Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Une Tomate Surprise

Tomate surprise is a dish I associate with my childhood and recreated it a few days ago for dinner. The "surprise" is tuna inside a tomato...not that astonishing, but fun nonetheless. I mixed the tuna with mayonnaise, lemon juice, and some salad herb blend herbs. Carve out your tomato and put the guts into the tuna mixture. Stuff la tomate, et voila! Play with your food and never grow up...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mediterranean Meal

Cadiz hit Santa Barbara's restaurant scene a few weeks ago and all I have heard is positive. So I went to check out the situation myself. One walks into a breezy, high ceilinged dining room with reflecting lanterns projecting beautiful images onto the walls and giant palms in the corners adding a bit of movement (though I am usually not for giant indoor plants). We arrived a bit early and the managers, waiters, and designer were chatting up a storm with each other and looked like they were doing some business as well amongst themselves. 

Promptly after being seated, our vivacious waitress flowed over to us wondering if we would like something to drink. We told her the usual, that we needed to choose what to eat before knowing which bottle we would like. She came back about 2 times wondering the same thing and we finally had something to tell her the fourth time she came over. 
First course - Grilled baby octopus, shelling beans, kale, blood orange, meyer lemon oil. This was a lovely dish with fresh, tender octopus. Lovely combo of flavors. I am not quite sure why they put that romaine lettuce on top. The color contrast is awesome, but the lettuce was not dressed and old looking.
My friend enjoyed the - Flash-cooked Mount Cook Alpine Salmon, celery, horseradish, lemon vinaigrette. This dish was super delicate and delicious.
I enjoyed the seabass for my main course which was accompanied by carrots and lemon brown butter and olive paste dots. The fish was cooked to perfection, which is not surprising with Chef John Pettitt in the kitchen.
Marinated asparagus with a poached egg and bacon.
The wine. Mediterranean white - isn't that funny?? I wonder how many varietals this means...
One of the best dessert ideas ever - housemade yogurt, fresh guava, sangria reduction. I adored this dish. The yogurt was fresh, fresh, fresh and with the guava and reduction just was my idea of a perfect dessert!
Ricotta panna-cota, pistachio wafers, blueberry marmalade. Also quite good, but did not top the yogurt!

All in all, this was a very pleasant experience. The quality of the food was lovely and the choices were interesting and unique. The atmosphere was just like being in some Mediterranean villa, though I have a feeling that when the place fills up the tile floors are going to create quite a loud space. Aside from our overly attentive waitress and managers wondering how everything was, we enjoyed ourselves and so did our stomachs.

Cadiz is located at 509 State Street in Santa Barbara. Phone: 805.770.2760