Sunday, November 6, 2011

Santa Barbara

With wedding season slowing down, I was able to get out of town for a couple of days.  A nice drive down the coast to Santa Barbara.  Mr PSC went to college there and we had our first apartment on campus.  I was the pastry chef at the Ojai Valley Inn and Country Club.  We walked the campus, looked up our old addresses and enjoyed the area.  Back in those days, as college students and newly weds, there was not extra cash to enjoy the many great restaurants.

This time however we took full advantage!  Hubby booked us a great room at the Canary Hotel, a wonderful boutique hotel, just 4 stories with a pool and lounge on the roof, and a nicely appointed restaurant/bar off the lobby.  An old building beautifully restored and modernized just enough.  The first evening there the restaurant was closed (for a special event) so they opened the bar by the pool to watch the sunset from the roof top; great way to start a vacation.

That evening we decided to walk down State street, the main shopping district.  After talking with our waitress on the roof top - always ask your servers where they go, they know the best spots - we headed out to her first recommendation, after strolling through the farmers market that just happened to be going on in the middle of State street.

Our first stop was Blush, a great night club and bar with patio seating in the perfect weather.  We love to sit at the bar to watch the cocktails being made.  They had an extraordinay tuna tartar that was drizzled with white soy, it truly was finger licking good.  Jim tried a Basil Strawberry Martini with Balsamic Glaze,  The strawberries had a perfect flavor and the basil came out in just a touch of the nose.  The hint of balsamic balanced out the sweetness.  Sitting next to us was a local couple enjoying the same sort of evening, who recommended our next stop Intermezzo.  Only a block off State street, but hard to find if you don't know about it.  The cocktails were well made, but the star of the show was the Seared Foie Gras with Plum Tartine and Saffron Ice Cream... OMG!


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