That also made the wine a fine foil to the heaping helping of artichoke, golden brown fried in that panko so it almost looks like mozzarella fingers, but is much lighter inside. Clean, crisp, and crunchy. Brava sauce makes you say bravo on the finish, tomato's hearty essence ringing out and bringing some acid needed to the fry-ness of the artichoke. It's so good, you will no doubt sop up any left over with the old school San Francisco-style sourdough (which arrives at the table warm--nice touch).
The Marqués de Riscal Verdejo comes off as more of a country cousin compared to the sleeker Albariño, greener and grassier and more Sauvignon Blanc-y, as it were. Still, it pairs very well with what a GM insisted is a blackened swordfish with chipotle dirty rice, as opposed to a chipotle blackened swordfish. Distinctions do matter, in numerous ways, starting with the dirty rice that had some warming not burning chile heat, a scattering of black beans, endnote a hint of pork (good news, pescatarians!). The swordfish rub offered a bit of a kick, too, but it doesn't hurt for theme to end with an inner glow, especially if you're sitting outside. (And if you can, snag one of the amazing tables outside the second floor bar, as the view alone is worth it.)
Service was flowing smoothly--pleasant, attentive, unrushed. It was a new GM's first day, so if you go in be sure to welcome Annia Bonifaz, who is happy to be back at the Santa Barbara location (Bluewater is everywhere, from Catalina to Phoenix).
Even better, since they didn't feel they got the word out fully about this month's Second Tuesday Tasting, they're going to repeat it next Tuesday, October 17.