Here is a press-release for your viewing enjoyment:


The Hottest Ticket in Town: Phillip Frankland Lee’s Intimate Eight-Seat Tasting Menu Experience with Exquisite Food, Impeccable Service, Culinary Theatrics and a Little Magic

(MONTECITO,CA)— With opening night set for Thursday, January 31st, The Silver Bough will begin wowing audiences every Thursday – Sunday with a singular nightly seating at 7pm. Owner/Executive Chef Phillip Frankland Lee has culled an impressive troupe to execute the tasting menu dining experience, including sous chefs Danielle Van Steen (Church & State, BlueHour) and Robert Sandberg (Noma, Frantzen), and pastry chef Margarita Kallas-Lee (Scratch|Bar & Kitchen, The Monarch). The intimate space seats a total of eight guests up to the chefs’ kitchen, bringing the culinary theatrics up close, in an immersive setting. Reservations will be handled much like ticket sales to a theatre, with release dates on the first day of each month, for the following month’s performances. The first round of tickets became available to the general public at on December 20th for the entire month of February, with subsequent tickets released on the 1st of every month; February 1st for March and so on and so forth. Guests staying at the historic Montecito Inn, will be able to bypass the system and have access to purchase tickets a full year out, when securing a room to stay at the hotel via

“Since arriving in Montecito, I’ve had an amazing time getting to know the locals through our food at The Monarch, as well as visitors from around the world,” says owner Phillip Frankland Lee. “Silver Bough is by far my most ambitious restaurant to date, and after opening our first six restaurants, along with having the opportunity to travel the world and eat amazing food over the last few years with my wife Margarita, we are incredibly excited to share everything that we’ve learned, tasted, and experienced from our own unique perspective. The evening will be an event, one we hope that epicurean pursuers and open-minded explorers alike, will cherish and remember for many years.”

The Silver Bough is not an everyday restaurant. Upon arrival, beginning at 6:30pm, ticket holders will check in with the front desk at the Montecito Inn for a pre-show beverage. A custom-made bar cart will sit within the hotel lobby, where the host will pass out a specialty libation to commence the evening. At 7pm, participants will be led into the restaurant for Act I, where a table is placed in the center of a dark room, and participants encircle it to begin their culinary journey. Placed upon the table as a centerpiece, a radiant landscape, and this is where the story of The Silver Bough begins.  The host begins to guide everyone through the story of The Silver Bough, which corresponds to each bite experienced over the course of the meal. As the group unearths the various elements in Act I, they will find delicate dishes ranging from smoked cultured butter and whipped caviar, to the simple potato stuffed with bone marrow, and eventually a curious dish made of foie gras (vegan and pescatarian menus will be available upon request). At the end of the Act, the curtain opens revealing the main stage, a 16ft kitchen-facing Brazilian Quartzite chef’s counter, with Lee and team in place ready to serve dinner.

As the group takes their seats for Act II, their host continues with the story of The Silver Bough, leading them through nine courses of luxury, with rich flavor combinations resulting in a true exercise in opulence. The story, based on Irish mythology, represents the entry into the Celtic otherworld, a place believed to offer everlasting youth, beauty, health and joy. The hidden world was rich with only the finest resources, a paradise of delights, where food was ever abundant and where travelers were treated as kings and queens by the god’s themselves. As Lee and his team seek to recreate such an environment, the program includes Tasmanian ocean trout, Live Lobster, Dry aged Japanese Wagyu beef, Toulouse Goose and Foie Gras, locally caught Box Crab, Sea Urchin and Spot Prawns, aged New Zealand Venison, a prized Ribeye from Japan’s Kobe Prefecture, fine caviar, 24k gold, and an abundance of truffles. The result is a combination of classical, continental technique with progressive, modernistic approaches all served on fine silver fit for royalty.

For the finale, Act III, a world of sweets played over four courses, is presented by Pastry Chef, Margarita Kallas-Lee. These desserts begin with something refreshing, an “egg” made of passionfruit mousse, situated in a nest made from kaffir lime and lemongrass, with pine “snow” lightly dusted on top. Next is something bitter, a chocolate leaf with coffee and chicory. Then comes a bedtime course, chamomile custard with white truffle, bee pollen, gold, and hints of honey. The night will end with a dessert inspired by one of Margarita’s cherished childhood memories from her native Latvia.

At the conclusion of dinner, guests will have the opportunity to continue their experience with after-dinner drinks and aperitifs with the team. The all-inclusive tasting menu is paired with some of the world’s greatest wines, finest spirits, craft cocktails, and tinctures made by the chefs themselves, all with a ticket price of $550/person (inclusive of tax and gratuity). For guests choosing not to imbibe, a unique and specialty non-alcoholic pairing, will be provided. Think, housemade black truffle and wild honey kombucha. Dinner without alcohol will run $450/person (inclusive of tax and gratuity). There will not be any items or beverages available a la carte, and all dinners will be paired either with or without alcohol.

The 400 square foot space presents walls lined with Carrera marble, and houses a 16ft chef’s counter featuring Quartzite imported from Brazil. The room is encased by dramatic, crimson velvet curtains. The center table used in Act I is handcrafted and modeled after a voluminous Ginkgo tree, completed with painted brass butterflies and a glass top, custom designed by award-winning American artist Michael Aram. Additionally, Aram designed and crafted all of the plateware and serving dishes, inspired by nature and offer a reflection of our humanity. The eight modern chairs feature a solid chrome frame and a luxurious gray velvet upholstery. A custom-built stainless-steel stove with gold hardware, made by Montague, is a stunning showpiece in the intimate, open kitchen.

The Silver Bough is located inside the historic Montecito Inn at 1295 Coast Village Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93108. A 7pm seating is available every Thursday – Sunday. Tickets can be purchased at

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  1. Kimmie says:

    Yeah, could barely get my gag reflex under control to finish reading this positively absurd press release. Will TSB be around for a full year? I surely don’t think so!

  2. SY Foodie says:

    Six months…tops

  3. Gary says:

    LOL April Fools! … Wait a minute, it’s only December 28th…

  4. Christine says:

    Too gag-inducing; didn’t read.

  5. Rex Of SB says:

    Oh, Christine, you’ve GOT to read it! Of course you may think less of such proletarian eateries as Lucky’s and the Biltmore afterward, but that’s a risk you’ll have to take. If I weren’t totally sober right now, I’d be tempted to write a press release for my own future restaurant, the Snarky Plover.

    • Christine says:

      The Snarky Plover – indeed! Bravo. See you and Buffy on the tennis court after Jeeves returns with the Jag. Ta ta…!

      Thanks for the smile and giggle, Rex!

  6. Richard says:

    That cost is definitely stratospheric and about the same as French Laundry. (unless you look at the Laundry’s price tag of $750 for New Year’s Eve utilizing many of the same ingredients). Like Keller’s place, Silver Bough certainly looks to be an over the top experience.

    However, my wife and I have eaten at French Laundry five times over the years and at the $1000 or so you will spend for two there, it is an experience you will never forget and one we have never regretted. The food and service is as good as it gets, at least in the U.S.

    When I think of all the poor or mediocre meals we have had at highly regarded restaurants (both here in Santa Barbara and elsewhere) that end up costing one-third to one-half as much as French Laundry, I end up wondering why we just didn’t go out less often and then spend the extra saved money for a fantastic time with Keller once every few years.

    I sincerely hope Silver Bough can match the Laundry’s execution and precision, but they better at the price they are asking. Time will tell and for now let’s give them an “A” for effort to bring such a place to SB. We will give it a try, I’m sure. At least it might be easier to get a reservation than at the Laundry! 🙂

    • Janet C says:

      I agree. Give the group an ” A ” for effort to bring something different to the low keyed Santa Barbara Food scene. While the Silver Bough menu isn’t my cup of tea I’m happy that the owners are trying to bring newsworthy dining to SB. I do like the menu at the Monarch and think it is one of the better restaurants ( food wise ) in town and will continue to support it.

    • Mark says:

      hint: they can’t.

      Thomas Keller is a professional and a master at his craft. Phil Lee is a self aggrandizing clown. He thinks he is much much better than he actually is. Watch any interview he’s ever done; the dude loves himself. Any time anything he’s ever made has had any form of criticism, he just claims the person either “doesn’t get it” or is personally attacking him because they’re jealous of his amazing skills.

      Putting truffles on 5 courses doesn’t make you a good chef. He dude is a joke.

  7. Roberto says:

    I think ya’ll know how I feel about this kind of…, well, you know. If it were truly great, all it would take is a whisper. Not a freaking novel of self platitudes.

    • Laurie says:

      I am right there with ya, Roberto. Do we have to take ourselves so freaking seriously?

      • Richard says:

        Also agreed.

        Let’s hope the food and service actually and ultimately speak for themselves. But even if it is another equivalent of French Laundry or other great restaurants worldwide, I don’t think it will last for very long given the foodie environment of Santa Barbara, or, more precisely, the lack thereof. But, again, let’s hope they can change the reality of Santa Barbara as just a tourist destination where visitors want to dine on the pier and locals love to eat at crappy chain or “concept” restaurants.

  8. Bob says:

    To be eating 24 karat gold with solid silver dinnerware. Gold knobs on the stove. Trump would love the decor.

  9. Kay says:

    Every “concept” this guy rolls out seems more kooky than the one before. I’ve gotten whiplash from how often he’s changed. When I read this most recent release, something clicked and I decided to google a bit. Turns out he’s a top chef contestant from a few years ago–the villain if you will–who appears to spend more time arguing online with folks than doing what most of us want in a restauranteur. It goes without saying I miss the Montecito Cafe.

  10. Gerard says:

    For fun, I ran some back of the envelope numbers! Given staffing levels, rent, % of food cost, 4 day opening with 8 seats, I cannot figure out how this place can create positive cash flow even if all 8 seats are booked every service.

    As an aside, I can’t wait to book a table at the Snarky Plover….

  11. vt says:

    It takes place Jan 31 2019. ???

  12. Gary S says:

    It doesn’t appear to make sense for this community.

    A quick search regarding the owner/etc…reveals a lot of interesting info. Just b/c you have “expensive” products doesn’t translate into 3 stars, or folks forking over $550 for American restaurant food. It’s still the US, and we all know the quality is pretty low, and that that is higher, is vastly overpriced and not accessible to the average person.

    Onward and downard 2019!

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