After my first visit to Seasons Bistro, I left thinking it was ironic that with such a name, the food there needed seasoning.
Almost every dish I ate seemed in need of salt or pepper. Other than the poutine, nothing stood out - so I dismissed it.
But I must have been alone thinking that way. Each time I walked past, there was a crowd. Did I miss something?
So when I was invited for a meal, I had to accept. And compared with my first visit, the difference in the food was like winter and summer.
Seasons opened in May offering a range of edible Americana, stretching from Canada to the south west States.
The menu changes seasonally. The classic dishes remain but with tweaks to the ingredients. Currently, it is serving the summer menu.
On my return, it felt like everything had flowered. Flavours were bursting through and the overall dining experience was enjoyable.
Maybe my previous visit coincided with a bad night. Or maybe it has just taken time for the kitchen to stabilise.
The prices here are reasonable and the portions generous. This is just the place when you want a relaxing but substantial meal.
Seasons' Star Dish
This is the classic Canadian dish, poutine ($10). It's basically french fries, brown sauce and cheese curds. When mixed together, it looks like a mess - but the taste is exquisite.
I really like how they get comfortable up north. I'll be ordering this when I return.
Gumbo In Heat
The most disappointing dish from my first visit was the Surf & Turf gumbo ($27). It was so mild and lacking in personality. But on the second visit, it had a lot more punch thanks to the liberal dash of cayenne pepper. It really works better when it is on fire.