Ca'Dario in Santa Barbara
My wife and I are in Santa Barbara for a couple of days, and plan to eat dinner at Ca'Dario tomorrow night. We would be interested in any critiques of the place or alternatives if there is anyplace outstanding.
I love it, but Olio e Limone edges it out from a quality standpoint. If you have only one Italian meal to eat in SB, Olio would be the best choice, IMO.
Went last night and it rocked. Caesar, bruschetta, ravioli, thick veal chop, pinot, pastry berry dessert!!!!!
I love the Antipasto Misto (practically a full meal in itself) at Ca Dario. It shows they really know Italian flavor and ingredient quality. A signature experience. The restaurant is always lively, so the noise level can be high. There are a number of good dining choices all within a few blocks of this restaurant so it you decide you want another experience you won't have far to go.
There is a brand new N. Italian restaurant across the street (sorry, name escapes me) - which is pricey but has an interesting menu and they know with whom they are in competition with in that "restaurant row" location on East and West Victoria Street.
Just back from Opal tonight, which is next to the Arlington Theater on State Street just around the corner from Victoria Street "restaurant row" and very pleased with it as a "bistro" restaurant experience. It deserves more attention when compared to its far pricier and tony restaurant neighbors. It has a very nice developed menu and one could be happy for some time sampling their way through it with lots of entrees under $15. What a relief for the more casual dining experience this sort of place still exists in downtown Santa Barbara - dishes and service nicely executed with a very extensive wine list.
I went with a non-foodie couple last Friday night. We had an 8:15 reservation, weren't seated until 8:40. The hostess was polite but basically made up excuses the entire time.
Food was good, I had the cured salmon and Osso Bucco with a well prepared saffron rissotto, my friends had the Ahi tuna pasta, and another pasta?? (I forget). We all enjoyed the food. However, the server was hurried, suggested a Chianti that I thought didn't work with the Osso Bucco (even tho there was a printed wine suggestion for the Osso Bucco, and I mentioned a few of my preferences, the server basically led me astray...). :embarrassed:
That's my story, and I'm sticking with it.
My husband and I went there with family and all agreed it was better than Olio e Limone the night before. For the extra $$ Olio e Limone just doesn't do anything better.