A towering olive tree woven with twinkling lights anchors the outdoor dining space at the newly opened Seasons Restaurant in Carlsbad. Glowing lanterns further illuminate the casual seating areas while a concrete fountain serenely bubbles in the background. Inside, tables of guests take in plates of modern farm-to-table cuisine beneath strands of crisscrossing Edison lights.Seasons Restaurant at the Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara is contemporary California at its finest.
Start your meal with a series of fresh and punchy small plates, like raw oysters served with lemon, grated horseradish and a sweet-tart hibiscus mignonette tinged a shocking shade of pink. The Kobe beef tartar is plated with slices of local pretzel bread, caper oil and house-pickled vegetables arranged atop a slick of roasted garlic dijon. Sweet and tender, the raw beef is adorned with a glistening fried quail egg. A salad of syrup-poached rhubarb, Carlsbad strawberries, watercress, mint and pecans is bold and beautiful—thin shavings of Buddha’s hand citron provide intense moments of floral citrus that really set off this seasonal dish.
The on-trend octopus at Seasons Restaurant takes on an incredibly succulent texture after being slow-poached, sous vide and seared. The kitchen pairs these tender tentacles with nasturtium, fingerling potatoes and dots of olive puree, sweet lemon gelée and spicy romesco. If you’re feeling adventurous, order the melting bone marrow topped with tangy pickles and microgreens, along with the suggested shot of whiskey. When you’re done with the marrow, use the hollow bone as a luge to down the whiskey. Any remaining beef fat will round out the smoky spirit, emphasizing notes of vanilla and caramel.