Somerset restaurant opens Friday December 16th at 7 East Anapamu Street (the former home of Arts & Letters Café) after 2 years and several million dollars of renovation, transforming it into a “world-class venue.” It is designed by celebrity designer Steve Hermann, the talent behind the award wining L’Horizon Resort in Palm Springs, who cut his teeth designing homes for A-listers in Los Angeles. “Upon entering, you are immediately transported to another time and place,” says Hermann. “The interior is both classic and modern simultaneously, with references to a grand restaurant one would find in London or Paris. Boasting deep chesterfield sofas, polished zinc table tops, and 50’s modern vintage chairs and lighting, the space comfortably mixes mid century and art deco influences.”

Hermann has gone all out, including sourcing original Stilnovo vintage Italian sconces and chandeliers from the 1950’s. As beautiful as the interior is however, the courtyard is the “piece de resistance.” A large stone fireplace draws you toward the patio with 100 year old olive trees that are situated in rubble stone planters. The whole feel of the patio was designed to be that of an old courtyard in Tuscany. That old world feel throughout the restaurant is complimented by modern touches such as the contemporary furniture and a custom sound track developed specifically for Somerset by one of the D.J’s hailing from Hotel Coste in Paris.

The most important aspect of any restaurant is the quality of the food so Somerset restaurant brought in a star chef. “After doing dozens of tasting with top chefs across the country and not finding what I wanted, I knew what I needed to do. I approached the Chef, Lauren Herman, from two of my favorite restaurants, A.O.C. and the James Beard Award winning Lucques,” said Hermann. “She defines what is right about California cuisine, effortlessly producing progressive dishes with rustic southern European infuences. She is joined in the kitchen by her wife, pastry and sous chef Christina Olufson, who is an incredible talent in her own right.”

Somerset is open Sunday-Thursday 5- 9:30 p.m., Friday-Saturday 5-10:30 p.m. Lunch and brunch to follow in January and February 2017. Call 845-7112.

som2som3som6som5Chef Lauren Herman (left) with  pastry and sous chef Christina Olufson

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  1. Joey Jo-Jo Junior Shabadoo says:

    Still no website, sample menu or actual descriptions of the food that will be served?…..sigh…. you think with those millions they could have been able to get a simple website up and running in this day and age.

  2. SLV says:

    Agreed! There’s been a lot of hype and press releases, but I get much more excited about food than I do about interior design. Show me the menu!

  3. Karen Mealiffe says:

    Even if there is no published menu yet, standby; Lauren Herman, and Christina will knock your socks off with their menu and chef skills!!
    cant wait!!

  4. Amanda says:

    Is this the odd new restaurant that had a press release describing all sorts of random things? Ie. we are not this, but we are also not this, we serve this, but we do not serve this. It was all kinds of mumbo-jumbo and gave you no concrete idea on who the heck they are.

    • Amanda says:

      I looked this place up and answered my own question- from September 2016:

      “It will be very high-end fine dining but very approachable and casual,” says Jordan Fife, Director of Development and Operations at Steve Hermann Design and Steve Hermann Hotels. “It’s not something you have to wear a suit for. You could wear flip-flops and a button-up. It’s not a tasting-style menu. It’s come in and order whatever you want. It’s a place to come in and have a cocktail and an appetizer, or come out to the courtyard and have a white tablecloth fine dining experience. It’s whatever kind of element you want. It’s casual just like Santa Barbara is but bringing some of the best food from the best places in the world.” Somerset hopes to open October 15th.

  5. Frequent diner says:

    John, we are all appreciative of your work and dedication to provide updates. However, although well intended, this appears to be a professionally written press release. Restaurants don’t open as “World Class” establishments. Superlatives are earned over time. And only time will tell if all of the elements come together. Food, service, price points, noise levels, etc.

    Just a half a block away, another “world class” restaurant failed despite a two year and million dollar investment. (Maggie’s)

    I wish them all the look in the world.

  6. Lily says:

    Its being six days since they opened, and I still can’t find a menu anywhere online, not even a sample menu. I really like to browse the menu a bit before I go to a restaurant.

  7. RandomInterval says:

    You know, when two thirds of the press release about a restaurant is about the decor, and the menu or even style of food are not even mentioned, you’re going to have a problem. I hate to sound negative, but I give this place three months…

  8. Whirl says:

    No menu pictures on Yelp yet.
    That has become my way to find a menu when places don’t have a website or Facebook page with a menu. The reviews looks very positive there so far.

  9. Gerald Bostock says:

    All these criticisms are valid, but I’m willing to wait and try the food. The chef’s association with Lucques makes me want to eat there. Curious about price, it might be a splurge.

  10. Gerald Bostock says:

    Oops. Just read OpenTable comments. One says it may be most expensive in area except for San Ysidro Ranch. that makes it difficult for me.

    Another comment lists many dishes they had. “… couple of starters (the gingered beet salad and the sunchokes), totally devoured the scallop and short rib and the spaghetti with lobster bisque entrees and wanted to lick the plates on the chocolate torte and churro with Creme de leche for dessert.”

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