New upscale restaurant opens at South Coast Plaza

COSTA MESA — Seasons 52, a wine bar and restaurant, has opened at South Coast Plaza, operators announced Monday.

The restaurant offers a "contemporary American menu, a fun, accessible list of wines and cocktails, a casually sophisticated ambiance and exceptional service," according to a news release.

The South Coast Plaza location is the first in California and the first west of the Mississippi. The restaurant is owned by Orlando, Fla.-based Darden Restaurants, which also owns the Red Lobster and Olive Garden.

The menu stresses wood-fire grilling and brick-oven cooking over the use of fryers.

The wine list includes 100 wines, 60 by the glass, and a full bar.

"We are thrilled to launch our California expansion here at South Coast Plaza," Stephen Judge, president of Seasons 52, said in a news release. "Seasons 52 offers a distinctive dining experience that truly complements the California lifestyle and one that can satisfy even the most sophisticated, culinary-savvy diners. We're also very excited that our culinary team now has local access to California's seasonal bounty, which is by far some of the country's best ingredients to cook with."

Seasons 52 is located on the south side of South Coast Plaza, near the main entrance on Bristol Street. The restaurant has seating for 300, including a 65-seat patio with two fire pits, and is decorated in a contemporary style featuring earth tones and abstract art.

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