Seasons 52, Millennium High Street, 4410 Westheimer Road, 713.621.5452; seasons52.com
For every restaurant diner who’s bemoaned that eating out isn’t always the leanest option, along comes Seasons 52. New to the Houston market, this Florida-based operator (which has just debuted the first of three locations opening in our area, the second opens in CityCentre in the fall) delivers fresh, slimmed-down meals, with every appetizer, entrée and dessert ringing in at no more than 475 calories each. We know what you’re thinking: The chefs must be serving up Lilliputian portions fit for a spa menu or dishes that recall the days when sparse cuisine minceur plates were all the range. No, no, no. The only thing downsized is the tasting-size dessert selections ($2.50) — but hardly. Here at lunch and dinner, you’ll find a seasonal menu that takes large advantage of grilling and marinating techniques to deliver loads of flavor minus a lot of fat. (Our waiter even boasted there’s no butter found anywhere on premise, while calorie counts are all found online.) Signature cracker-crisp flatbreads — we recommend the steak and cremini mushroom, 420 calories — are worth the splurge. You can always be good with an entrée, such as Maui tuna crunch salad made with sushi-grade seared tuna, its greens lightly dressed with miso vinaigrette (380 calories) or grilled sea scallops caramelized and served with asparagus and pearl pasta orbs (390 calories). Carnivores can indulge in a hearty wood-roasted pork tenderloin with creamy polenta, broccoli rabe and mushrooms (470 calories). Managing partner Reuben Rolf, a two-decade veteran of the business whose latest Houston post was The Palm, keeps a steady eye over the warm wooded dining room with Arts & Crafts-style inspirations, a large space divided into intimate niches each with a view into the gleaming stainless-steel-clad kitchen.