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Dec 28, 2011 09:01 PM

Santa Barbara in late March - need recommendations near the Bacara Resort

hi all,
I think the title says most of what I am looking for. I do want to add that my husband and I will be there only for 3 days and 2 nights. So we just need the best reccs for lunch or dinner nearby, and some wineries not too far. Any cuisine, any price range, looking for must-try amazing. We may have breakfast at the bistro at the Bacara and dinner 1 night at Miro, the fine dining restaurant at the Bacara, if there don't seem to be any must-try amazing places around.


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  1. There is nothing "must try amazing" close by. This is a remote location for Santa Barbara. The only "must try amazing" place in this area is Julienne's in downtown Santa Barbara - 15-20 minutes away by freeway. Root 246 gets good reviews as Stanley (?) Ogden restaurant in Solvang - again about 30 minutes away. Los Olivos if you want a country drive has the outstanding Ballard Inn restaurant and very good reviews for Mirabelle up that way too.

    Rest of the places in this area are primarily located in the city of Santa Barbara and that is really not close by the Bacara - and these restaurants only rate as good and very good, not "must-try amazing".

    Seagrass for dinner is starting to get very good reviews under new management along with a new spot called Scarlett Begonia for lunch/brunch/breakfast but I have not been to either yet.

    Miro in the past has not ranked in the top tier of recommended spots in this town, which is too bad because this is a lovely spot to visit. Please give us a more up to date report as Bacara is trying to find a new place in the hearts and minds of the local residents.

    My own "must have amazings" are far more modest and individual like a croissant and fruit gels at Renauds, ice cream at McConnells, Number 15 special at la Superica; bock wurst with potato salad at Brummis, pad thai at TAP, antipasto assortiti at Ca D'arios, coconut cake at Crocodile, pumpkin raviolis at Via Maestra 42, dinner at Downeys, the sushi teri combo at Sushi-Teri, a mocha freddo at Peet's, spring rolls at Saigon In and Out. And Giancarlo's for just about anything, but that is all the way down in Carpinteria about a 45 minute drive for you from the Bacara.

    Lovely modest french bistro lunches can be had Petit Valentin in the very atmospheric La Arcada Court. And our local top tier choices remain pretty much the same after th truly "must-have amazing" Julinenne: buchon, Olio et Limone, Wine Cask and again Downeys. Opal pleases as well for more bistro food and a good local wine list.

    But what we locals tend to do is fall in love with one dish at many restaurants that send us back again and again while not really being able to recommend the entire menu to anyone else. I can love the carne asada SuperNacho's at Super Cuca's but not sure I would ever send a Bacara guest over there. Jade was good, but I don't know if they have closed or just moved. So there is one insider's view of things in this town. But alas nothing out your way close to Bacara.

    3 Replies
    1. re: glbtrtr

      Okay, here goes - amazing must have burritos and nachos at Super Cuca's on the Westside: http://santabarbara.com/dining/review...

      I am apparently not the only one who thinks so, so go for it. Dress down accordingly, the seats outside may be cold.

      1. re: glbtrtr

        This is all great info! Thanks so much!

      2. re: glbtrtr

        My error, it is Gianfranco's in Carpinteria and many also do think it is worth the drive: http://santabarbara.com/dining/review...

        (Not GianCarlo's)

      3. Hollister Brewing Company is a must if you are a beer drinker. Their mussels with chorizo app is my standby, their soups are amazing and the fish tacos are quite good. La Carreta is good for mexican seafood or their veggie breakfast burrito with hosue made chorizo is killer.