It's not often that we do food reviews here.....actually, this is the first one! However, the place we're reviewing deserves consideration, given their unique story.
Monday, May 9, 2016 was a dark day for the Heritage Inn and Convention Centre in Brooks. Fire broke out on the roof of Seasons - the hotel's restaurant - that afternoon. Fortunately, the fast action of the Brooks Volunteer Fire Department meant the blaze was contained to the restaurant area only. That weekend, Spin Nightspot was still able to open, and the kitchen was even cranking out meals within a few days. Seasons had temporarily moved to the Atrium, showing the resourcefulness of Heritage staff during a crisis.
Fast forward to Nov. 30, and a VIP soft opening for the newly-renovated Seasons Restaurant. The evening featured samples of what the new Season's menu had to offer and presented guests the opportunity to take a first look at the new digs.
Simply put, Season's has dressed to impress.
I've long waited for a more upscale dining experience to come to Brooks, and Seasons is it. Like the mythical phoenix rising from the ashes, the Heritage has done a bang-up job with renovations. It was certainly worth the wait.
The dining area is more open now, with all-white walls that take advantage of the ample glass in the original design. It's amazing what happens when you bust out a few walls and update a place! They've even installed a chandelier as a feature piece in the area that used to be the 'step-up' dining experience. It's a fresh and much-needed update to Seasons that makes the dining area look absolutely huge.
That's nice, but how's the food?
My lunch-time visit on the first official day open was a happy surprise, for a couple reasons. Seasons has some fantastic new menu items, but retains their consistant quality. It's like tasting something new, but familiar at the same time. Call it the 'new comfort food,' if you will. I ordered an Inn Burger, but through a slight mix up, received a Meatloaf Melt. Granted, it wouldn't be something I'd usually order....until I inadvertantly ordered it! The melt was delicious. Simply delicious. What a pleasant surprise! Seasons offers up the same generous portions - actually, we'll call them Goldilocks portions, because they're 'just right' - at an affordable price point. The entire menu is basically what you'd expect to pay for the meal and the experience; no sticker shock here. It will be a fine adventure to navigate their new menu in it's entirity, and see how Sunday Brunch compares to those of previous years.
Service continues to be top-notch with staff that genuinely care about your dining experience. This is the surreal beauty of the new Seasons. It's essentially a new restaurant with all the same features you loved about the previous one.
The 3-in-1 Restaurant
It's a tough gig to be three restautrants at once.
"Huh?" you just grunted.
Seasons must be different things to different diners. During the day, customers are expecting a certain experience. Evening guests are looking for something a little more upscale. Of course, weekend brunchers want that same breakfast/lunch they've enjoyed for years.
Having seen two of the three adaptations, Seasons does this transformation well. Renovations continue in the Heritage as work was being done in the lobby area when I was there (temporarily moving the Front Desk to the Atrium entrance), and it will be exciting to see the new look once completed.
It's been a long, strange ride since May 9, but all the hard work has certainly paid off. If you're looking for a quality dining experience, come back to the one you've always trusted.