Last week I enjoyed a lovely lunch with my mother at Wine Cask. Sitting in the warm sunlight of a typical Santa Barbara day I rediscovered Wine Cask's dishes as they have a new Chef, Brandon Hughes (formerly the Chef at bouchon). For me, one of the best ways to experience a chef's cooking is by ordering fish. Fish is a delicate thing to cook, prepare, and pair with. We were not disappointed.
First Course - Carrot soup using orange carrots and red creating this beautiful color wheel.
Second Course - Local Santa Barbara Sea bass over a bed of arugula, fennel, citrus salad accompanied by an olive pesto and zucchini croquettes. The fish was seared perfectly and provided a lovely salty crunch. The flesh was moist and flavorful. The fennel citrus salad made for the perfect bite and with the divine olive pesto, yum. The croquettes tasted so fresh and satisfying. The only problem was that they looked rather harsh and odd on the plate. We did recommend that they change the shape and presentation style of said croquettes so as to be more appetizing. They're delicious and definitely need to remain part of this dish.
Dessert - Chocolate and Goat Cheese doughnuts with a scoop of Cappuccino ice cream. I am not usually one to order dessert, but pair two of my favorite things - goat cheese and dark chocolate and curiosity takes over! The pastry Chef, Rosie, explained her creations to us and wow did she really get the goat cheese in there. You can actually taste both the chocolate and goat cheese perfectly and the doughnuts are surprisingly light and flavorful.