CADIZ OPENS DOWNTOWN

A new restaurant named Cádiz has opened at 509 State St, the former home of Bricks Café and Casa Blanca. The food is Southern Mediterranean cuisine (Spanish, Southern Italian, Sicilian, Southern France, and Moroccan) with farm-to-table ingredients that I am told is often bought straight out of the farmer’s market.

   Cadiz Executive Chef is John Pettitt. Pettit’s resume includes Executive Chef at Seagrass where the food received a 29/30 Zagat rating, Executive Chef at Wine Cask, Executive Chef at Hungry Cat, and Chef de Cuisine at Melisse in Santa Monica which received a 2-star Michelin rating. Pettitt also worked for 4 years under Michelin Star Chef Ron Siegel at Masa’s and Ritz Carlton Dining Room in San Francisco and was part of the opening staff for Gary Denko in San Francisco.

   The location was extensively remodeled inside and out and now includes a new large, heated, State Street-facing open-air patio. The unique Southern Mediterranean design, ambiance, decor and restaurant concept was created by Michael DeRose Designs. The three managing principle partners are Michael DeRose, Joe Nagy, Dante DeRose.

   The bar/lounge (open until 2am) has a beer list with a mixture of local and international beers. I am told that the cocktail lists is “driven by aromatics and composed of fresh ingredients, high-end alcohols, and fresh in-house infused alcohols, (all our own infusion, no flavored alcohols). There is also a specialty mixology cocktail list which is composed of some old classics with a new twist, along with some Southern Mediterranean style cocktails.” The wine list is composed of local, Southern Mediterranean, Spanish, Italian, and Southern France-style wines.

  Cadiz is open for lunch, happy hour and dinner. They will soon offer valet service out of a back lot on Fig Street. For more information call (805) 770 2760.

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13 Responses to CADIZ OPENS DOWNTOWN

  1. Scott Jones says:

    I had the pleasure of stumbling across Cadiz Restaurant during their “soft opening” period. Little did I know they have the highest rated chef in Santa Barbara. John Pettitt, formerly with Seagrass, cooked outstanding food. I had the Kobe steak and my wife had the Morroccan chicken. Both were great. But the fun part was that the staff and the atmosphere matched the food quality. The place makes you feel like you are in a southern Medittereanean town. While the staff, knowledgable, friendly, and passionate about where they work, were very pleasurable to interact with and be served by. My wife and I have spoken several times since how glad we are that we walked by this past weekend to discover this gem. We look forward to returning time and time again, to share again this very unique experience.

  2. SL says:

    Sounds like an ambitious project with no shortage of experienced people. The concept sounds like one that could succeed in SB. I’m looking forward to dining there.

  3. lemonjelly says:

    Southern Spanish and Moroccan are two of my favorite cuisines. I’m looking forward to this. Will save me a trip to Almeria and Chaouen! ;)

  4. sbtaste says:

    No Brazilian?

  5. Tracey says:

    Had dinner there last night and it was wonderful. Small plates and starters, including the saffron and chorizo risotto which I could happily eat every day. Can’t wait to go back and try the entrées and cocktails. Really lovely restaurant and nice staff too.

  6. pjt says:

    Loved the decor and ambiance although I wish they had some booths and not just tables. It will feel cramped when all the tables are full.

    Food was excellent…we had four different starters/tapas and all of them were unique and delicious. There are many others we wished we had tried but were too full…next time!

    The wine pours were not very generous and the specialty drinks were a bit too sweet.

    The server was friendly, helpful & attentive.

    Can’t wait to go back especially when the weather is nice and we can sit on the patio.

  7. scott says:

    I gave it a solid “B”. We had the chorizo/saffron risotto, Moroccan Chicken, the Mejool Dates (with Serrano Ham), and some Ricotta Gnocchi. Overall, the service and the food were fine, somewhat worth the price, but overall the food was overdone. Too much Saffron, too much butter in the risotto, too much date to Serrano ham. All of the flavors were on the money, just too much. We ended up not finishing a single dish because it was too rich for our palettes. The dining room, while very loud, was nice too look at but the tables were a bit “cozy”. I think this is ok, because it made for a more “communal feel” amongst the diners. I would have been more chatty had I liked the food a bit more…not bad, just overdone. Everything was prepared well, the service was fine, just a bit overdone.

  8. Paul says:

    Had dinner recently on the recommendation of a friend. Didn’t know the restaurant background, but have eaten at all the places listed, so nice to know the pedigree. We had Chorizo/Saffron, Dates, Gnocchi, Steak. Food was a B to B+ – not the calibre of Melisse, but similar to other Santa Barbara upscale establishments. Wine list was a bit small, but good Spanish selections. Unfortunately, it was the service that was lacking, in our experience. Our server was a bit frazzled and it took a while for her to get to us. When she did, she wasn’t familiar with the wine list and listed 5 dishes as her “favorites” when asked for a recommendation. Other servers gathered at a side station drinking Starbucks and not looking very attentive to guests – something I would expect in a restauarant of that price range. Silverware wasn’t cleared and replaced. Finished plates were left too long. Bread and wine weren’t refreshed – all basics for an upscale restaurant. Yet again, another SB mismatch around food, price service qualitiy ratio. Unfortunately Cadiz didn’t pull it off – in my opinion. Food was good enough to make the grade, but if John can apply some of what he learned from Melisse to the front of the house, he’d be bringing something unique to SB – world class service. A larger wine list will come with time. I’d try it again, but I’d still prefer other places in town first if we’re just basing our decision on food and atmosphere. Hopefully with time and some constructive critsism they can refine what they’re offering.

  9. kris says:

    Its described as Southern Mediterranean cuisine (Spanish, Southern Italian, Sicilian, Southern France, and Moroccan) .
    Being from Europe, this has nothing to do with it.
    Its a strange mix of food, where even a cocktail is wrong written. “San Sebastion”?

    Where are we going

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