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Apr 23, 2013 09:03 AM

Reasonably priced anniversary dinner in Santa Barbara

[Re-posted to fix subject to SB]
My husband and I are doing an anniversary trip from SFO to LA, and our anniversary falls on the day we are in Santa Barbara. We are looking for a special place that won't break the bank, maybe in the $20-25 entree range? We have considered Bouchon, but have been to the other Bouchon locations and want to try something new. Thanks!

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  1. I would not put buchon in the $20 per entree bracket, but is certainly a nice choice.

    Have you looked at Stella Mares at the Bird refuge - because it has a lovely romantic setting. Or you might want to try GiannFranco's in nearby Carpinteria. Petit Valentin in La Arcada Court is also a lovely setting.

    And the $24 per person prix fixe at the french Pacific Crepes on Anacapa street looked good enough to come back for - four courses I think - small and casual but lots of intimate charm.

    Relais de Paris is also getting some very nice reviews and could fit your price range. Happy Anniversary.

    1. While Bouchon may be beyond your budget, it is not related to the Bouchon Bistro in Yountville, Las Vegas, or Beverly Hills. I would highly recommend it if you can make it work.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ian F

        If one wants to bust their budget on buchon, I would also then recommend the $50 prix fixe at Downey's, which is a very lovely special occasion place and this is a very nicely priced prix fixe for what you get at this restaurant.

        1. re: jblee

          Hard to get out of Julienne under $100 per couple, mainly because it is so good it is a shame to waste the opportunity to dine so well.

          1. re: glbtrtr

            I agree with you 99%. But their entrees, although small, are priced from $18 to $27 to my surprise.
            Also OP did not specify the budget. I hope Op can enjoy my favorite restauant in SB so far.
            It is so good to miss imho.

            1. re: jblee

              Even if they just went for the chicken liver appetizer at Julienne, they can quit with just that and still be way ahead. It is pretty fabulous.

        2. Another nice spot for a celebration dinner, though it has been a while since I have been there, is Louie's in the very historic and charming Upham Hotel which is close to the downtown restaurant zone. Small, intimate and just a lovely restoration of a landmark piece of property in this town. I think they meals run a few dollars less than the more well known ones in this part of town.

          Gulp, me again and it is looking like the new reality of most restaurants is now $25 -30 plus for mains, including Louie's. Occasional choices for under $25, but most are in the upper end of your scale. Thinking also about Opal, but up against the same pricing.

          1. Cold Springs Tavern just may be the best for price and specialness: