We were very excited to try Seasonal 56 on our most recent trip to the west coast. We were staying in Abbotsford - and meeting up with friends from Langley - and we were all looking forward to a great dinner without a long drive into Vancouver.
A couple of days before we went, we happened to see a group discount website deal for the restaurant and we snapped one up (buy one chef's tasting menu dinner and get one free). To be polite, I called ahead and asked if the friends we were meeting could also use theirs. The answer was no - which is fair - but I think it would have made more sense to use one per bill, rather than one per table (because we were both potential returning customers). Also, because one couple would be using the deal, we were all forced to order the chef's tasting menu which was a fun option but definitely a little bit pricy for a random Tuesday night dinner out.
Something you should know before visiting this restaurant is that the location is STRANGE. Once you're inside (and through the commercial storage in the entrance), the space is lovely. But there's something really odd about parking in the middle of an industrial park, walking past fridges of catering supplies, and sitting down to a view of a parking lot and neighbouring business while you're enjoying a nice meal.
Dinner started off with warm rolls. My husband was just about to bite into his when our friend across the table noticed mold spots. The mold was only on one of the rolls, but it was enough to turn us off them completely. Our server apologized and went to the kitchen to check the rest of the rolls before assuring us that we'd received the only bad one in the batch. It raised some pretty major questions about the freshness of the food and set a questionable tone for the rest of our meal.
The dinners themselves were good - and some courses were even great. We enjoyed our food and it was fun to be surprised by each course. The four of us received two different dinners, so the couples could swap and share and we all tried everything. For the most part, it was well prepared and carefully thought through - though we questioned some of the choices (for example, the steak was a mediocre cut and was cooked pretty rare without asking us what we'd prefer, and the caesar salad dressing was fabulous but there was three times too much). The portions were large and we all commented that we would have preferred a smaller portion of a better cut.
At the end of the evening, our bill ended up being a little bit higher than I'd been quoted on the phone when we made the reservation. And nothing was offered as a discount for the moldy rolls (which I would have expected). It ended up being a bad surprise at the end of a mostly wonderful evening out.
I wanted to love this place. It has so much going for it... I love how they support local growers and list the farms they partner with. I love the all-BC wine list (the Summerhill wine I had was FABULOUS). Our waitress was wonderful, friendly, and attentive. I can understand the location if the square footage was necessary for their catering business - but there's no excuse for the catering fridges in the entrance, the kitchen clutter you pass on your way to the restrooms, or the dreary view outside the windows (some planters or even a patterned film on the windows would have helped). And there's REALLY no excuse for the mold!
We enjoyed a lot of things about our dinner - and it might still be the best local option for a decent dinner out - but I'm not sure we'll be back.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.