To craft their signature dish—The New York Sizzle— the chefs of Steak & Grape Restaurant hand carve a choice cut of Angus steak. They sizzle up the meat in a special broiler until it's juicy and tender, and then serve it on a 600-degree plate with a decadent garlic butter. Servers bear the premium cuts out into the airy, rustic dining room, along with plates of handmade specialty burgers, fine pastas, and fresh seafood. Bartenders bustle about behind the sleek wood bar, uncorking bottles of fine wines beneath the glow of flat-screen TVs.
As a significant stop on the Urban Wine Trail, Margerum and Au Bon Climat curate an experienced team of vintners who bring the best of their vineyard-grown gems to downtown Santa Barbara. Glass tippers can traverse the neighboring spaces of the Au Bon Climat and Margerum tasting rooms in whatever order they wish, guiding palates through a tasting tour that includes one full flight of wine from each winery. Flatbread and cheese plates from the nearby Wine Cask Restaurant provide ideal escorts for lonely glasses of handmade vino. In each room, guests savor the complex tastes of a flight of a rare or limited-edition vintage, from classic Burgundian-style beverages to estate-grown nebbiolo, teroldego, and petit verdot.
Oreana Winery's festive, eclectic style is embodied in its facilities, housed within a revamped historical tire shop. While in the tasting room, dabbling imbibers will enjoy dipping their senses into a rotating selection of six different wines, ranging from charming chardonnays to mystical merlots (a $10 value per person). Each tippling pair will receive a bottle of signature 2007 Oreana pinot noir, in which aromatics of wilted rose, strawberry, and wild berry bolster an elegant structure and dimension before fading to a delicate finish (a $30 value). After bathing tongues in sophisticated flavors on Oreana Winery's outdoor patio and attempting to describe a particular sensation as "supernatural taffy," tour the wine shop, gourmet gift market, and fully functional winery.
Whitcraft Winery practices Old World wine traditions and lets nature run its course to fermented-grape-juice perfection, crafting its vegan-friendly wines only from handpicked grapes, yeast, and a bit of sulfites. During the tasting, guests sample four to seven of the winery's signature wines, which are never fined or filtered so as to remain true to the grape varietal's flavor. While hand-bottling a wide assortment of foot-crushed reds and lightly pressed whites, Whitcraft specializes in chardonnay, pinot noir, syrah, and grenache. The 2008 Aubaine pinot noir hints of blueberries, blackberries, and white pepper, and the 2009 Kick-On Ranch chardonnay keeps white-wine enthusiasts happily krumping long after the chalice is empty. Customers can check the current wine offerings and purchase their favorite flavors at 20% off (prices range from $26 to $75 for vintages from 2007 to 2009).
The East West Sanctuary. With the lulling sound of the bamboo water fountain and the exotic thatched roof massage huts, you will instantly feel like you have been transported to a beautiful Balinese Garden of Zen.
Avia Spa perfectly balances this tranquility with its extensive offering of unique and organic treatments.