We had reservations for Sunday night at 6 p.m., but I'm usually hungry by 5 p.m. So I toasted some crusty bread and set out some olives and dipping oil, and we enjoyed that as a little pre-dinner snack at home with some sparkling pinot grigio.
After our little cocktail hour, we headed to Seasons 52 in East Memphis. (Yes, I am wearing a sweater in July. We took this pic after dinner, and it was pretty cold in the restaurant, so I still had my sweater on).
When I made our reservations, they asked if we were celebrating anything. I told them it was for an anniversary, and look what was waiting for us at our table! It's a card signed by the staff. So sweet.
We both started with wine — a petite syrah for me and a chardonnay for Paul.
I'd scoped out Seasons 52's menu online, so I knew the vegan options looked great! Plus, the place had great reviews from my buddy Barb over at That Was Vegan? The menus change seasonally based on whatever food is fresh, and the summer menu was filled with veggies and light salads. For starters, I ordered the Hummus Duo with Plain Lavash — that's edamame hummus and roasted red pepper hummus.
Now, you may notice there's no lavash bread in the above pic. Somehow, the kitchen confused my order with the gluten-free option, which subs fresh veggies out for bread. And I'm all for veggies, but I really love bread. So I asked the server if they could fix it, and they were happy to bring out lavash so I got both veggies and bread with my hummus. Bonus! The hummus dishes, by the way, were fantastic. I preferred the red pepper hummus, and Paul loved the edamame. Here's the lavash. It was delightfully crispy!
For my entree, I chose the Vegan Tasting Menu, which comes with a small portion of several other dishes on the menu. Perfect for indecisive people like me! This came with Cedar-Roasted Tofu, a Black Bean Taco, Quinoa-Citrus Salad, Roasted Rainbow Carrots, and Sauteed Snap Peas. WOW! I was blown away by how awesome this was. The black bean taco was my favorite. The beans were bursting with flavor, and it was filled with fresh veggies. And I loved the cedar-roasted tofu with its slight hint of cedarwood. The quinoa salad was crisp and light, and the rainbow carrots were roasted to perfection.
I'll spare you Paul's dinner since he ordered a meaty entree. But he was extremely pleased with it, despite a mix-up in the kitchen that led to them bringing out the wrong dish at first. Since it was our anniversary, we got free dessert. But the desserts they brought out to choose from weren't vegan, so Paul got to enjoy that part. They do list fresh fruit as a vegan dessert option on the menu, and I probably could have asked for that instead. But I was full, and I'm not that into fruit.
We had a lovely dinner there, and the staff was super helpful and accommodating (even when things got mixed up with our order). We'll definitely be back.
After dinner, we kept up a tradition of going to Newby's for after-dinner drinks. Newby's is the casual college bar where I met Paul 12 years ago. No, I wasn't in college then, but I was just a few years post-grad (I was 24), and I'd gone to Newby's with a friend for beer bust night. Paul was there with friends too, and his friends were friends with my friends. And we played pool together, and he invited me to a party he was throwing. And the rest is history. We don't really hang out at Newby's anymore, but we still go once a year on our anniversary.
Even though I suck at pool, it's tradition to play at least one game.