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Aug 28, 2006 04:13 PM

Santa Barbara fine dining recommendations needed [moved from L.A. board]

Need to know the best choices for fine dining in Santa Barbara. Thanks in advance.

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    1. Some of my favorites, in no particular order.

      Downey's (okay -that's in order - it's my favorite favorite)
      Olio e Limone
      Miro (located outside of SB at the Bacara Resort)
      Ballard Inn (located in the SY Valley - 40 minutes north of sb)
      Wine Cask
      Restaurant Nu

      I don't consider a steak house fine dining, but if steak's your thing, there's
      Lucky's - Montecito

      also, I haven't yet been, but some have been raving about
      Sevilla on lower Chapala Street.

      That should be enough to keep you busy for a while.....

      1. Has zagat top rated, and the local Independent paper awards.

        Fine Dining: my favorite is Wine Cask. Downey's is my second. A lot of people really love Bouchon, I need to give it a second chance.
        I wouldn't recommend Arigato - if you are from a city with good Sushi.

        Nice dinners: Montecito Cafe, Olio e Limone or Ca'Dario.

        Casual good food: SB Shellfish, Los Arroyos, El Bajio, La Superica, Brophy Bro,

        1. Number one used to be "Sage and Onion" ( a few blocks off State Street around 600 block) - which I can vouch for only from my experiences several years ago. Current reports are that it is no longer good.

          I will have to return because it was so good in the past that even if it dropped down a few notches, it would STILL be good.

          Others opinions differ -- and it would be shame to lose its clearly inspired cuisine. Give it a try and let us know?

          Here are some diner reviews - still sounds like is should be included among the best of the best, at least according to some of these reviews:

          1 Reply
          1. re: glbtrtr

            Sage & Onion Still rocks... its on my list at the very very top..

          2. glbtrtr; I think there may have been some recent changes at Sage and Onion so it might be better. A year or so ago I was not impressed & foodie friends also were not impressed.

            Sevilla seems to be one of the most inventive places in town, but sort of hit or miss.

            2 Replies
            1. re: majmaj4

              Maybe we "anonymous" Santa Barbara chowhounds should have a dining face-off at Sage and Onion (once we save up our pennies) and settle this once and for all. (!)

              Apparently Norbert has returned to this establishment recently which may account for the revival in good reports.

              1. re: glbtrtr

                I love this place as you can tell by my post below, I have not met Norbert yet, but if he is anything like Stephen then I am going this weekend.