A new season is here. It's spring, and on Thursday and Friday, with bright sunshine and temperatures in the 60s or better, it could feel like summer in Central New York. If you're out and about, cruising with the windows down and sunroof open, set the GPS for 6456 Collamer Road (Route 298), East Syracuse, and have a bite of lunch at Seasons Cafe at the Red Barn.
Rejoice in spring -- and a new lunch destination. As its name suggests, the menu at Seasons changes seasonally. Winter's hearty soups, stews and chilis have given way to lighter fare like salads, sandwiches and wraps (though the vegetable soup on a recent visit was far from light, with huge chunks of beef in a rich, savory broth). Spring is a tricky season, menu-wise, in these parts: Crocuses, snowdrops and daffodils are up, but nothing much in the way of produce is growing or ready yet.
So the spring menu at Seasons is spring-y pretty much in mood only. There's a baked ham and asparagus sandwich, asparagus, prosciutto and Mandarin orange salad, a turkey Cobb salad and turkey Cobb sandwich, etc. Soup is homemade and changes daily, and you can get a "half and half special'' -- half a sandwich or half a salad plus cup of soup for $7.
My Curried Chicken Salad ($8) with diced, roasted chicken breast, sweet yellow curry, almonds and dried cranberries, was served on mixed greens and topped with a ginger-soy vinaigrette. My sister had the same chicken salad as a sandwich, on rustic honey wheat bread, with a cup of soup. Salads are served with sweet bread, and on the day we visited it was a dark chocolate "bread'' dotted with chocolate chips -- more like a small piece of cake, really.
That's OK -- skip dessert and have the sweet bread with cup of coffee.
Desserts include carrot cake and strawberry shortcake and the seasonal pie was blueberry. I'm sure they'll switch over to fresh, local berries as soon as they're available. Seasons Cafe serves lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday and also serves brunch starting at 10 a.m. Sundays. The cafe is comfortable and homey, housed in a 200-year-old barn that isn't showing its age one bit. Works by local artists are displayed and sold, and there's a gift gallery up a flight of stairs, in the barn rafters, with new and vintage home wares and decor.
For more information on Seasons Cafe, call 315-438-3199.