Where: 600 Olive Street, 805-962-5394, arnoldis.com
What: Home-style, family-friendly Italian comfort food served since 1937.
How much? Appetizers average $10, pasta dishes range from $12 – $16. Entrees range from $18 – $30.
The Dish: A perfect way to spend a warm summer evening in Santa Barbara is to relax out back at Arnoldi’s Cafe with a glass of crisp Chardonnay grown on the outskirts of the county in one hand and a bocce ball in the other. Start with the Calamari Fritti with spicy tomato sauce, which has a batter light enough to leave space for your next course and a portion large enough to share among the whole family. The lasagna at Arnoldi’s Cafe is brimming with steamy layers of meats, cheese, and pasta, and could easily be the main course for two. If you are having trouble making a decision, the Gnocchi Tricolore lets you sample three of their signature sauces Pesto, Pomodoro, and Gorgonzola all arranged atop fresh gnocchi to resemble the Italian flag.