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ARNOLDI’S CAFE CLOSES AFTER 87 YEARS

Reader Primetime tells me that one of the oldest restaurants in Santa Barbara, Arnoldi’s Café, which was founded by Giuseppe and Ilda Arnold in 1937, at 421 East Cota Street, has closed after the death of co-owner David Peri. The closure might be temporary.

In 1940, Giuseppe (Joe) quarried local stone and built the present restaurant at 600 Olive Street. Since then, Arnoldi’s, with the bocce ball courts in the garden, has been entertaining Santa Barbarans and visitors from all over the world.

Arnoldi’s has hosted orchestras and dancers since the 1940’s. The mural depicts Logo di Como. Bucky, the Tule Elk, overlooking the bar joined Arnoldi’s following Joe’s 1958 hunting trip to Colorado. The owners of Arnoldi’s Café, Jim and Dede Nonn, Dave and Kitty Peri, and Carol Smagala, were able to preserve the valued traditions of Arnoldi’s Café for decades.

Here is a message to you from the beloved eatery:

It is with great sadness that we announce the temporary closure of Arnoldi’s Cafe as we have known it the last 22 years. The current business owners will be stepping away from the business and have so much gratitude for being a part of the historical and legendary institution that has brought so many people memories since the 1940s.

Being a part of the history and the tradition of the cafe including countless plates of pasta coming out of the kitchen, the chatter of teams on the bocce court, and  special moments – rehearsal dinners,  graduations, weddings,  birthdays or just a Friday night dinner – has meant so much to us. We want to thank our incredible staff,  our valued customers and the community of Santa Barbara. We are confident the tradition will continue forward but for the time being while we transition to new beginnings, the cafe will be closed.

Photo by The Restaurant Guy

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TRATTORIA VITTORIA TO CLOSE

Reader Jennifer M. let me know that Trattoria Vittoria, which opened at 30 East Victoria Street in March 2007, is closing. A sign on the window reads:

Trattoria Vittoria Closed. Last days Fri/Sat. Unfortunately, we are closing down and unable to open tonight. We will be open Friday and Saturday, 5/17 and 5/18, from 5:00-10:00pm for our last dinner services with a limited menu. Reservations are available on OpenTable. We hope you will join us to say goodbye!


Photo by Jennifer M.

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JAMBA JUICE CLOSES

Reader Brendan tells me that that Jamba Juice on the UCSB campus next to the bookstore closed a few months ago.

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SOCIAL EATS CLOSES IN ISLA VISTA

Even though their grand opening was just last August, I received news from reader Brendan that things didn’t go well at Social Eats:

I noticed Social Eats at 6521 Pardall Road in Isla Vista seemed to be closed every time I passed by recently. Apparently it closed some time ago after just a few months in business:

https://dailynexus.com/2024-04-12/socialeats-closes-after-five-months-of-business/

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WINE DINNER SERIES

Cuyama Buckhorn at 4923 Primero Street in New Cuyama is having a wine dinner series in June, August, and October. Visit cuyamabuckhorn.com

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FESS PARKER THAI DINNER

Here is a press-release from Fess Parker Winery and Vineyard:

CHEF IN RESIDENCE: NA NA THAI DINNER
Saturday, June 15 ~ 6:00pm
Join us on June 15th for an exclusive dinner in the winery fireplace room with Nik and Ashley Ramirez from Na Na Thai and special guest Third Window Brewing. We will have a fabulous multi course dinner of Na Na Thai cuisine paired with Fess Parker wines. As a special treat, one course will be paired with a Pilsner from Third Window Brewing made with Fess Parker Home Ranch barley.

Nik and Ashley Ramirez lived in Bangkok, Thailand for 4 years and had both their children while living in the bustling city. The name, Na Na Thai, comes from the street they lived on – Sukhimvit Soi 4, also known as Soi Na Na. All the while, they were captivated by the intense flavors of the city’s street food. In June of 2022, they began a series of weekly Na Na Thai pop-ups at Bar Le Côte in Los Olivos. Now, with a permanent outpost in Buellton, Nik and Ashley finally get to work together again.

Only 40 seats are available for this dinner. We hope to see you there. $150 per Wine Club Member, $180 PER PERSON

Buy tickets here

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BRANDER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION

For details and reservations visit brander.com

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STICA COMING TO SANTA YNEZ

STICA, the newest Santa Ynez Valley dining concept from the team behind S.Y. Kitchen and Nella Kitchen & Bar, and part of Toscana Restaurant Group, is slated to open in the town of Santa Ynez, California, summer of 2024.

Located at 3563 Numancia Street, just steps from sibling, S.Y. Kitchen, STICA will serve as a grab-and-go, counter-service eatery and market meant as a laid-back, casual meal option or for stocking up on wine country snacks. The space will offer freshly-prepared salads to-go, as well as pre-made sandwiches, fresh pastas and sauces, and other assorted market goods. STICA will also feature Roman pinsas, which will be offered by the slice or as a create-your-own pinsa board, available warmed at the shop, or prepared to be heated at home. STICA will also stock boutique wines from Italy, the U.S., and around the globe, with a focus on hard-to-find labels and everyday wines with lower price-points.

“With STICA, we wanted to take a step back from S.Y. Kitchen’s slightly more-formal setting. The eatery will feature fun, unfussy offerings, a nonchalant attitude with a little bit of an urban edge,” said owner/partner, Chef Luca Crestanelli, also owner/partner and executive chef of now-11-year-old S.Y. Kitchen and Nella Kitchen & Bar, which opened in 2020 in the nearby Santa Barbara wine country town of Los Olivos.

STICA joins the Toscana Restaurant Group family which now includes S.Y. Kitchen, Nella Kitchen and Bar, Nerano in Beverly Hills, Bar Toscana and Toscana in Brentwood, the latter of which celebrated its 35th anniversary in April 2024.

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ACME EXPANDING TO SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO

Here is a press-release from Acme Hospitality, owners of The Lark, La Paloma Cafe, and other local eateries:

Acme Hospitality, renowned for its distinctive restaurants and hotels across California, proudly unveils its latest endeavor, La Vaquera. Positioned as an elevated dining destination, La Vaquera is poised to anchor the innovative River Street Marketplace, scheduled to debut in summer of 2024.

Nestled in the heart of San Juan Capistrano within the historic Los Rios District, La Vaquera pays homage to the region’s rich heritage, drawing inspiration from the original Californio ranchero lifestyle. Its meticulously curated menu reflects the essence of San Juan Capistrano, capturing its local terrain and the diverse tapestry of individuals who have called it home throughout the ages.

Serving as the cornerstone of River Street Marketplace, developed by Almquist and envisioned as a lifestyle hub nestled within the district’s storied past, La Vaquera promises an unforgettable dining experience. Designed by Doug Washington Design, acclaimed for crafting stunning interiors for some of Acme Hospitality’s other establishments, the restaurant offers seating for 125 patrons, including seating on the beautifully landscaped outdoor patio.

At the culinary helm is Executive Chef Aaron Zimmer, whose innovative vision brings to life an approachable Californio ranchero menu. Infused with the flavors of the region, the menu showcases wood-fired delights and a steakhouse-inspired array of dishes, complemented by an array of comforting sides, offering guests a casual yet refined dining experience. Drawing from the talent pool of Acme Hospitality’s acclaimed establishments such as Loquita and The Lark in Santa Barbara, the opening team ensures seamless service from kitchen to table.

Echoing the spirit of the adventurous cowgirl, La Vaquera embodies authenticity and originality, celebrating the essence of Californio ranchero cuisine. Embracing locally-sourced ingredients and highlighting the bounty of the region, the restaurant invites guests on a culinary journey steeped in tradition and innovation. Menu specialties include Masami Ranch American Wagyu New York Strip with housemade Barbacoa sauce; Yellowfin Tuna Aguachile with strawberry and mezcal; Grilled Spanish Octopus with scarlet runner beans and charred spring onion; and Roasted Heirloom Beets with whipped queso fresco, citrus and epazote. Creative cocktails and a curated wine list featuring the finest in California and New World selections will be offered to pair with the creative cuisine.

Designer Doug Washington shares his inspiration, remarking, “La Vaquera serves as a beacon within the new River Street Marketplace, offering guests a sanctuary where they can savor moments of connection amidst the vibrant atmosphere. Our aim was to create an oasis where patrons can unwind and indulge, whether seeking a casual bite or a memorable dining experience on the patio.”

“La Vaquera celebrates the rich diversity of the farms and ranches of Orange County while honoring the time-tested culinary traditions of the original California rancheros. La Vaquera is a place for everyone to gather around the table in a lively and convivial atmosphere with gracious service and delicious food and cocktails,” comments Sherry Villanueva, Founder and Managing Partner for Acme Hospitality.

Follow La Vaquera on Instagram for the latest updates and more information.

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ZOO BREW RETURNS

The Santa Barbara Zoo has announced the return of Zoo Brew, the annual fundraiser that caters to beer and zoo lovers alike. Zoo Brew will take place on Saturday, June 1 from 4-7 p.m., with a VIP hour from 3-4 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at tinyurl.com/zoobrew2024. Guests are in for a “wild” day of sipping on a whole herd of beverages and interacting with the local brewers who crafted them, all while taking in the Zoo’s hilltop ocean view. VIP ticket holders will also enjoy early entry, and appetizers. This year’s event features 20+ beverage makers from California, including beer, cider, hard seltzer, wine, and more. Pub food, non-alcoholic beverages, and merchandise are also available for purchase. General admission tickets are $75 per person and include unlimited beer tastings and one Zoo Brew 2024 commemorative tasting cup. VIP tickets are $110. All proceeds benefit the animals at the Santa Barbara Zoo. For ages 21+ only.

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BETTINA POPUP AT PEASANTS DELI

On Wednesday, May 22, Peasants Deli in Solvang with collaborate with Bettina Pizzeria of Montecito on a special sandwich pop-up. From 11 a.m. until sold out, Peasants Deli at 473 Atterdag Road will feature two special items plus a limited deli menu. Expect meatball sandwiches (Bettina’s meatballs on the deli’s sesame French rolls), and muffulettas on Bettina’s focaccia, stuffed with the Peasants Deli’s sliced meats and fixings. A muffuletta consists of a halved muffuletta loaf with deli meats (usually salami, ham, and mortadella) and olive spread.

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CAGAMI RAMEN OPENING NEXT TO SMART & FINAL

In April I broke the news that Cagami Ramen, a popular restaurant in Camarillo that serves authentic Japanese Ramen Noodle, is planning to open a location in Goleta. Sources recently told me the exact address but I have been asked to hold off announcing the location for the next month but I can say it is very near Smart & Final. Their food is authentic, homemade, and made in the Hatka style. It will be open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Visit cagamiramencamarillo.com

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‘WHITE CAPS’ COMING TO SUMMERLAND

Reader Peter B. sent me this message about a new Summerland food option opening just to the left side of The Nugget. “Construction and landscaping have been going on for several weeks as the new ‘White Caps’ dining area is preparing to open.  Don’t know how soon. It’s looking very nice.  Probably will do away with their parklet once it opens.” Reader IMissRexOfSB adds that dining will be offered using a food truck with seafood, wine, and more.

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MOTHER’S DAY WITH PASCUCCI

Here is a message from Pascucci at 509 State Street:

Hi John,
Looking forward to the upcoming Mother’s Day weekend, to celebrate our amazing Moms, Pascucci will be offering our fresh tangerine mimosas again this year for $5 all day on Mother’s Day!

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CELEBRATE MOM WITH A RUSTY’S HEART-SHAPED PIZZA

Order mom a slice of love this Mother’s Day. Surprise her with a Rusty’s Heart-Shaped Pizza (created from a large pizza). “Available May 10th – 12th for $29.95, it’s the perfect blend of flavor and affection,” says the legendary local eatery. “She’ll feel the love in each and every savory bite.” Order online at Rustyspizza.com or call 805-564-1111.

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MOTHER’S DAY CHAMPAGNE BRUNCH AT SAN YSIDRO RANCH

San Ysidro Ranch’s Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch will be hosted at their acclaimed Stonehouse Restaurant. “Artfully prepared by Executive Chef Matt Johnson, Chef de Cuisine Cory Hannon, and Pastry Chef Yannick Dumonceau, this three-course brunch will be complemented by the ranch’s revered five-star service and lavish ambiance,” says the iconic resort. “This time of the year, fragrant lavender, rose, citrus and rosemary gardens bloom under canopies of sycamore and eucalyptus with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands.”

On May 12th, from 10 a.m-2 p.m., toast to Mom with bottomless Champagne, mimosas, Ty Bellinis, or fresh juices while enjoying a basket of house-made baked goods. Starters include Citrus Cured Arctic Char, King Crab and Spinach Agnolotti, Spring Asparagus Salad, and Farmer’s Market Carrot Soup. Entrée selections include Snake River Farms Wagyu New York, Crispy Confit Duck Leg, Citrus-Cured Ora King Salmon Benedict, and Alaskan Halibut. The meal concludes with a dessert buffet. Cost: $205/per person. Reservations can be made by calling (805) 565-1720.

View the menu

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MOTHER’S DAY AT SCARLETT BEGONIA

This just in from Crista Fleming, owner of Scarlett Begonia restaurant at 21 West Victoria Street:

Hi John,

Here is Scarlett Begonia’s Mother’s Day brunch information!

Treat the mom in your life to a beautiful 3-course brunch at Scarlett Begonia. Start with a pastry basket including a Yukon gold cinnamon roll, maple bacon and buttermilk biscuit, jam and butter. Followed by the second course where you can select from shrimp cocktail with house made cocktail sauce, avocado toast, organic deviled eggs, a kale Caesar salad and more. Finally, conclude your meal by selecting your third and main course ranging from a lemon ricotta pancakes to steak and eggs. $95 per person $45 for kids under 12yrs

Book at: scarlettbegonia.net

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QUESTION OF THE DAY

Hi John –

Enjoy your newsletter. Is there any arcade business or eating establishment that has pinball machines in SB/Goleta area? The former Zodo’s does not and I can’ find any places in a quick search but I thought I’d ask you. Oddly my hometown of Monterey Peninsula with a smaller population has a few businesses with pinball but I don’t see any here.

Thanks for your feedback!

Derek

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THE OYSTER BAR OPENING MAY 23

This just in from The Oyster Bar, coming this month to Moby Dick’s on Stearns Wharf:

Good morning, John.

It gives me great pleasure to share with you exciting news about changes at one of Santa Barbara’s signature restaurants: Moby Dick on Stearns Wharf. The changes are spearheaded by the creation of The Oyster Bar, a beautifully designed facility with a 270 degree view of the city, the harbor, and the Santa Barbara Channel. Slated to open to the public on May 23, The Oyster Bar will feature a curated selection of fresh seafood, craft cocktails, and craft beers from our region. Chef David Campos, previously at the Ritz Carleton, is applying his experience and creativity in designing dishes and cocktails that promise a special dining experience in a unique setting.

Beyond The Oyster Bar, our new Director of Operations, Scott Howard, a restaurateur with deep experience in Marin County, Beverly Hills and Florida, is leading a transformation of the Moby Dick Restaurant more broadly. Chef Campos has created a new imaginative menu that is reflective of our community, focused on locally produced and sustainably harvested seafood, produce, and alcoholic beverages.

Sincerely,
Karl L. Hutterer
President & CEO
The Stearns Wharf Company, dba Moby Dick Restaurant

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GIOVANNI’S IN CARPINTERIA REOPENS

Here is a message to you from Shawn and McLeod Noormand, owners of Giovanni’s Pizza in Carpinteria which recently closed at 5003 Carpinteria Avenue:

“Hello Restaurant Guy, We had our last hurrah on April 28. That same night me, my son McLeod and my crew moved into our new location at 5205 Carpinteria Avenue [formerly The Good Plow and Fosters Freeze]. We opened the following morning, April 29. We are up and running at light speed, soft serve ice cream and our full menu. Come by and check out our new digs. I heard they already have a tenant for our old location.”


Photos by reader Primetime

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LITTLE ALEX’S OPENS IN FIVE POINTS

Reader Dawn says that Little Alex’s has opened at Five Points Shopping Center in the former home of Fresco Cafe. “Come see us at our new location at 3987 State Street in the 5 Points Shopping Center,” says co-owner Josh Briner. “We are maintaining our family friendly atmosphere with an elevated look. We miss our old home of 30 years in Montecito and all of the great customers and friends that were created, and we’re excited for the opportunity to serve our local community again.” They have kept all of the original breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu items that customers enjoyed for three decades in Montecito as well as some new items including a number of draft beers from local craft breweries and their famous chicken soup, taco salad, rajas tacos, and chile rellenos.


The former home of Fresco Cafe in Five Points Shopping Center is now Little Alex’s Cantina.

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CARPINTERIA GIOVANNI’S CLOSES (FOR NOW)

Last January reader Primetime broke the news that Giovanni’s Pizza at 5003 Carpinteria Avenue in Carpinteria in moving to nearby 5205 Carpinteria Avenue, the former home of The Good Plow and Fosters Freeze. I called Giovanni’s at the time and was told that their current building was sold and is scheduled to be demolished. Primetime has sent me an update that Carpinteria Giovanni’s served their last meal on April 29. I have not received word yet about when they will reopen down the street.

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VIA VAI CLOSES

Last January I wrote that lease for Via Vai restaurant at 1483 East Valley Road in Montecito is not being renewed. This was a surprise since the place has always been hopping every time I have dined there and has been open for more than 30 years. Reader Primetime tells me that Via Vai had their “last supper” over the weekend. The eatery ended lunches on April 1.

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DUMPLINGS COMING TO MILPAS

Reader Bryan says that Shanghai restaurant at 830 North Milpas Street will soon become a dumpling house in addition to having their regular menu.

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CALL IT LA CANTINA

In July 2021 I broke the news that six restaurants were coming to the Turnpike Center next to Vons. Many have since opened but one previously unnamed eatery, brought to you by Chris Chiarappa, the visionary and inspiration for Mesa Burger and other local eateries, has been under construction since then. Reader Claudia tells me there is a sign up now indicating that the restaurant will be named “La Cantina.”

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CINCO DE MAYO AT LA PALOMA

Join Chef Jeremy and the team at La Paloma (702 Anacapa Street) for a Cinco de Mayo brunch on May 5. Brunch is served from 10:30 a.m. -2 p.m.; to book a reservation, visit tinyurl.com/lapalomabrunch.  The bar will offer a special happy hour of La Paloma’s margaritas from 3-6 p.m. Features for Cinco de Mayo: $45 station brunch + $20 for unlimited mimosas, $25 for kids; live music, taco bar, specialty margarita pitchers, and complimentary tequila tastings with Nosotros.

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MOTHER’S DAY AT BRASS BEAR

Brass Bear Uptown is doing a Mothers Day Brunch Sunday May 12th from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The buffet will include sausage quiche, vegetarian quiche, glazed bacon, scrambled eggs, caesar salad, fresh fruit, breakfast potatoes, smoked salmon with capers and onions, bagels, french toast, and assorted pastries and sweets. Pricing is $45 for adults and $15 for kids 12 and under. Reservations can be made online or call 805-869-4014.

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MOTHER’S DAY WITH ACME

Eateries under the umbrella of Acme Hospitality are offering Mother’s Day specials. The Lark celebrates Mother’s Day with their signature brunch, including specials of Chai Tea French Toast with toasted almonds, fresh apricots & mint, Smoked King Salmon Benedict with tarragon béarnaise, soft poached egg, pickled shallot and more. Mother’s Day Brunch at La Paloma Cafe includes a savory carving station, made-to-order huevos station, salads and crudo. Chef Elier Rodriguez at Loquita is offering new dishes, including Croqueta de Congrejo with Dungeness crab, fennel seed, squid ink aioli, tarragon & crispy potato nest; Gazpacho Blanco with soft boiled egg, sherry vinegar caviar, crispy leek & chive oil, and more. Lucky Penny is having a Tie-Dye event for kids (1-4 p.m.) where children can create their own unique tie-dye t-shirts. $25 per child. Includes complimentary frosé for every mom.

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BIG LINES AT NICK THE GREEK

Last week Nick the Greek restaurant at 508 State Street (formerly Natural Café) has a grand opening special, offering a free lunch to all. I am told that there was a line around the block and that more than 400 people took them up on the offer.

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CAGAMI RAMEN COMING TO GOLETA

Cagami Ramen, a popular restaurant in Camarillo that serves authentic Japanese Ramen Noodle, is planning to open a location in Goleta. It will be open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Their food is authentic, homemade, and made in the Hatka style. I’ll put out an update when I have the address. Visit cagamiramencamarillo.com

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QUESTION OF THE DAY

Hi John,

I always look forward to reading “The Restaurant Guy” in the Independent. You keep all of us informed on what’s happening around town.

As you probably know, Sushi GoGo at the Breakwater closed a few months ago. It was quite sudden and has yet to re-open.
The sign on the door says it is “under construction” and will re-open soon. It’s been posted for a few months with no signs of activity or progress.

I heard on the grapevine that they were doing some re-modeling/repairs without a permit and that the City shut them down.

Sushi GoGo has always been a favorite, good food, reasonable prices, and a great way to enjoy the activity at the harbor.
I hope they will re-open.

Perhaps you could shed some light on their status. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you.

Sue McCue
mccueranch@cox.net
(805) 680-9293

I’ll look into this and get back to you!

– The Restaurant Guy

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NEW THREE-COURSE AL FRESCO LUNCH AT SAN YSIDRO RANCH

Montecito’s San Ysidro Ranch is now offering a new prix-fixe lunch, hosted at the their intimate Veranda. The three-course lunch is available Monday – Thursday and includes house-made offerings like Blackened Ora King Salmon Salad, Tuscan Melon & Yellow Tomato Gazpacho, and the San Ysidro Ranch Meyer Lemon Tart. Cost is $49 per person not including tax or gratuity.

View the menu

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JAMES BEARD BENEFIT AT THE MIRAMAR

The Michelin Green Star Caruso’s will honor Earth Month with an intimate dinner at Caruso’s restaurant on April 24, benefiting the James Beard Foundation:

Part of the Friends of James Beard Benefit series, a communal patio table overlooking the ocean will feature a hyper-local five-course menu highlighting seasonal ingredients and celebrating the restaurant’s esteemed network of local purveyors and guest chefs. Each course will be presented by Chef Partner Massimo Falsini in collaboration with Caruso’s chef de cuisine Shibani Mone and guest chef Rachel Haggstrom of Justin Restaurant. Partnering purveyors include Jessica Gasca from Story of Soil, Sea Stephanie Fish, Ojai Roots and Solymar Seafood. Guests will enjoy a night of gourmet excellence intertwined with a commitment to sustainability and environmental advocacy.

Space is limited. $325 per adult with optional wine pairing. Price excludes beverages, tax, and gratuity. Book reservations online.

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NICK THE GREEK OPENS

Even though April 23 is the date of the official grand opening of Nick the Greek, reader Annie says the doors were open last Friday. Not sure if they still are. Here is a message to you from the restaurant:

Santa Barbara’s food scene is about to get even better with the grand opening of the area’s newest restaurant, Nick the Greek. The restaurant, known for its mouthwatering pitas, traditional plates, fresh salads and sides, and delicious desserts, will open its doors to the public on Tuesday, April 23. The new store is located at 508 State St Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

In honor of the grand opening, the restaurant will offer free lunch for all patrons from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., inviting the Santa Barbara community to experience Nick the Greek’s authentic Greek fare for themselves. To participate, guests simply arrive during the allotted time, and can enjoy one complimentary entree per person, including options like Nick the Greek’s beloved Gyros and Souvlakis.

Nick the Greek was founded in 2014 in Northern California by three cousins – Big Nick, Little Nick and Baby Nick – and has since expanded to include outposts in Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Kansas, Texas, and Missouri. Santa Barbara follows closely behind the brand’s recent opening in Fair Oaks, marking an exciting period of expansion of the brand’s presence in California.

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BLACK SHEEP TURNS TEN

Here is a message for you from Black Sheep restaurant (18 East Cota Street) owner Ruben Perez:

Come celebrate with us… we are beyond excited to be coming up on our 10 year anniversary. Can’t believe it went by this fast. So grateful for the chance to become part of this amazing community and for the amazing friendships we have made ❤️.. here’s to another 10 year filled with food, love and laughter To celebrate. We will be opening on Tuesday April 30th at 5pm And rolling back our tasting menu to the original price $45 pp @chefjakereimer and the whole amazing black sheep team will be creating 9 unforgettable plates of food for you and come enjoy smooth beats with a live dj and maybe a little dancing 🕺You can make reservations by texting Ruben at 805-319-2498.

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THIRD ANNUAL CRAWFISH BOIL AT LITTLE DOM’S

Little Dom’s Seafood at 686 Linden Avenue in Carpinteria will be hosting its third annual celebratory Crawfish Boil events on Saturday, April 27 and Saturday, May 4 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Crawfish boils are a tradition in the South, especially in Louisiana and involve boiling pounds of crawfish with spices and fresh vegetables like corn and potatoes. Typically, crawfish boils are enjoyed during a celebration but also can be thrown as a way to bring family and friends together.

Having grown up in New Orleans, co-owner and Executive Chef, Brandon Boudet has fond childhood memories of his family gathering around over freshly boiled crawfish. Ahead of each event, the Little Dom’s Seafood team flies in live crawfish from Louisiana, preserving the authenticity of traditional boils while also sourcing produce from local farmers and purveyors in Carpinteria to complete the feast. Each Crawfish Boil is hosted in the restaurant’s parking lot, complete with newspaper-lined picnic tables, specialty cocktails, locally sourced wines, and beer.

Little Dom’s Seafood’s Crawfish Boil menu will feature Crawfish by the pound (M/P), Crawfish Monica ($17), Cup of Gumbo ($11), Jambalaya Balls with Creole Mustard ($10), and Alligator Meatballs with Creole Mustard Sauces ($15). The restaurant’s a la carte breakfast and lunch menus will also be available during both Crawfish Boils, should guests like to order additional dishes and beverages. Visit ldseafood.com

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OAT BAKERY OPENS IN MONTECITO

Oat Bakery has opened their third location, located at 1014 Coast Village Road in the Montecito Country Mart. The eatery offers a selection of their sourdoughs, focaccia and pastries along with crackers, house – made vegan spreads and more. Known for their organic and Scandinavian offerings, Oat Bakery creates unique recipes that follow the seasons, using the local farmers to create seasonal offerings. The bakery has two other locations, one in Downtown Santa Barbara, and in 2022 they opened a production kitchen and bakery in Old Town Goleta to be able to supply their newest bakery in Montecito. “Our new location at Montecito Country Mart allows us to connect even more with the community and share our passion for healthy, wholesome bread,” says co-owner Louise Ulrich. “Oat Bakery’s third location is at Montecito Country Mart, located in the courtyard near Bettina Pizzeria.” Hours are 8 a.m.-4 p.m. seven days a week.

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SHALHOOB’S OPENS IN NOLETA

In April 2021 I broke the news that Woody’s BBQ at 5112 Hollister Avenue in Goleta (Magnolia Center) was closing then, a year later, I wrote that Shalhoob’s would be the next tenant. The eatery finally opened while I was out of state for a week, enjoying a total eclipse in Morrilton, Arkansas. “Shalhoob’s is all about quality,” says co-owner John Shalhoob, Jr. “We don’t skip on quality and we believe that as long as we keep our quality up, we will always be in business. Starting with the meat company, we have always dealt with quality. My dad instilled that in us and we are still following his direction.”

Their most popular item is the tri-tip sandwich, that I tried will visiting the eatery, and I am happy to report that it has joined my list of top-ten favorite sandwiches on the South Coast. It is amazing. John Shalhoob Jr.’s wife, Michelle Shalhoob, has been supportive with ideas and dreamed up the innovative covered patio at the new eatery where all the walls lift up like garage doors. This works so well it will probably start a trend in town. Shalhoobs is open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and Friday-Saturday they are open until 10 p.m.

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ETHNIC BREADS RETAIL SHOP OPENS

Last February I relayed a message from Ethnic Breads owner Peter Zadeh that his wholesale bakery at 137 Aero Camino in Goleta will be soon be adding a storefront. Zadeh now tells me that the retail shop at Ethnic Breads had its soft opening April 9th and that they are ready to sell our breads to the public.

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DART COFFEE OPENS AT THE HARBOR

Reader Steve C. says that Dart Coffee has opened at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, 113 Harbor Way. The  java joint’s flagship locations is at 121 East Yanonali Street and will be open Monday -Thursday: 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Friday – Sunday: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. “Dart Coffee is dedicated to bringing ethical craft-roasted coffee to your cup,” says owners Erika Carter and David Dart. “We are committed to sourcing only the finest organic, fair-traded coffee beans from small-lot indigenous farmers who share our vision. We believe roasting is a balance of creativity and practiced precision. We are passionate about our craft and our aim is true.”

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