Jodi Jackson’s Hollywood Santa Barbara Getaway Weekend July 14 – July 20th, 2011:
Thursday, July 14
Check into Old Yacht Club Inn:
This hotel is in a great part of Santa Barbara, 2 blocks away from East Beach. The Inn provides bikes for a much needed escape to the breezy beach bike path. There are 2 buildings, my room; The San Miguel Room was in the sister building, The Hitchcock House. The room, complete with a comfy queen-size bed and flat screens TV. A special touch is a very delicate decanter with Sherry in it in your room for your nightcap. They serve a lovely complimentary sit-down breakfast, served in a sweetly appointed dining room. The breakfast menu consists of: Organic Fresh Pressed Apple Juice, Santa Barbara Omelet, Toasted English Crumpet, Apple Crunch Fruit Compote, Freshly Brewed Coffee and Teas. This Inn has old world charm with modern day conveniences, with a very accommodating attitude. If you are a light sleeper then you might want to bring ear, plugs, the hotel is very close to the freeway and train tracks, which runs all night long. I can’t forget Rex the grey tabby who greets you in the back patio, a friendly cat with a lot of charm.
Olio E Limone Dinner:
This well established restaurant in the heart of downtown near State street has all the bells and whistles Olio L Limone means oil and lemon, and they bottle their own olive oil. This oil is bottled in Sicily, which blends three local olive varieties picked by hand from 100-year old trees-Nocellara, (a slightly fruity eating olive), Cerasuola, (a full-bodied and light green olive), and Biancolilla, (for distinctive color and fruity fragrance). The color is green with yellowish tints and it is has a lightly spicy olive, almond and green tomato flavor. The dinner was amazingly paired with 3 three wines: 2008 Babcock Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County, 2007 Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo Valle Reale and 2008 Justin, Santa Barbara County Cabernet Sauvignon. I started with a warm Insalata di Mare Tiepida Warm, Garlic Seafood salad- mussels, clams, calamari, shrimp and scallops with lemon-white wine sauce very fresh and very flagrant. Next was Timballo di Melanzane con Purea di Pomodoro, Eggplant Soufflé, with goat cheese center and fresh tomato-basil sauce. An interesting take on an old standard, eggplant but in a soufflé. Great flavors and great texture, but at the same time very light and fluffy. On to Primi’s: Pappardelle al Sugo di Quaglie e Funghi, Wide-ribbon pasta with tomato, quail, sausage and mushroom ragù. For me very reminiscent of Ragus and Pappardelle that I had when I was in Tuscany. Italian comfort food, with a very yummy smoky flavor. I highly recommend this pasta. The Ravioli d’Anatra ai Funghi – Porcini Housemade duck ravioli with creamy porcini mushroom sauce was everything you would want out of a creamy mushroom sauce. Woodsy yet vibrantly subtle. This one is another winner. A house favorite, Tortelloni di Spinaci al Burro e Salvia – Homemade spinach and ricotta-filled tortelloni, tomato sauce and fresh sage butter. Maybe the Porchini ravioli just stole my heart away; this was good but was not willing to trade bits for my ravioli. The Risotto al Nero did Sepia – Arborio rice, shrimp, scallops, calamari and squid ink was just that a risotto with black squid ink. I know this is a must have amongst the foodies, but for me the color takes away from the flavor, presentation is everything and this one did not cut it. On to the secondi: Costata di Manzo alle Erbe – Herb-roasted rib-eye steak served with roasted potatoes and vegetables. The Steak was cooked to perfection; the accompaniments were of the hook as well. What a great main course. Then the Costolette d’Agnello con Balsamico e Menta – New Zealand lamb chops with balsamic vinegar reduction sauce were skillfully done. The sauce sweet yet sour, delivers the kind of punch you would expect from a Balsamic vinaigrette reduction. The lamb is very tender and a so delicious, an absolute must have. Crème Brule for desert, super creamy and rich, a temptation worth every calorie. These are the great wines that I paired with my dinner: 2008 Babcock Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County, 2007 Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo Valle Reale, 2008 Justin, Santa Barbara County Cabernet Sauvignon, The Chardonnay was great with all the seafood dishes, and of course the 2 reds were amazing with the mushroom ravioli and the steak and lamb. Wonderful dinner, this restaurant is a great way to spend the evening.
Friday July 15
Check in Inn on Summer Hill:
This gorgeous gem is located in the small quaint city of Summerland, right next door to the opulent Montecito. Right off of the frontage road with the 101 freeway and train tracks right outside your door. But the hotel has managed to construct a barrier between the noise outside and the luxury inside. The rooms are very elegant, nice large flat screen, extremely comfy king bed with the perfect 600 thread count sheets. A nice little patio with delightful view of the ocean. The room is very quiet and cave like. All rooms have private baths with whirlpool tubs, phones, granite vanity tops, lighted vanity mirror, instant hot faucet, robes, romantic down canopy beds, fireplaces, flat screen TV combo with DVD-VHS, extensive video library, DVD with I-Pod doc, in-room refreshments, refrigerators, phone with voice mail capability, wireless internet connection available in most rooms and public areas. As well as, luxurious fabrics and furnishings, including original art and antiques, pine ceilings and window shutters. The stunning Craftsman-style architecture creates the feel of home for guests traveling from all over. My great stay was 3 consecutive nights, so I really got to know this Inn’s splendor. Continental delicious breakfast is available in the fireside dining room or on your patio or balcony. There are fantastic handmade hors d’oeuvres with wine, coffee, tea and cheese at 3:00PM each day, and deserts from 7-11:00PM in the same room every night. The outdoor spa is on the second floor and has a great view of the Pacific Ocean. Inn on Summer Hill has received the coveted AAA Four Diamond award every year since our opening in 1989. A romantic weekend or just to be by the beach this property manages to be relaxed, comfortable and very accommodating, one that I will visit as often as possible.
Lunch Summerland Beach Café:
When you meet Jeff the owner you think he is about 25 years old only to find out that he has been the proprietor of this no nonsense wonderful café for 19 years. What ever they put in the food to keep Jeff looking like he is still 25 is working. He offered up his outstanding menu to me the whole 7 days I was there. I managed to take him up on his offer twice and was always satisfied. My first visit I tried The Spinach Salad, called the T.T.F.N., the original O.P. spinach salad with fresh mushrooms, bacon, chopped eggs, toasted sesame seeds, and warm bacon dressing. This salad very reminiscent to salads from the 70’s, very hearty with this groovy warm bacon dressing, with real bacon. I am possessed by this salad. I managed to take some of this dressing back to Los Angeles, and used it very gingerly on my boring salads for about of week. Who knows maybe they can UPS me some in the future. I also am a true onion ringaholic, I have had the best and the worst. These were the best, so much beer batter, cooked golden brown, with a thick cut ring, it really aims to please and it does. The Clam Chowder is full of fresh clams and has a very mellow cream broth, in the true tradition of clam chowder, with just a little more attention to the clam flavor. The fish and chips were moist and crunchy; the same batter for the onion rings works perfectly in this English staple. My second visit I had the May Lambert Sandwich, a Summerland tradition: oven roasted turkey, thick-cut bacon, tomato, and cheddar cheese grilled on sourdough. I was told that this sandwich was part of the original owners menu. Simple but hearty, very good lunchtime sandwich. I also could not resist tasting the Cheeseburger in Paradise their basic burger, with your choice of cheddar, jack, Swiss, or jalapeno cheese. Cooked to perfection, very juicy and flavorful, a must have for hamburger lovers. The Summerland Beach Café offers up home-style cooking, beautiful portions. Ocean breezes, outdoor patios, and friendly service. This 1893 Victorian house at the beach serves breakfast and lunch all day, every day, a great part of the neighborhood, worth a visit.
Dinner Brophy Brothers:
This fun, lively harbor restaurant has the freshest fish you ever going to have. Both the Ventura and Santa Barbara offer up the same kind of fare; fresh, wholesome, and the best seafood ever. You can choose your spot – the full-length bars facing the views and the clam bar, or a window and lean in, or a table inside or out. Wherever you choose to park yourselves, you’ll be thrilled by their sustainable seafood, fresh seafood different menu everyday, clam chowder and fresh crusty sourdough bread! Brophy Bros is proud to have received every Best Seafood Restaurant in Santa Barbara and Best Clam Chowder in Santa Barbara award from the Santa Barbara Independent and News Press for the past 22 years. Brophy’s has also been awarded the SantaBarbara.com Best Seafood Restaurant for as long as it’s been awarded. My dinner started with Beer Boiled Shrimp and Garlic Baked Clams, both cooked to perfection and nicely seasoned. They gave me small portion of the steamed clams in broth, which really made me want more, it was so good. The Local Wild King Salmon Grilled and served with a garlic and basil cream sauce was by far the best thing I tasted, the sauce was so unique and inviting. The Scampi Jumbo shrimp sautéed with white wine, lemon, garlic and a dash of tomato was also delicious and could stand up top the richness of the salmon accompaniment. The best part about Brophy Bros besides the food is the fun atmosphere and the great wait staff, they are fun and very accommodating. If your looking for delicious seafood right out of the Ocean this is your place!
Saturday July 16
The California Wine Fest:
Beautiful setting right at the Beach under white tents, this festival offers local food tastings and wine from all of California. The Lodi wines were very interesting, considering I am due for a trip to Lodi to check out this new crop of wine first hand. Here are the wineries that were in attendance: * Michael-David Winery * Oak Ridge Winery * Opolo Vineyards * Ortman Family Vineyards * Peachy Canyon * Pear Valley Vineyards * Peltier Station * Pomar Junction Vineyards & Winery * Pretty-Smith Vineyards & Winery * Reyes Winery * Ripken Vineyard & Winery * Rutherford Wine Company * Sagebrush Annie’s * Sanford Winery & Vineyards * Scheid Vineyards * Sextant Wines & 10knots Cellars * Sort This Out Cellars * Stacked Stone Cellars * Summerland Winery * Tercero Wines * Thumbprint Cellars * Twin Pomegranates Wine * Varozza Vineyards * Vina Robles * White Oak Winery * Wilson Creek Winery * Windward Vineyard * Abundance Vineyards * Adelaida Cellars * Ahnfeldt Winery * Amizetta Estate Family Winery * Barefoot Wine & Bubbly * B & E Vineyard * Bridlewood Estate Winery * Cambria Winery * Cantara Cellars * Carol Shelton Wines * Cass Wines * Chamisal Vineyards * Claiborne & Churchill * Cole Bailey Vineyards * Coquelicot Estate Vineyard * Curtis Winery * Cynthus * Darms Lane Wine * deLorimier Winery * Edward Sellers Vineyards & Wines * Frolicking Frog Winery * Grassini Family Vineyards * Harmony Cellars * Houdini * Ironstone Vineyards * J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines * Jessie’s Grove Winery * Katarina by Field Vineyards * Kathryn Kennedy Winery * Kenneth Volk Vineyards * Kiamie Wine Cellars * King Frosch * Klinker Brick Winery * Kunin Wines * Laetitia Vineyard & Winery * LangeTwins Winery & Vineyard * Le Vigne Winery * Lion’s Peak Vineyard & Winery * Lone Madrone • Martian Ranch & Vineyards. These were the Restaurants & Food Purveyors in attendance: * Kerrygold Irish Dairy * Killer B BBQ & Bar * Lazy Acres * Lindt Chocolate * May Cookie Company * Monterey Chocolate Company * Nan’s Gourmet Good Pastamore * Olio & Olive * San Luis Obispo Condiment Company * SanTasti * Truffle Gateau * Tanimura & Antle * Union Ale Brewing Company * Butterfly Brittle * Brophy Brothers * Cabot Creamery Cooperative * California Pizza Kitchen * Coast Restaurant * Coastal Products * DJ Seals Louisiana Gumbo Catering * d’marie * El Taco Tequila Taqueria * Enterprise Fish Co * Gelson’s Market * Gourmet Blends • Il Fustino. As you can see there was so much yummy food and drink to choose from, a feast for your eyes and your stomach.
Sunday July 17th
Shell Café Lunch:
Lovely Shelly the namesake of Shell Restaurant was gracious and considerate. I tried quite a few menu items: 2 different soups, cobb salad, crab melt with cheddar cheese on grilled sour dough bread, French dip roasted tri-tip with hot au jus on fresh baguette, Barcliff & Bair Club Oven-roasted turkey breast, thick-cut bacon, avocado, mozzarella cheese, mustard, mayo, roma tomato, & lettuce on sourdough. Quesadillas, Pasilla Quesadilla, Cheddar cheese, fire- roasted Pasilla chilies, avocado & salsa. All of the sandwiches can be ordered whole or half, all very filling. Once again I am a big fan of a good salad, and their cobb salad was by far my favorite menu item. The ranch dressing is outstanding and the ingredients in the salad were all A-1. I will be visiting just to be able to taste that terrific salad again.
Ca Dario Dinner:
This unassuming restaurant is a great find, filled with tidbits of Italy. Chef Dario is on the line in the very hot, very fast kitchen. Chef Dario was born in Italy and as a child spent a lot of time with his grandparents learning about the passion of Italian food. He began his career as an apprentice in several kitchens in Italy, England and Switzerland, and eventually landed U.S.A restaurant. He worked in Prego, Beverly Hills, and Chianti Cucina on Melrose; he helped open Prego in Irvine, Ca’Brea, Farfalla in Aspen and L.A. He finally finally ended up in beautiful Santa Barbara where he was executive chef at Pane e Vino in Montecito and later became a partner at Trattoria Via Vai, Bucatini, Ca’Dario Ristorante, Enoteca Primo and Tre Lune in Montecito. Chef Dario gave me the choice of doing his own tasting for me and I jumped at that great opportunity. He stared with GRIGLIATA D’ASPARAGI, Grilled asparagus, wrapped with pancetta, Parmesan, balsamic vinegar (When available), MOZZARELLA E POMODORI, Buffalo mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, basil and oregano. CARCIOFO RIPIENO, Cold steamed artichoke, stuffed with artichoke hearts and bread, topped with chopped tomatoes, garlic and basil. Then went to PRIMI, PAPPARDELLE ALLA BOSCAIOLA, Flat ribbon pasta with porcini mushrooms, pancetta, and light tomato cream sauce. RAVIOLI AL BURRO E SALVIA, Pasta pillows filled with spinach and ricotta with browned butter and sage sauce. ZITI AL RAGÙ DI OLIVE E CAPPERI, Short tube pasta with ragout of olives, capers, fresh tomato, chili flakes and pecorino cheese. The secondi consisted of: SELLA D’AGNELLO, Grilled rack of lamb with roasted shaved garlic, olive oil, fine herbs, homemade sausage and grilled eggplant. Everything was fantastic! Chef Dario served me just the right amount of food, he could do no wrong, and a great variety, I am sure I will return again and again.
Monday July 18th
Check into Eagle Inn:
This Inn was a great surprise…so lovely, with amazing attention to details. A retreat from the outside world. My room was the San Clemente room, very subtle designs. There is a beautiful fireplace that you can see from the large king comfy bed and from the den. There is a big flat screen in the bedroom and one in the den. The large in room Jacuzzi sit in the bedroom, and comes with Eagle Inn inscribed wine glasses and great homemade chocolate. There is a separate bathroom with a massive showerhead. The outside patio has a table and chairs, which is just perfect for the delightful breakfast that is delivered fresh to your door. The breakfast was so great, flaky pastry with egg and vegetable with a melty cheese. Fresh orange juice, milk, fresh coffee, and fruit and yogurt. The breakfast changes everyday. They have bikes and you are 2 blocks from the beach near the harbor, called West beach. The staff is very kind and will help you in anyway needed. The architecture is Spanish mission style at its best, with beautiful building tiles, and a nicely appointed lobby. This stay was so peaceful, and soothing, I love this Inn!
Killer BBQ Dinner:
Killer Bar BBQ is Santa Barbara’s newest BBQ and Sports Bar. They have authentic BBQ food and all of their meats are smoked fresh every day. They make all of their BBQ sauces from scratch as well as all of our side dishes. Killer BBQ offers many kinds of beer on tap and a full bar. While you are eating, you can enjoy your favorite sports team on any of our eight 52″ HD plasma TVs. This place guarantees to be a very fun and exciting place in a very cool area of Santa Barbara. BBQ Chicken Salad, smoked chicken – wonderful flavors all melted together by the smoky BBQ and ranch dressing. The Corn, black beans, tomatoes, smoked gouda, make for a nice taste treat in your mouth, an explosion of color. This will be a go to Salad for me. BBQ Brisket – very tender and succulent, with big Bar BBQ punch. Hot Links St Louis – a little too spicy for my taste buds, but heat lovers will get into its oh so hot intensity. Cut Memphis Style ribs- by far the best ribs on the planet, they fall off the bone into your watering mouth, which great seasoning and hot tones. I will be craving this dish for a long time. 1/2 rack baby back ribs- not quite as tender at the Memphis, but again baby backers will get into the swing of these as well. Sweet potato fries, Memphis style ribs, potato puffs. Everything explodes in your mouth with try BBQ flavor, 2 big thumbs up.
Tues July 19th
Check into Bath Street Inn:
The Bath Street Inn is very cozy and Victorian, you really feel like you are back at Grandmas house. It offers the traditional warmth and gracious hospitality of a European Bed and Breakfast Inn. It opened in 1981 and became a special place to relax and renew your spirit. I started my day here with a bountiful hot made-from-scratch breakfast served at intimate tables for two in the dining room or outdoor patio garden. They have afternoon tea ready for you: tea, lemonade, homemade cakes and cookies followed by a wine and cheese social hour. They transport you to a time when life was not so frantic, a time of leisurely connection, quiet conversation and gracious living. My hostess Debra first gave me a room that was off the parking lot and not so great, her partner asked us if I wanted to see the other rooms in the inn. There was one room that stole my heart away, its is in the second house on the top floor, with spectacular views and great views and lovely appointed accessories. I switched room and it literally saved my opinion and visit. My recommendation is stay in this room, it’s a long flight of stairs but once in your room, you’re in Shangri-La.
Lunch Café Luna:
Cafe Luna is a great fun lunch spot with a great outside patio and an outdoor pizza oven. A very popular place for Summerland locals. They have great menu items, most popular are the breakfasts. I was there on Taco Tuesday, where the special is tacos. I had that and the Cubano sandwich, with a side of tabouli. Renaud’s homemade cookies and cappucino. Skip the tacos and head straight for The Cubano sandwich, is the most amazing sandwich I have eaten in a long time. The bread is fantastic and the melty cheese adds so much with a great chipotle mayonnaise. Highly recommend this great little charming café. Breakfast is served 7am-12pm, and lunch 11am – 4pm.
Red’s Tapas Bar:
The decor is very hip and sleek, like James Bond meets Charlie Chan in the industrial part of SB. There is live music and the crowd is young and fun. The night we were there the owner served us up some very simple but nice cheese plates and bruschetta. All were paired very nicely with the great wines they serve. Their wine list is very complete and offers up all of the best that Santa Barbara has to offer with a few hidden gems along the way. The wines are local and not mainstream, ones that you would not find unless you came to Reds. This place is great for some small appetizers and wine, make sure you have dinner plans after this, because Red’s will really wet your appetite for more and their tapas menu is extremely yummy, but very limited.