Seasonal 56 was created to promote and feature the Fraser Valleys vast bounty in a relaxed, unpretentious environment with friendly and knowledgeable service staff.
I had been to this restaurant a few years ago and loved it, and returned last night to be just as impressed. I took my boyfriend for our anniversary dinner to have the chef;s selection 4 course meal. Our waitress was great about making sure the chef knew our likes/dislikes and my food sensitivites.
We started with drinks (which were made well) and some bread and got out first course which was a caesar salad and a duck and apple slaw salad. The caesar is amazing - they make their own bacon which is delicious. Salad was a little over dressed, but incredibly tasty. Next we were given crab cakes and mussels, both were some of the best I'd ever had. I should note the portion sizes here are very filling, they aren't short on that at all. By the time we got our mains we were already pretty full. My boyfriend got the steak over mashed potatoes with truffle butter mushrooms and I got to have the honey date duck breast. Mushrooms on top of the steak were the best, and I wish I could have them at home all the time. Botht he steak and the duck were cooked perfectly too, very tender.
After all that we finished with our desserts - a panna cotta with wild blueberries and a pumpkin tart. We enjoyed both, and enjoyed being able to share each course we got so we could try a little of everything.
The only weird thing about the night was that the restaurant was empty. With food so good, I'm not sure why we were alone. It is in a bit of a strange (quiet) spot in the industrial park, so maybe that is why. We will definitely be heading back and recommending it to friends for nice nights out.
I have visited Seasonal 56 on several occasions. For special anniversary evenings, to casual lunch dates and have always found their food to be of exceptional quality. I am impressed with the knowledge that the food has been sourced locally and organically. Attention has been given to showcase the variety of their choices. The atmosphere is one of comfort and there is no pretention here. They want you to enjoy your
meal prepared with downtown flair and knowledge of fine cuisine. And that is what we have experienced on
all levels of preparation. Lunch time is more casual than the dinner hour and therefore more approachable as a drop in guest. You are still shown to table clothed seating but the atmosphere is relaxed and very pleasant. I do suggest you get there early though, as it has always been full whenever we have decided to
drop by for lunch. Evening meals must be accompanied by reservation. They do fill up. And although the
restaurant is in an industrial setting, you forget that with the lights lowered and candles on each table and soft music playing in the background. They supply the ambiance, only you can supply the romance. As for length of service, I have found it to be relaxing and less rushed than local fare. As the name implies, with their catering side, Seasonal Experience, you are here for the experience and it is one that I enjoy, Do I recommend both venues. Wholeheartedly yes.
We visited this restaurant with high expectations and unfortunately left a bit disappointed. The menu was fairly limited, but we both found items we wanted to order. My husband ordered the prime rib and I ordered the halibut. We each had a glass of wine and a shared two appetizers. The Polderside Farms Duck; seasonal fruit chutney and fig-cracked fennel crostini was tasty, but a small portion and the crostini’s were over cooked and tasted burnt. The onion puff pastry was tasty, but also over cooked and we couldn’t finish all of the puff pastry as it was burnt tasting. I found my halibut very tasty and my husband enjoyed his prime rib, but the stuffing was also over cooked to the point that you couldn’t eat it and given the fact that the serving size was small not being able to eat half of your dinner left him disappointed.
The ambiance is average and we found the chairs (rattan) not comfortable at all and we over heard other customers wanting to change their spots because they had to sit on big over sized square cushions that were also not comfortable. The service was good; however, they were pretty busy for a Thursday night and the waitress could have used some help as we had to ask two times to have our water filled and we would have ordered more wine, but were never asked if we wanted another glass.
All in all, we would not go back. The dinner cost over $100.00 and I know we could have spent much less at other restaurants and would have had a more satisfying meal. Note: they did say they were having issues with one of their ovens; however, oven issue aside I felt restaurant lacked a nice relaxing ambience, portions were a tad small and prices a bit high
After buying a groupon, four us dined in the kitchen at the Chef's table. We were a little apprehensive at first , having never dined in a restaurant kitchen, but our apprehension was soon changed to elation. Firstly, we had the opportunity to see not just our meals being prepared, but everyone's dinner. From the orders being called, to their preparation, to the playing! Even more remarkable was the fact there are NO steam tables! Everything is made to order!
Even more remarkable was the fact we all received 4 different 5 course meals. Twenty different plates made it to our table, all served to us by the chef! We enjoyed salads made with local greens, the most amazing plump and juicy mussels, local meats, and house made desserts. After dinner we were even able to spend some talking with chef Adrian.
The Chet's table may not be for everyone, but if you are looking for a truly unique experience " foodie" you gotta give this a try!
We celebrated our anniversary by dining at Seasonal 56 on the high recommendation of friends who frequent this restaurant. We were not disappointed! The food was excellent and plentiful! I was a little disappointed in that they didn't have the Caesar Salad that I'd read so many good reviews on, but it was great to try something new, and I enjoyed my wonderfully fresh and oh-so-tasty Tomato Salad instead. Even though some reviewers did not like the area around the restaurant,(Industrial) once you're inside you completely forget the exterior surroundings. With a smaller room one normally can hear the next table's conversation, but not at this restaurant. They have the table expertly placed so that everyone can experience intimate dining at it's best.
We loved the food, and the fact that it is locally produced and amazingly prepared. The staff were so friendly and did apologize when our dessert was a little slow on it's way to our table...... It was well worth the wait. You won't go away hungry, but with a smile on your face and a full tummy. We'll return for sure!
We've eaten at the old (in Langley) Seasonal 56 and the new (in Gloucester Esates) Seasonal 56 and have always enjoyed the food. Chef Beaty is amazing and his talent really shone through all dishes we've eaten (as well as the take out and catering we've enjoyed.) The glitch for this establishment, which has such potential, is the front of the house service which is almost always (unfortunately) mediocre at best. For all the attention to detail that happens on your plate, very little happens with service. Except for one instance where we were lucky enough to be waited on at lunch by a server whose been with the restaurant from the early days, the service has always been "so so", at best. Today, for Mother's Day Brunch, we waited a full 15 minutes after being seated before being greeted by a server and offered coffee and then another 10 minutes for the advertised baked goods basket to arrive - despite a reservation! Our server, while pleasant enough, appeared overwhelmed and inattentive ... which we've experienced before. We commented to each other what a shame it was that the level of care given the food was not given to the service. While we enjoy eating at the restaurant, we go with hesitation and always qualify it to our dining companions in advance, warning them that the service really isn't that good but the food is. That said, its not that good that people will continue to overlook the lackadasical service ... for this business to stay in it for the long haul, something will have to change.
I thoroughly enjoyed an eight course dinner lovingly prepared by Chef Beaty so much it was the very first thing I thought of when I opened my eyes this morning and all through the day I find myself wishing I could have a re-do.
I am not familiar with any location in the Fraser Valley that matches his obvious commitment to local product and offering quality meals to people who work hard for a dollar. I ask Chef about his purpose and he tells me when he cooks he keeps in mind his parents who love good food and want value. It could be an inauthentic, contrived answer, but coming from him, I buy it.
Every dish is comprised of nothing but local product including cheeses, greens, berries, pheasant, duck, pork belly. He cures his own bacon. He butchers his own protein. All of this and reasonable prices. If there is a question about his commitment, proof is in the pudding I say.
Chef Beaty's Seasonal 56 is Langley and Abotsford's answer to local, quality ingredients often delivered, as I understand it, by the producers themselves to the front door. I hope one day to catch a glimpse of the duck farmer delivering his bounty looking like a proud papa. Can it get any fresher and more real than that?
While the Gloucester Industrial Park location is unusual I respect Sharon and Chef for sacrificing a high profile spot that would attract the easier to reach passer by and instead choosing a to stay true to their commitment of providing quality meals for people who work hard for their dollars. And, in thinking about it, this cozy spot is only 2 minutes off of Highway 1 and 264 exit - a perfect answer for a nosh over lunch or a more leisurely dinner.
It doesn't get any more real that Seasonal 56. Trust me if you miss it, you are the one missing out.
It pains me to say this because I was such a huge fan of The Seasonal Experience, but they have gone down hill. Everything about the original restaurant epitomized everything I believe in when it comes to food. The ingredients were sourced out from all local high quality producers, mostly all organic or free range. They were basically the Jamie Oliver/Gordon Ramsays of the lower mainland and to top it off their prices were incredible. There was no need to go downtown to eat great food when you could go over to SE. It seems now that they have shifted their focus away from fine dining and are now catering to the lunch crowd. I haven't been for lunch yet, but the menu looks good and the prices look great as well. This has taken away a lot of the quality of their dinner menu and service. I have dined at Seasonal 56 5 times including on their opening night.
Food rating. They still use fresh ingredients but the food quality has greatly diminished. I gave it a decent becasue it seems like the 'love' is just not there anymore. They have some good dishes, but I've tried almost everything on the menu and have not been wowed by anything except the viginia duck breast and the mushroom soup. Many times I have thought to myself, did the chef even taste this dish before he put it out? I've also thought to myself, is Adrian even in the kitchen? Many of their dishes are salty to the point of not even being able to eat the whole dish.
Service rating. Service is way worse now that the restaurant is bigger. For instance, we bought their most expensive bottle ($80) of wine and the server didn't offer a decanter. When questioned, she didn't even know what a decanter was?!? Also, the servers here DO NOT sell the food. If you are used to fine dining service, you will not find it here unfortunately.
Value. Wine value is horrible, worse than most restaurants downtown. Food prices have gone up and this woulnd't be an issue with me if the quality was the same as The Seasonal Experience.
Ambiance is fine, better than the last place.
Bottom line to me seems that this place is under-staffed. The offer, cooking classes, catering, lunch and dinner. This is good because their general message (local, fresh, organic) is awesome and I'm fully on board, but they seem to neglect certain aspects of their business. I know they are doing fairly well, the cooking classes are always booked, they get catering jobs, the dinner service seems fairly busy, but they could be doing alot better. They send out periodic email asking for investors, and I'd love to invest but they need to change things and get back to their old ways.
Even though my review may sound negative I still do recomend this restarant to people.
we had a 630 reservation but were rushed from the start being told to hurry up and order because the kitchen was closing. we were there with family and friends to celebrate a birthday what a unbelievable experience this was and not in a good way
this place should not be in business it was bug infested flies all over including in our wine and the service was rude and nasty. the food was average at best and way over priced for what was on the plate. they added themselves a 18% tip on top and got even nastier when i question them on this because service was so bad.
we would recommend NOT going here and save yourself and family the headache
Love the idea of sesonal local produce, but the food lacked flavor. Everything tasted like salt. The menu was pretentious and so was the staff! I would definately not recomend this restaurant. Yuk! Probably the worst service I've ever had. The food was very slow and the manager was no where to be found.
We visited Seasonal 56 recently, originally visiting to sample their fares as we were looking for a caterer for our wedding next year. The owner had invited us in as their guests, for a 3 course sampling of their fares. In the meantime, I had exchanged countless emails and a few telephone conversations with Shannon. She was the only caterer of the 20 or so I had contacted that took the time to CALL me, and Seasonal 56 was one of two caterers who passed my initial audition: to provide a unique menu for our event that matched specific criteria. Beyond that, Shannon was able to justify menu selections to me when I posed questions, and to explain why things would/wouldn't work. Her and her husband Chef worked together to come up with some genius solutions, and they were able to do this all within my strict budget!
Needless to say, we showed up from Calgary with HUGE expectations: this was really Seasonal 56's opportunity to fall short. As self-proclaimed "foodies" our palettes were salivating for something refined, while we were excited to eat in a restaurant that embraced local fares.
We arrived before the restaurant officially opened, so we had to wait a bit: they were still busy printing menus. I enjoyed hearing this: clearly, what is served is based on what comes in that day (in fact one of the line cooks was bringing in produce from a truck as we walked in) - which cannot be set beforehand. I was pumped to hear this! Once we were sat, I did have to request a wine list, but the service staff were personable, friendly and high energy. While I'm not making excuses for them, I do know we cut into their prep time by showing up so early, so I forgave them for this short coming.
First course was their legendary cream of mushroom soup and a beautiful golden beet salad. My fiancee mentioned after dinner, this was the first soup he has ever had in a restaurant where he didn't feel compelled to season it at the table. It was divinely rich: think heavy creams and all that is sinful about creamy soups. The salad was beautifully served: golden roasted beets nestled amongst hand-picked greens with a creamy goat cheese and roasted pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of a house made dressing. Elegant to look at, and delicious on the tongue!
My fiancee's main was a cut of beef served with blue cheese, roasted onions & potatoes and a rich au jus. The beef melted on your tongue. He didn't want to hand it over when I asked for a sample! I enjoyed a scrumptious (and supremely portioned) chicken breast, skin still on (and wonderfully seasoned) with roasted beets & potatoes and a light gravy. I typically don't order chicken, as it tends to come out dry and lackluster, but this was none of those! Juicy, savory and simply wonderful!
If the main doesn't knock your socks off, stay for desert! Seasonal 56 has a pastry chef on staff - who is evidently very talented! My fiancee dove into a rich piece of chocolate cake served with homemade chocolate-Jack-Daniel's ice cream. And mine?? OMG! Soft ginger cookies sandwiched a light butternut squash ice cream. I think I will be dreaming of that for some time to come!
Don't be shocked when you go in and see a shorter menu (especially when compared to what other shops are offering), but know that the food presented embraces all that is fresh in the Fraser Valley and is simply unpretentious. It is made with a passion for real, authentic, simple food. Nothing (as far as I could tell), is packaged - it is all made in house. This is how food is meant to be!
Go with an open mind, know what you are about to enjoy was grown with love by local farmers, and cooked by someone with a genuine appreciation for that.
*BTW, we have secured their services for our wedding next year - and I am so excited to work with them!!
This is my second experience of the restaurant. I brought my two other friends along because I had a great experience at their old location. However, this time I was extremely disappointed and quite embarrased to have taken my friends there.
Initially the server made a mistake with our appetizers and ASSUMED that the guys wanted the set course, we let it go. Then, she made a mistake with my entree, which I clearly pointed to the one that I wanted on the Appetizer section but she again assumed I wanted the entree. When we've finished we asked if we could change the dessert selection and ended up with ONE piece of cheesecake between the two guys.
We tried asking for any type of compensation to at least make the visit seem more worthwhile. However, our server kept insisting that her hands were tied and that we should have said something earlier, even though we brought up every single issue with her. In the end, we left having to paying a bill that we never ordered and the memories of a restaurant we will never possibly go back to.