Pizza dough stretched by hand, then dotted with toppings such as salami, fresh basil, and jalapenos. Local brews on tap from Sierra Nevada and Firestone Walker. Live music the first Friday of every month. At Giovanni's of Carpinteria, these are the elements that turn one-time customers into repeat visitors. Here, diners can peruse the menu for a variety of thin crust and pan crust pizzas in the form of garlic chicken, Greek, and vegetarian. They can also dig into calzones, sandwiches, and salads, pairing them with a pint of beer or a glass of wine while they rock out to local bands.
Delish & Nutrish’s executive chef Justin Reed and sous chef Danny Kempton transform organic produce—much of it from local farms—into custom meals for each client before delivering them right to the client’s doorstep. Justine Meyer, the staff’s registered dietitian, helps plan the meals, stuffing them full of fresh, whole foods. Inspired by owner Nina Tafarella’s vision to help others transform their health through nutrition, this team continuously strives to help clients eat healthily without having to spend hours in the kitchen or drive great distances.
They can customize all meal plans, which can focus on weight loss or simply the maintenance of a balanced diet. Since they hand prepare their dishes without the help of industry-grade cloning technology, Reed and Kempton are able to appease vegetarian, vegan, lactose-intolerant, or gluten-free diners.
As the sun slowly sinks in the sky, painting the horizon in brilliant pinks and golds, a fire pit, electric heaters, candles, and twinkling lights cast a warm glow over patrons dining on the outdoor patio at Boathouse at Hendry's Beach. Below, waves gently lap the shoreline, carrying the unmistakable aromas of sea spray and Spanish doubloons up into the air. Large plate windows inside the dining room line one entire wall, flooding the space with natural light and presenting guests with a clear view of the water.
Boathouse at Hendry's Beach’s chefs embrace their setting by forging a seasonally rotating menu that can include local catches, such as spiny lobster and dungeness crab. Mesquite-grilled yellowtail and panko-crusted Alaskan halibut with a pineapple-ginger salsa demonstrate the chefs' dedication to imbuing the ocean-fresh seafood with new, vibrant flavors. Beyond the maritime offerings, the menus also feature grilled steaks, roasted free-range chicken, and a selection of breakfast staples, including eggs benedict with citrus hollandaise sauce and a pair of poached eggs over dungeness-crab cakes.
At first glance, the menu of Restaurant Open might appear simple and static with a selection of sandwiches and burgers. This, however, is only half of the story. Each day, the restaurant's chefs post daily specials, and here is where the restaurant shines. Not only do they "freestyle" improvised, off-the-menu dishes after conversing with patrons, but they also mingle in nearby markets and chat up vendors, looking for interesting ingredients to convert into the specials for that day's morning and afternoon. A quick browse through a photostream shows off delectable selections. Tri-tip filets sizzle on a grill, ready to be cut and put into tortas, sandwiches, or the mouths of passersby. Noodles swirl with veggies and sesame oil to be converted into lo mein, while fresh cuts of fish and whole lobsters rest on ice. Other specials—detailed on the restaurant's whiteboard—include meatball sandwiches and honey batter-dipped corn dogs.
At Relais de Paris, guests nestle in a cozy dining room modeled after a 19th-century French brasserie. With its rich woods and exposed bricks, the decor expertly balances simplicity with refinement. This approach to interior design mirrors the eatery's treatment of food, which chefs craft from all-natural meats and local organic produce. Dishes range from black mussels steamed in white wine to free-range chicken dressed in the house sauce, which is made from a secret recipe that, like a grandparent's phone, hasn't change a bit since 1959. Even though pours of red and white wine can complement any lunch or dinnertime bite, bartenders such as Shaun Belway?winner of the Santa Barbara Independent's second annual cocktail contest?also mix tasty libations including the French Quarter, a blend of bourbon, vermouth, and three types of bitters.
At Zagat-rated Seagrass, chef Robért Perez prepares coastal cuisine with seafood sustainably fished from the Pacific Ocean. Top-shelf ingredients get a creative twist in entrees such as jumbo diver scallops with apple-smoked bacon, wilted rainbow chard, and a vanilla-and-cardamom-infused sauce. At times, Perez creates a fresh culinary experience by fusing cooking methods. The Muscovy duck breast, for example, is both seared and smoked, and the black cod is sautéed before being poached in butter. An abundant wine list, representative of Santa Barbara's diverse wine country, keeps pairing from becoming a tiresome chore like washing the dishes or organizing all the kids’ sweaters by mouthfeel. Inside the dining room, the eponymous seagrass covers the walls, and vaulted ceilings soften conversational sounds.