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Santa Barbara Between Christmas and New Years

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My wife and I will be spending three nights and four days in Santa Barbara between Christmas and New Year's Eve, leaving before New Year's Eve. We could really use some advice.

We're probably staying at Hotel Oceana. We like everything, but for Asian and anything with heavy sauces. We're partial to Italian, fish and seafood, Mexican, Southwestern and Mediterranean, and to places where we can comfortably order two appetizers or small plates, as we tend not to eat traditional multi-course meals. Cocktails and wines by the glass are a must for me. Fancy and casual are fine, but fancy needs to be really good to warrant the effort. Money not a big issue but, again, if it's expensive it needs ot be really good. Finally, if we can walk somewhere, that's great too!

Thanks in advance.

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  1. We love the Chase Bar and Grill...1012 State street..they decorate it with so many lights and is so festive during the holidays..very East Coast Italian style.
    The calamari picatta with fettucine is so out of this world good..they cook it perfectly..almost like abalone..comes with soup or salad and its around $15 and they serve a great cocktail and great wine by the glass..

    Here is a recent topic on SB..great responses!
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/661493

    1. Santa Barbara sorts itself out rather quickly between beer and wine restaurants and cocktail restaurants. Sounds like you need to head to the Hungry Cat - Chapala Street and West Anapamu, downtown. There is a shuttle going from the beach up State Street during the daytime.

      Best appetizer plate in Santa Barbara in my opinion is the antipasto assortiti at Ca Dario (Italian) on East Victoria and Anacapa Street downtown. Wines by the glass, not sure about cocktails.

      Santa Barbara Shellfish at the end of the wharf down your way is a good casual choice, again not sure about cocktails but the Harbor Restaurant Longboards bar can be the first stop. Walkable. Try the Harbor Restaurant too as it has improved a lot lately. There is a Chucks at the Beach over by the boat harbor which has cocktails.

      I am not a drinker so I am not a good one to give you the best advice on who also has a hard liquour license with their restaurants. Others will follow.

      Close to you is our major "bar zone" in Old Town State Street, so if you want your cocktail first at one of the Lower State Street bars and you can make it to lots of restaurants nearby like Bucatini and get some very nice Italian with good appetizer plates and a State Street sidewalk cafe setting.

      Help, who also have hard liquour licenses in SB? Out of my league here.

      -----
      Longboards
      1090 Price St, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

      1. Hi,
        I grew up in Santa Barbara and my very favorite restaurant is Brophy Bros(fresh seafood at it's best) ! It's on The Breakwater not to far from Stearns Wharf on Cabrillo Blvd. (overlooking the fishing boats and the boat harbor). It's a favorite of the locals and always has a line out the door. I recommend the beer boiled Santa Barbara Shrimp and the garlic house dressing ..They make a great cocktail too..Have fun ! hope you go to this gem of a rest..It's my all time fav..

        p.s. I like The Chase Rest also ..Great original Italian Dishes..There is also a great Itailan Market on E. Del a Guerra great for a sandwich to-go..

        2 Replies
        1. re: pammers68

          Here are some local reviews for Brophy Bros:

          http://www.santabarbara.com/Dining/re...

          1. re: glbtrtr

            Thanks, all, for your recommendations!