Saturday, June 18, 2011

Random Food Experiences - Santa Barbara

The owner's of Stella Mare's restaurant located by the Bird Refuge in Montecito opened up Cafe Stella, in their old banquet space on upper State Street. On my birthday, we went to check it out for brunch. The charcuterie plate seen above, was simple and tasty. I chose a crepe with fried egg, bacon, and cheese sauce. Though good, it was not super memorable. The ambiance felt contrived, with the typical posters found at World Market of old Paris and such. Perhaps with time they will hang art by a local artist instead of boring, unoriginal posters. With so many artists in this town, this would not be hard to achieve.

A few nights ago, my friend popped open this wonderful wine which he found to be the best from the World of Pinot festival. It's a Pinot Noir from Germany! It showed all the fantastic, elegant qualities of the Pinot Noir grape, yet had a very different taste at the same time. Lovely indeed.
This week, Jeff and I enjoyed a meal at Ca' Dario in downtown Santa Barbara. A local's favorite for Italian food with a classic, white table cloth ambiance. The course seen above is white asparagus wrapped with pancetta topped with balsamic vinegar and parmesan. There was too much vinegar to my taste - so much that when you try to speak it sneaks into your throat and makes you cough. And the asparagus and pancetta were a bit too charred. However, the asparagus flavor still came through.
I soon will have a new iPhone and my low light photos will be vastly improved! Above is river Trout in a butter sage sauce with spinach, beets, and potatoes on the side. The crispy sage pieces combined with a buttered piece of the fish made for the perfect bite. With our meal we enjoyed a bottle of Pinot Grigio.
A light dessert of puff pastry filled with Sabayon sauce and berries finished off our meal.

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