef Suder plans to launch a “stock your fridge” program soon!
If you are lucky enough to be staying at Four Seasons Residence Club, Aviara, check out the newly opened Seasons Restaurant. The menu has items to suit every diner’s taste while taking advantage of fresh, organic, local ingredients. Enjoy!