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Anchor Woodfire Kitchen
[closed, no longer in business]

119 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 845-0989

  • Category: American
  • Hours: breakfast Mon-Fri 7am - 11am, brunch Sat-Sun 9am-3pm and dinner Mon-Sun 5pm-close
  • Serving: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner
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Reviews by the General Public

What started out great is heading for disaster..., 8/9/2013
Reviewer: Toby from Santa Barbara, CA
I am so sad. This restaurant had such high marks 6 months ago. Even 4 months ago when we last enjoyed a terrific meal. In the last 4 weeks we have been back twice. The last time (and probably the last time) was a Sunday evening a few weeks ago. Our appetizers were overcooked, and took forever. The wines we ordered off the list. - the first 5- were not available and the rest of the list looked like every other list in santa barbara: short-sighted and disappointing. The music was so incredibly loud -out of bounds loud- and the kitchen staff were in a foul, aggressive mood that made our table and many of the tables around us feel very uncomfortable. We paid our bill, and bowed out leaving most of our entrees untouched. What had started out as something potentially awesome has dwindled exponentially.


overpriced and LOUD, 6/3/2013
Reviewer: Elizabeth from Santa Barbara, CA
i had heard many great things about this place and so I was anxious to try it on when I came home to visit my parents for my birthday. This place is nothing if not loud as heck. The charcuterie platter was good, great cheeses (not made in house) ok meats (made in house). The server pumped up a lot of the menu and sold apps as being good enough for a main course, which the shrimp ravioli was not. My friend wanted to order more food but thought it best to do it somewhere else. My pizza was squashblossom with a raisin&Olive spread that tasted like grape jelly. Overall, the place is beaucoup bucks and does NOT deliver. I agree with other reviewers the pizza dough is bland, as well. I also saw them cut off the burnt parts of my pizza. How bout just not burn it in the 1st place?


Loud, small portions, overpriced, 5/11/2013
Reviewer: Steve from Santa Barbara, CA
It's not the the food is bad. It isn't. But what you get for your money is ridiculously, almost laughably, small . For $26, I ordered the shrimp raviolo. It was considerably less than the size of a half a bagel, doughy, with a couple of small shrimp thrown in, swimming in some sort of fancy sauce. Again, tasty, but hardly worth the bucks. The entrees ordered by others in my diinner party also were not bad, but again, small. The waiter, who was certainly pleasant, had an uncanny knack for barging in on our conversations at exactly the most inopportune moments. The place was so loud, you can barely hear the person sitting across the table from you. Doubt I will be back..


$9 for a beer? Offensive.
Reviewer: Bob from Santa Barbara, CA
So-so after 2 visits. I thoroughly enjoyed my first meal (dinner) at Anchor. It's expensive, yes, but fresh local ingredients are sometimes worth it and the pasta dish I had was truly superb and the cocktails were excellent. Went back this afternoon for Sunday brunch and was less than impressed. The pork belly sandwich was dried out pork with a little bit of belly and a side of house-made french fries which were heavy on powdery potatoes. The breakfast pizza was just ok, not really anything special. But the biggest disappointment was getting the bill and finding that the Scrimshaw draught I ordered was $9, the same price as my girlfriend's cocktail. Shockingly, dramatically, offensively overpriced. Unlikely I'll come back just because of that.


Thoughtful food
Reviewer: Charlotte from Goleta
First time there for lunch and was very impressed with the whole package. Nice ambiance and service, the food in one word would be described as thoughtful without being over thought ( if that makes any sense). The pork belly and slaw sandwich was amazing. They must have braised the pork in the wood oven, as it had a pleasant smokiness to it. Served in a hot, fresh Ciabatta roll, w/ a crispy, citrusy slaw....Oink! The wood fired pizzas were perfect. The Gem salad was perfect...I couldn't find one flaw with the food or service...pinch me! Must try the Marscapone Cheesecake w/ this mind blowing Terragon Anglaise! The cocktails looked amusing as well, will try one next time. I did not think it was overpriced at all.


Great Food --- Great Service
Reviewer: Mike from Santa Barbara, CA
Wonderful new restaurant BUT they need a larger sign in order to find the restaurant!! While it fronts State Street, one could easily drive past it as it is difficult to identify (the sign is much to small). That being said, brisket w/pouched eggs was delicious as were the bloody marys. Prices are not cheap but the caliber of the restaurant and the caring and excellent service by the waiters is exemplary. We will definitely return.


Almost perfect
Reviewer: David from Santa Barbara, CA
I came here for dinner last night and was really impressed with the overall experience. There were some minor quibbles which I think are easily remedied and could make Anchor one of my favorite restaurants. The location is a little less than ideal but there's plenty of easy parking. After my date and I were seated, we both immediately commented about how awkward the hostess was when she interacted with us. She was friendly but there was lots of strange pauses and what I perceived as aggression on her part. No big deal. We both ordered cocktails. I tried the Milk Punch because I have been reading so much about this drink on various cocktail/food blogs. I admit, this was the first time I tried it so I have nothing to compare it to but the drink is terrible. It literally tasted like tequila in a glass of water with some half and half. I would have preferred to take shots than pay $12 for this drink. Do not order. The Tarragon Collins on the other hand was great. Speaking of drinks, they have a very extensive cocktail, beer, and wine menu; something for everyone. The scallops and uni risotto was a favorite. I wish the pieces of uni were larger (my guess: they cut single tongues into 7 pieces to make them that small). I also wish they made the dish as a main. Scallops were cooked perfectly and the rice was creamy. We enjoyed the duck egg ravioli (warning: it's just one big piece of pasta) but both thought it was way too salty. The short ribs were perfect with the polenta. For dessert we had a brown butter tart with apples which I thought was really clever and tasty. The service was very friendly and the food came out in record time despite being a full house. We had one waiter who was perhaps a little too eager. For example: he wanted to clear our bread plate while we were both still eating. The upside is we had no problem getting refills. I will be back for sure. This place is great. I will just try different dishes next time and I'll stay away from the Milk Punch.


Wait...What..Serious? In Santa Barbara??? WOW!
Reviewer: Toby from Santa Barbara, CA
All I can say is WOW! This restaurant is simply amazing. Big, Serious City Like! Everything on the menu is made fresh daily. While talking with the chef/owner I learned that the woodfire oven is fired up at 4am and they begin baking 7-8 different kinds of bread including bagels! EVERYDAY! All the charcuterie is made in-house. They serve an excellent brunch (the smoked brisket and poached eggs is a must!). The wine list rocks (try the sparkling chenin blanc from the Loire Valley, or the Nikolaihaf Gruner Veltliner, or the Cuvee du Vatican Chateauneuf du pape...I could go on and on). I love their lasagna. It's the best lasagna in memory. COOKED TO ORDER! Usually I dislike shrimp on a pizza but the local ridge back shrimp pizza may be the best pizza in town. the crust/dough is certainly by far the best! the wood-grilled new york steak with bone marrow does not disappoint, and the desserts! I've been here 5 times since their opening and except for a small lag on getting our first round of cocktails this place is top-notch. Thank You Anchor!!!


Pleasantly Surprised
Reviewer: Bob from Santa Barbara, CA
Went last night for dinner. Very, very pleasantly surprised as I was most definitely NOT a fan of Square One (ridiculously overpriced, bland food). We both had pasta, the strozzapreti with anchovies was truly superb. I mean, really, really good. Beats any pasta dish I've had anywhere else in this town ever. Could've been in Italy (except it would've been $10 and not $22). The squid ink spaghettini and [super tasty] local squid was good but a little heavy on the chili which sort of took over the other flavors in the dish...the menu listed mint as an ingredient but neither of us could taste any. Great menu, very nice remodel, great wine list, nice bar with excellent cocktails (I had a perfectly made sazerac), friendly staff who've done their homework. Yeah, the menu is pretty damn expensive, but it's farm-to-table dining and I guess that's what it costs these days. Worth the coin. Go.


Pretty Disappointing
Reviewer: steve from Santa Barbara, CA
Really do dislike giving a negative review on a newly opened restaurant, because so much could be improved as they get up to speed. But perhaps a bit of constructive criticism might help an owner spot some things? POSITIVES FIRST: 1. Amazingly wonderful eggs...just wonderful. 2. Complementary Filtered Water offered right from the start. 3. Nice light dressing on the salad. 4. Really pleasant upbeat decor, -nice to be in. 5. Very nice wine list with fair prices. 5. Nice waitress 6.Coffee, (though extremely poor flavored) -was served in an elegant manner with a French Press brought to the table. NEGATIVES: 1. Just terribly bland taste in the Pizza Crust..and ingredients(chard?) etc...didn't go well. 2. Potato Hash suffered from being overdone(fingerlings) with terribly too much old garlic flavor. 3. Coffee (waitress said was Handlebar?sp.?) was agonizingly poor.-Really...Mr. Owner...some of Peets...or several others are SO much richer and complex...this one had an almost Off Chickering flavor, or something, in the background. Would like feedback if ANYONE really likes this coffee? 4. Not enough Crab, or Hollandaise Sauce on the Benedict...kind of uninspiring. We would prefer to think this is a morning crew problem, or something. But consider caution on the amount of food ordered for you first time. Would we come back? Sorry to say, probably not...but the eggs were profoundly wonderful...and if we hear they change the coffee...then I suppose we would. Hope the owners send someone they know, in for breakfast,- to substantiate for themselves.


Fantastic New Spot!
Reviewer: RFS from Santa Barbara, CA
Ate here with two other couples on a Friday night. It has a great vibe and several us felt like we could have been in a hip, San Francisco restaurant. Nice and crowded with a diverse crowd, great music and excellent cocktails. Dinner was fresh, unique and tasted great. Flatbread pizzas were light but heavy on flavor, abalone was fresh and delicious. Great service. Make a reservation, it gets crowded. Only downside, way too bright!


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