Thursday, January 28, 2021

Peregrine Supreme at Barb’s Pies Is Umami Bomb


It’s easy to forget the delight, amid the rest of the memorable meal, of bread service at Barbareño. But when that sourdough and fresh butter arrive, it’s a transformative moment, the simplest of food made transcendent. (And that’s part, I’d say, of a strong Santa Barbara tradition: think back to Downey’s Irish soda bread and Sly’s rye raisin rolls.)

So it’s no surprise that the pizza dough from the same punchy starter kicks off the crust to-die-for at Barb’s Pies, which is Barbareño’s sister restaurant “hiding” in the kitchen at the recently opened bar/restaurant Venus in Furs on East Cota Street. What a crust it is, formed into leftover-providing 18-inch ovals, thin in the center but puffed and charred on the edges. 

Care to read the rest then do so at the Independent's site.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Hotel Californian’s Blackbird Is Ready to Fly (well, except for COVID and all...)

 Somehow I never posted this item I wrote for the Indy that ran back in December. Have been doing so little freelance work that I don't remember how to follow up properly! 

But here's the first graph:

Forget fine dining, think clubby casual chic. Au courant cocktails and share plates emphasizing global flavors and local produce. That’s what the recently reopened and reimagined Blackbird at Hotel Californian now offers, both in its inviting red-and-black-tiled dining room and its street-side terrace. Although it’s not easy to remain relevant and COVID-19 safety rules compliant, this edition of Blackbird seems ready to fly.

 Want to read the rest then do so at the Independent's site.