With the stoves barely cool from Citronelle’s July 9 closing, Mark and Jill Brouillard have already converted the space atop the Santa Barbara Inn into Fresco at the Beach. An extension of their uptown empire, they hope to liven up the restaurant with salads, soups, tapas, and other beach-appropriate fare created by Chef Jason Banks.
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Esau’s – one of Santa Barbara’s signature breakfast and lunch spots for more than 50 years – may be forced to find new quarters because the restaurant’s landlord refuses to negotiate a new lease. According to Esau owner Scott Stanley, landlords Abe and Mike Safina have declined to discuss renegotiating his lease at 403 State Street, which expires in October.
“Stick with what you know,” Michael Towbes admonished me over a weekday lunch at Ca’ Dario. A simple statement, one that reflected not only his considerable business dealings, but his lunch choices as well. True to his own advice, Towbes stuck with what he knows, and he knows Ca’ Dario well. The staff knows him well, too, greeting him sincerely. He ordered one of his standard dishes, the LattuÂ-ghette con Gorgonzola e Noci, which is a fancy way of saying a mixed green salad with apple, walnut, raisin, and crumbled blue cheese. I went with Michael’s recommendation of the rigatoni.
Do something for 30 years and you’re bound to get pretty good at it. During his three decades in the wine business, Chris Whitcraft has learned just about every aspect, from selling to reselling to writing. And finally, Chris Whitcraft the winemaker has a roof over his head that’s all his own.
When you train racehorses, you’re undoubtedly used to taking chances. That’s why Bill and Roswitha Craig, who worked with racehorses in Baltimore, didn’t think twice before buying a 65-acre property in Solvang and planting some vines. Their gamble paid off, and six years later, in July 2005, the Craigs opened the doors to their winery: Shoestring.
Arriving in California from Mexico City at age 18, Victor Carranza dove headfirst into a lifetime of culinary dedication. Learning all there was to know about the inner workings of a kitchen, he climbed his way through the ranks, eventually landing at Piatti as chef. During his 13 years in the Piatti kitchen, Carranza developed a deep passion for Italian cooking. But, like most chefs, he always dreamed of having his own place.