The Olio empire in Santa Barbara does not disappoint. Their newest addition to their fine dining restaurant and their pizzeria is the Olio Crudo Bar. Beautiful shades of amber fill the small space. Though quite pricey, the food is excellent. Olio treats ingredients with respect and sticks to simplicity.
Instead of bread, you receive these very light toasts which go perfectly with their sashimi and raw dishes as well as their cooked ones.
The Polipo, seen above, was delectable. The octopus was the perfect consistency. None of that super chewy, not-so-fresh seafood here. Placed on new potatoes, thinly sliced aside a frisée lettuce pile lightly dressed in olive oil and lemon. Lightly sprinkled with spicy Controne pepper, each bite was a delight.
The Hamachi (Yellowtail) carpaccio was also very fresh as anything raw should be. Lightly dressed in a soy-ginger sauce.
A true classic, Vitello Tonato is a true test of Italian cooking. The tuna sauce was light and creamy and the veal ever so thinly sliced. Together - yum.
Pictured above is their Creamy Burrata mozzarella, American paddlefish caviar, crumbled egg, red onion, and chives. I have never had a flavor combination like this before. Who knew caviar and mozzarella married so well! A wonderful surprise and one I highly recommend.
If you are willing to spend a little more and you are not starving, Olio Crudo Bar is a gourmet goody. They have a full bar with twists on classic cocktails.
Olio Crudo Bar
11 West Victoria Street
Open daily from 5:00pm