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Sly's
686 Linden Ave, Carpinteria
Phone: (805) 684-6666

Sly's writes: James and Annie Sly and crew spent months remodeling the charming structure located at 686 Linden Avenue in Carpinteria, making the historic 90-year old yellow brick building into one of the Central Coast's finest restaurants.

The menu features a wide selection of fishes and seafood, aged, USDA Prime hand-cut steaks, a la carte vegetables, and more than just a little bit of Chef James Sly's forty years of experience in kitchens around the world. From the crusty bread at the beginning of the meal to finely crafted desserts at the end, your food is made right at Sly's.

Sly's features old-fashioned cuisine - James likes to say he specializes in "tired old favorites" - prepared in the traditional way by an experienced kitchen crew - and served by a professional and enthusiastic service staff.

From the iced seafood towers and oysters to the steamed mussels or clams, there are some real seafood treats. Dover sole, grilled or meuniére, challenges Local Sand Dabs for the title of "most popular".

In addition to the impeccable seafood, char-grilled steaks, and daily specials like fresh local abalone and oysters Rockefeller, Sly's features some fascinating pastas - Spaghettini "Caruso" with Marsala and chicken livers, an extremely popular Spaghettini Carbonara, with chunks of bacon, onions, cream, eggs and Parmesan cheese, Linguini with fresh clams, and an ethereal Fettucine "Alfredo" made the traditional way, without a trace of cream.

Desserts are notable, and homemade, too - from the warm, tart apple crisp to the shortcake featuring fresh local berries, you're bound to find a favorite. Of course, James' famous sundae is here - "That" sundae with caramelized pecans from his aunt's recipe, homemade caramel sauce, and chocolate sauce made with Santa Barbara Chocolate Company's incomparable chocolate. In season you might be fortunate enough to find a warm Raspberry Cobbler.

Sly's offers a choice of comfortable dining areas, with the shiny varnished Douglas Fir of the bar contrasting to the exposed yellow brick & glassed-in wine cellar of the dining rooms white table cloth covered tables.

One of the most striking things about the decor at Sly's is the collection of photographer Jesse Alexander's photos on display. This artists eye and lens captured the European racing scene in the 50's and 60's. The images that fill the walls of the dining rooms at Sly's are a timeless glance at a far different world of racing.

Ann and James, and the team at Sly's look forward to your trying our cuisine, cocktails, & wine list at Sly's, and an opportunity to experience the ambiance that has made Sly's an instant classic.

  • Specials: Sly's is all about specials, with two tiers of specials - our daily specials and our rotating regional French fixed price menu. The daily specials include seasonal fresh fish specials, a daily pasta special, and wonderful USDA prime steak specials. Typically, the daily specials feature 8 or 10 local vegetables and one or two of Sly's wonderful homemade desserts. (In winter, the Brioche Bread Pudding with Caramel sauce is one example). The French Menu offers 3 courses at $35. per person, with 3 choices for each course. Specialties are chosen to represent a particular region of France, right down to a cheese choice from the experts at C'est Cheese. Also available with French wines at $55. A great value and interesting selections make this a favorite with regulars and visitors alike.
  • Happy Hour: We think that the best thing about a Happy Hour is when you leave happy. At Sly's, happy hour is from 4 to 6 pm each day. We feature some interesting Local and French wines at $6 a glass, a cocktail special of the day at $8, and an interesting selection of small plates from $5 to $8, including oysters on the half shell, steamed mussels, those amazing onion rings, and an absolutely delicious French Hot Dog with Gruyere. You will leave happy!
  • Brunch: Saturdays & Sundays Sly's adds a Brunch Menu from 9 am to 3 pm with a wide selection of traditional brunch specialties. From waffles and Dutch Baby pancakes to Huevos Rancheros, classic Eggs Benedict, and even Abalone and Eggs, Sly's has your brunch covered. Particularly favored is our Seafood omelette in Lobster sauce. The full lunch menu is also available, so there is no shortage of great choices.
  • Private Room: The Monaco Room at Sly's, so named because of the 8-foot print of the famous Jesse Alexander photograph of the start of the 1962 Monaco Grand Prix, is available for small groups up to 30 people. It is semiprivate, but affords you the opportunity to hold your group celebration with Sly's extraordinary food and service. Please contact us for more information.

Reviews by the General Public

Nothing special for BIG bucks, 2/10/2014
Reviewer: Bob from Santa Barbara, CA
We were excited to try Sly's after hearing lots of good things about it but a bit disappointed. The cheeseburger was terrific and for $12 a bargain, but the fries were soggy and kind of gross, we didn't eat them. My steak was $50 and for that much I expect a steak to be cooked perfectly and to taste spectacular. I asked for rare and it was much more medium rare, almost on the medium side. Since they forgot our mac & cheese appetizer, I was too hungry to send it back. Also, it just wasn't that great and for that kind of money it should be. Quite frankly you can get a better steak at The Tee-Off, which is a good steak but not a great one, for less money and it comes with all the sides, soup, etc. At Sly's everything is $$$. Creamed spinach was good but nothing special for 7 bucks. The service was ok. There's plenty of staff running around but our waiter seemed overly rushed and the place just wasn't that crowded. Like I mentioned, they forgot our mac & cheese appetizer, annoying. Ambiance is a little weird as well. Really bright, far too much overhead lighting and noisy for the amount people there. Glad we tried it once, but we'll never go back.


Very Disappointed..., 1/20/2014
Reviewer: Tina from Former Carpinterian
We had a $100 gift certificate for Sly's that we decided to use it for lunch. First I want to say that the service was very good. Our waiter was great, so no complaints there. The food, however was very disappointing, especially for the price. We started off with the Escargot which was okay. I had the Sand Dabs with greens for $14. There were two small pieces of fish which were very greasy, but I added a lot of lemon and they tasted okay. The greens were just a small pile of Spring Mix with a couple slices of mushy tomatoes and some kind of vinaigrette...definitely not 5 or even 4-star quality. My husband, ordered a shrimp and crab Louis salad for $20, after I told him how great Louis salads are. What he got was a pile of yellow iceberg lettuce chunks, not anything crisp, green and leafy (it looked old), a couple of sticks of asparagus, some hard boiled egg, shrimp and crab meat, and the dressing (he asked for no tomatoes on it.) This was the worst salad I have seen served in a restaurant and by the look on my husbands face as he picked through the inedible chunks of lettuce said that it tasted pretty bad too. Maybe we came on a bad day, maybe we ordered the wrong items, I don't know. Needless to say the whole meal was such a disappointment that the bill came to $55 and we left the $45 balance of the gift card to the waiter as a tip knowing we would never be back to use it.


Ridiculous
Reviewer: J.K. from Santa Barbara, CA
Went for a friend's birthday lunch hoping for some amazing food. Wasn't very busy but the wait staff was surly and seemed to be doing us a favor by allowing us to eat there. Their char-grilled artichoke was inedible except for a part of the heart. Our entrees came to the table but since no one had cleared any of the appetizer plates, bread plates, bread basket the server just stared at us until we each agreed to take our hot plates and hold them in the air as he leisurely bussed the table so we could set our plates down. Food wasn't terrible but certainly nothing to go back for. Other nearby tables couldn't get waters refilled or get their checks to leave. We kind of laughed about the whole thing until we looked back and realized we spent over $200 for lunch for pretty mediocre food. Save your money for someplace that deserves it!


So disappointed
Reviewer: Grace from Santa Barbara, CA
Went for a special occasion and were treated so badly by staff we should have left. Drink orders wrong, rude and sullen waiter threw things onto our table, the food was very expensive and just so so. All of this took place in front of the owner who was dining at a table nearby. Why we didn't get up and leave I don't know but I will never go back. Still feeling the sting the next day.


Not worth the price
Reviewer: Sarge M. from Santa Barbara, CA
I've been to Sly's a few times. It's amazing how busy they are considering the high prices. Sly's tries to be a high-end American bistro, but unfortunately the food doesn't live up to the prices. The last time I went the pork chop I ordered was too tough and dry for me to finish. If I'm going to spend upwards of $50 per person for dinner, I except great food.


Superb!
Reviewer: Dana from Santa Barbara, CA
One of the best meals my wife and I have had. We ordered the Porterhouse steak and were both astounded -- never eaten anything so good! The service was superb (thanks Izzy). Loved the cocktails. Minor complaint: the chocolate souffle was a bit dry. Expensive, yes, but we were celebrating and prepared for that.


Over priced and over rated.
Reviewer: Rose from Santa Barbara, CA
Great drinks, but the food is over rated. Have tried this restaurant three times - won't go again. Raw pancetta/bacon in the carbonara dish (which when pointed out to the waitress her reponse was "that's how it always is"). Fourteen dollar steamed artichoke that was too tough to eat. Miniscule size abalone. Dry salmon. Stick with a bowl of clam chowder and the fresh bread (with a Bloody Mary). Disappointed.


Horrible experience!
Reviewer: Charlotte from Goleta
My family and I usually enjoy Sly's very much, but last Sunday afternoon our dining experience was Horrible! First of all there was our absentee waiter (all he did was take our order, he had the untrained busboy take over, whole he busied himself setting up the other room for dinner service.??? We asked repeatedly for bread, finally 4 whole pieces of cold, dry bread arrives with 4 tiny balls of butter for four people...wow! You shouldn't have! Then our food arrives and I had to tell the busboy/runner to clear the tiny table BEFORE serving us our meals, which there was no room on the table for. Then the guy slams my son's head when he attempted to serve him!! Good thing the kid has a hard head!! I still can't believe it! And then he serves me spilled clam chowder, which was not to my liking either. Still no waiter!! I had to ask the bartender for the check and when I complained about our experience to him, he was totally flippant about everything! The place was empty (with the exception of a photo shoot going on right next to us???) What the hell kind of place is this? We felt invisible! Where was everyone?? In retrospect, we should have just left!


we're so lucky it's in town...
Reviewer: Theresa and Tom from Carpinteria, Ca
We used to drive to Monticeto to get what we thought was a delicious meal....but no more. We feel so lucky to be able to drive five minutes into town and sit down to an excellent meal and be served by a very professional and personable staff. We have eaten almost every bit of food offered on the menu (and tried most of their cocktails) and have never been disappointed nor have our guests. We have friends who can"t wait to come back to visit knowing that we will enjoy a meal at Sly's. We look forward to our weekly visit....our hats off to chef Sly, wife Annie and their fantastic staff.


Gave them another chance - still disappointed!
Reviewer: Joy Anders from Carpinteria, CA
My husband and I went to lunch at Sly's / Carpinteria this past week and were very disappointed in the food. We had been there once before, were disappointed, I wrote them a personal note of how they may want to improve their service and food - they never even acknowledged the letter. Then a friend gave us a gift card for Sly's. We went there hungry with a positive attitude. My husband's BLT: bacon was just short of being turned into charcoal and the bread was way too crusty for a BLT....then there was me, I had the Mac n' Cheese with Greens - well I think Kraft mac n' cheese is better than this was - it was dry and it was "crusty" on the top from sitting some where too long and the "greens" - we're talking about just a bit of greens and the croutons were like Melba toast chopped. We were surprised their lunch pricing is the same as their dinner pricing. On the positive, the staff was very friendly but had to ask for water. For those of you wanting to not get a lot for your money and you settle for less than great food, then go for it and go to Sly's!


Added $5 because we shared a plate
Reviewer: Shelby Sim from Goleta, CA
Went Saturday morning with my wife and kids. We took the train from Goleta. Ordered for everyone. Since my kids don't finish thier plates, my wife and I were going to share an eggs benedict. I specifically told the waitress not to split the plate. It came as two plates. I reminded her and she said they were going to charge me $5 regardless. The Manager showed where it states on the menu there is a charge to share. Our bill was already $45. But they added $5 for.......what? Bad call. That $5 cost you a lifetime of family business.


WAY OVERPRICED
Reviewer: Jaun Castro from Santa Barbara, CA
Wouldn't go back way overpriced, wanted to buy a meal not the whole market of food!!!!!!!! Food was good BUT NOT WORTH THE PRICE!


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