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Jun 9, 2009 12:59 PM

Dinner in Santa Barbara

Now that the beloved Wine Cask is gone, I'm looking for a nice place for dinner -- the quality of food trumps ambiance. I've already tried and liked Square One and Bouchon. I love Brophy's but want to try something new. There's alot of new restaurants, like the Italian place next to Bouchon but I've tried it. Also, has anyone eaten at Ca'Dario's or Citronelle lately? Any cuisine of food is fine except for sushi since I can eat that at home. Many thanks in advance!

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  1. Ca'Dario is a looooooooooong time favorite. I would get the rack of lamb or ribeye with the white beans cooked wiht garlic and sage. Pancetta wrapped white asparagus and balzamic reduction...ravioli with brown butter sage sauce, pappardelli, and a great wine list...just to name a few more.
    Also, we recently tried Julienne on Canon Perdid and Santa Barbara. The location has flopped a few times, but we were very impressed. Wine list is not extensive, but good.

    1. everytime we go to see our friends in Montecito and they eat out all the time, we always end up for drinks and app's at San Ysidro Ranch and for dinner at the Chase on State for the best ever calamari piccata with side of fettucini alfredo..
      Wine Cask is so missed...bring it back!
      Sometimes we class it up and go the Nugget in Summerland.. ; )

      1. Downey's. Julienne. San Ysidro Ranch. Elements. Jane.

        1. We always enjoy Bucatini, Tupelo Junction, Spice Avenue, Saigon In-and-Out. And no matter what we order, the food is always PERFECT and even goes beyond expectation at Via Maestra on upper State.

          1 Reply
          1. re: LBeff

            Wine Cask is on the road back- Doug Margerum is working on re-opening his namesake restaurant.

          2. Had a very nice dinner at The Hungry Cat just last night. Their menu is small, but appealing, and we enjoyed everything we tried.

            The Hungry Cat
            1134 Chapala St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

            4 Replies
              1. re: auntflo

                Look at more reviews on "Santa Barbara Dining" for Hungry Cat who consistently loses points on really awful service and an unacceptable "sell up" attitude that ruins its often good food. Hope they have finally gotten the message and improved their service attitude which for lots of us ruined the entire dining experience.

                The antipasto assortiti plate at Ca'Dario is one of the best dishes in Santa Barbara and can serve as a full lunch, or shared for dinner. Also agree, their ravioli is tops and their desserts are well worth saving room for.

                Via Maesto is a similarly wonderful Italian dining experience, though a bit more cramped and casual, but always a favorite.

                1. re: glbtrtr

                  Didn't have that experience at all at Hungry Cat. Service was friendly and efficient.

                  1. re: menuinprogress

                    glbtrtr has brought up his/her negative experiences at HC many times on this board. While it certainly isnt a discount meal i think they serve up some of the best food in santa barbara. the service isnt amazing but i dont think youll find truly on point service anywhere in town (too many tourists to make it worth caring/too many students to find reliably helpful servers).

                    regarding the upselling - i think when the HC first opened many people were turned off by the fact that the only non seafood option was the burger, which is also one of the cheaper ways to get out of there with a full meal. im not saying that a server didnt give you attitude for "just" ordering a 13 (16?) dollar hamburger, but you could see how in a place where ordering something from the cold bar, some small plates or a flatbread to share and a main is common the burger only order might suprise someone (this does not excuse them giving you a hard time in any way).

                    I like susan goin's restaurants in LA and think that Hungry Cat Santa barbara was a good addition to the food scene, and recommend it often.