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Restaurant:  Seasons 52, Cherry Hill, NJ

Address:  in the Cherry Hill Mall

Price:  High

Portions:  Just Right

Taste:  Delicious and Complex

Service:  Top Notch

Atmosphere:  High End

So if you told me 20 years ago that people would eat in mall restaurants, I would’ve poo-pooed the idea.  Eat in a mall?  Yeah, maybe at the food court.  Lunch at best.  Dinner, only if you had to.

But 52 Seasons is not only a mall restaurant (although it’s not like you can see the stores from the restaurant, it merely shares the parking lot and walls) but it’s also pretty fancy.  The Missus and I needed a place to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary and this seemed appropriately fancy.  The first good sign is that I called for a reservation and they couldn’t seat us right away.  Had to go at 8:30.  I told them why we were dining out and the guy on the phone took note.

When we arrived, we got our table and then a card congratulating us on five years.  We also got a free champagne toast (with really good champagne), a sample of some flank steak and later, dessert.  All that was complimentary, so pro-tip, if you’re on a date, pretend you’re married and enjoy!

I ordered the tuna tartar, the organic spring mix salad (what did restaurants do before Spring Mix?) and a New York Strip steak with Yukon mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables and a 15 year-old balsamic glaze.  The Missus had flatbread with goat cheese, chicken and onion, asparagus soup and some kind of grits and shrimp with chorizo.  Everything was top notch.  The flavors were balanced, the portions seemed just right and, of course, I got glass after glass of iced tea from the waitress, who never forgot the extra lemon.

You couldn’t really asked for a better trained staff.  Several of them said, “Happy Anniversary” to us.  They were friendly, knowledgeable and quick.  The food was all delicious.  The desserts were those little cups and we could take as many as we want for free.  Total cost, about $104.  (The Missus also had a glass a wine.)  I felt full, but not bloated.  That’s how you can really gauge quality food and a quality chef.  He feeds you enough without over feeding you and even though you try a lot of different things, you’re not bloated.   I had gone to Buffalo Wild Wings the night before with some friends and felt like crap for hours after.

After this, I’m full, a little sleepy, but I feel okay.  The décor of this place is almost exactly like Redstone in Marlton, with some minor tweaks.  I will flag it one keg for the parking lot.  The Cherry Hill Mall parking lot is a God damned nightmare.  If the Missus didn’t have a handicapped tag, I don’t know what I’d do.  Holy shit, it was raining and the people there just drive like jackholes.  They do have a valet service if you’re too lazy to walk the 80 feet from where you would’ve parked anyway.

52 Seasons is a high end chain with different menus according to the time of year.  I would go again.  Good food, if you have the money for it.  I give it 9 out of 10 keggers.