BETHESDA, Maryland, February 17, 2017 – The buzz is slowly building, as cocktail fans seek the new “Botanical Buzz,” now available at Seasons 52 Wine Bar and Grills, with Washington area locations in North Bethesda, Maryland and Tysons Corner, Virginia.
The secret ingredient in this new concoction is the “buzz button,” or flower bud from a plant known variously as the toothache plant, Szechuan button, or electric daisy. It creates a tingly, numbing effect when chewed.
Some liken the experience to rubbing topical Novocaine on the tongue and gum while simultaneously licking the terminals on a 9-volt battery.
This small flower bud from the acmella oleracea herb plant has a unique, grassy but somewhat bitter flavor. It can be added to culinary dishes like salads, stews, and roasts, any recipe that calls for chili or garlic, all of which are members of the capsicum family that provides a bit of heat to your dish.
Mixologists at Seasons 52 pair this small flower with an upscale cocktail consisting of premium vodka, lemon juice and honey that pleasantly contrasts with the buzz of the buzz button.
One of the properties of this herb is that it promotes salivation, inducing a mouth-watering flavor perception that is further highlighted by the lemon juice, which itself stimulates the salivary glands. Both, in turn, are balanced by the sweetness of the honey, which, in this instance, tasted like a mild clover honey, the most commonly found in the bear shaped plastic containers you’ll find on supermarket shelves. The result is sweet, but not sugary, and without any competing flavors.
Add to this the cooling sensation of the well-chilled vodka and you’ll readily conclude it’s well-worth being in on the buzz button secret. But you need to ask for the “Botanical Buzz,” otherwise your bartender may not know you are in on this particularly fun and spirited secret.
With your Botanical Buzz cocktail in hand, spend some time perusing the restaurant’s starter menu where the dishes are “Good Now” in keeping with their seasonal food theme.
Chef Hartman pairs the tangy tingly drink with a Braised Short Rib & Aged Cheddar Flatbread featuring caramelized onions, crisp micro-greens and creamy horseradish sauce.
If you are there for the meal, or a snack, do not pass up the creamy seasonal butternut squash soup. With its delectable aroma of fresh earthiness and the silky smooth umami of the butternut and mushrooms, it’s an ideal starter. And pairs perfectly with a flatbread for a light meal or snack.
For the main event, try Seasons 52’s flavorful Nordic-sourced salmon where the cold water fish are fresh right now. Seasons 52 lore says that the restaurant started because of Grilled Salmon on a plank, a founder favorite. And it is easy to see why. Cooked on a cedar plank that has been soaked in water for at least 24 hours, the fish is full of flavor while the plank keeps the salmon fragrant and super moist.
Here Chef Presley of Seasons 52 shows a spring preparation of the plank salmon, one of their healthful and delicious meals.
For the winter menu, the salmon is served alongside a cast-iron skillet brimming with roasted potatoes, carrots and asparagus.
Also “Good Now” is the rare tuna steak served over nutty Forbidden Black Rice and garnished with an Asian-inspired slaw and tasting sauce.
The fish entrees were paired with a crisp, cold glass of Prosecco wine garnished with a blackberry that perfectly complimented both dishes.
No visit to Seasons 52 is complete without a choice or two from the Sweet Indulgence desert flight, which offers six perfect portions of sweet to eat treats that include a Raspberry Chocolate Chip Cannoli, Pecan Pie, Belgian Chocolate S’mores, Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte, Mocha Macchiato and Key Lime pie among the choices.
At only $3 each, you can easily eat two, or three.
It’s always a hard choice to make.
Where we go
11414 Rockville Pike
North Bethesda, MD 20852