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Feb 6, 2012 12:37 PM

Santa Barbara

Trying to get dinner reservations set for March trip. Am thinking Julienne, Stonehouse, and maybe Stella Mare. Should I sub in Bouchon for any of these?

I notice that the Biltmore is mentioned only for drinks at sunset or brunch. Are the dinners disappointing? The views are great and the photos of the terrace look fantastic.

What do you think?

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  1. You did some good homework and it looks like you will have a lovely time here:

    1. Julienne is in a class by itself - by all means make this your first choice.
    2. Sad to say, Biltmore dinners have never lived up to their setting and local reports are still mixed. But it is gorgeous for just what you say - drinks at sunset. Brunch is a bit of a feeding frenzy and now way over-priced but if you want to be lavish and enjoy this beautiful place during the daytime, this could work
    3. Other top-end restaurants to consider: Sea Grass, Downey's and Wine Cask. Each do near the top end dining with their own twists, along with buchon. Stonehouse is very pricey but in such a unique setting so if price is no object, this certainly makes the top lists.

    Stella Mares is simpler but locally very popular and a delightful setting. If you want to add a country drive out to the Santa Ynez Valley about an hour away, there is also Mirabelle in Solvang, Ballard Inn Restaurant in tiny Ballard, and Root 246 at the Corque Hotel also in Solvang that are right up there near the top too.

    And Giannfranco's in Carpinteria is worth a drive for his take on premium Italian in a small town cozy restaurant. Plus having McConnell's ice-cream at their little shop and the #15 special at Superica Taqueria would be on my own must do local taste treats along with the bockwurst, potato salad and sauerkraut at Brummis. Or the squash ravioli at Via Maestra 42, and croissants at Renaud's ...... or even the surprising Crocodile restaurant at the Lemon Tree Inn...... You almost can't go wrong in this town ....almost. Best wishes and enjoy your stay. Looking forward to your report when you get back home.