The best sauces, like the best imaginary friends, are rich and from the Mediterranean. Dine alone or with Esmeralda the railroad tycoon with this Groupon.
$15 for $30 Worth of Italian Lunch for Two or More
The menu begins with starters such as bruschetta ($9) and smoked salmon crepes ($12). Pasta dishes include spaghetti mixed with seafood ($17), handmade ravioli stuffed with beef and vegetables ($16), and noodles in a Genovese basil and pine nut pesto sauce ($14). Plates of grilled Italian sausage come with peppers and onions ($22), and breaded Milanese meats—all topped with a drizzle of lemon juice—range from chicken ($16) to veal ($23). This Groupon is only valid before 2:30 p.m.
It's a tradition at Arnoldi's Cafe to make things by hand, whether you're crafting meatballs or the building itself. Though the original venue was founded in 1937 by Giuseppe Arnoldi and his wife Ilda, the current location was erected in 1940. Giuseppe, known as Joe, quarried the stone himself. He made sure to include all the trappings of a rustic Italian getaway: a maple floor for dancing, a pair of bocce courts, and a mural of Lago di Como, where he was born. And, though he and Ilda ceased to run the restaurant in 1969, he appointed a bar manager who remains there to this day. His name is Bucky, and he's a tule elk who welcomes visitors from his spot on the wall.
Thankfully, guests can taste Joe's legacy as well as see it. The menu at Arnoldi's boasts homestyle Italian fare, from bruschetta drizzled in imported olive oil to veal sautéed in wine and a lemon caper sauce. Like the vases at an unscrupulous antique store, many of the pasta dishes here are made fresh from scratch. There's handmade gnocchi, homemade lasagna, and handmade ravioli. Diners enjoy their meals with wine in a romantic dining room or on a heated patio, while in the garden, teams compete in seasonal bocce tournaments.
600 Olive Street
Santa Barbara, California 93101