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Nice Restaurant in the Santa Barbara area for Wife's 40th Birthday with friends?

a
Afrod Oct 19, 2011 05:50 PM

Hi:

We're driving up to SB for my wife's 40th in a few weeks and doing the winery tour with 8 other friends. Would love to hear what the best recommendation for a group dinner. We love good food, my wife is not crazy about seafood so anything seafood heavy is probably not good. Would love to find a place with nice character, romantic, a view, possibly outside, good for groups.

I have been recommended several restaurants but know nothing of them other than what I find on the web. Love to year your thoughts. If there is another you can recommend that is not on my list, let me hear.

Bouchon
Wine Cask
Seagrass
Stonehouse (is that the only restaurant at San Ysidro?)
Julienne
Luckys
Hungry Cat
Ca Dario

Thanks much in advance!

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Wine Cask
813 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

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

Bouchon
9 W Victoria St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Seagrass Restaurant
30 E. Ortega St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101

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  1. g
    glbtrtr RE: Afrod Oct 19, 2011 07:47 PM

    I'd scratch Hungry Cat and Ca Dario for groups as they are lively and noisy on their own. Julienne is tops for food with no competition and the rest are among our top tier with also the inclusion now of Wine Cask in El Paseo which is a quintessential old Santa Barbara venue.

    But today until they finally open the El Encanto Hotel, there is no one combo that has it all. If the El Encanto lives up to its potential: view, fine dining, outdoors and romantic setting, it will be easy responding to these questions. Our own special occasion place is Downeys, but it does not work well for groups. So keep both places in mind when your wife''s 45th show up. New construction and renovation of the venerable old El Encanto Hotel has now taken forever but word is they are back on track. Additionally only by news reports, the kitchen at the very beautiful Biltmore Hotel in Montecito which does have it all, apparently has vastly improved as it should because it is a gem of a setting. Might be worth it for drinks before and after and watching closely the local reviews to see if this restaurant improvement is solid or more marketing hype.

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    Wine Cask
    813 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

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

    El Paseo Restaurant
    10 El Paseo, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

    2 Replies
    1. re: glbtrtr
      g
      glbtrtr RE: glbtrtr Oct 20, 2011 09:39 AM

      A tease of what is to come when the E Encanto Hotel and Restaurant finally re-opens: http://travel.yahoo.com/p-hotel-32202...

      1. re: glbtrtr
        a
        Afrod RE: glbtrtr Oct 21, 2011 03:15 PM

        Thanks much for your thoughtful reply!

      2. r
        rr6013 RE: Afrod Oct 23, 2011 06:36 PM

        Opal is a nice experience as is the food and staff. I'm gluten free and their menu was friendly.

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