“Help us embrace the history of a unique and unchanging Santa Barbara landmark with participation in a century-old snapshot of our city’s past,” requests Matthew Bush, manager of the Cold Spring Tavern (5995 Stage Coach Rd., 967-0066, coldspring
tavern.com) as they kick off what they hope to make an annual springtime event: an 1886 Historic Dinner. A buffalo-venison-rabbit chili (and that’s just course one of four) will stew over the main fireplace, which still has its original swing arm. All the recipes, ending with a banana-and-yam cobbler, are era-specific, coming from cofounder Audrey Ovington’s enormous cookbook collection. To set the late-19th-century mood, as if the rustic spot doesn’t do that enough on its own, staff will wear period attire, and horses and mules will be roped up outside. If Chef Moises Bernal’s four-course feast seems too much, just check out the costume party and entertainment in the log cabin bar featuring live music by the Salt Martians and Milo Wolf from Hammerhead Hour. The first Historic Dinner takes place on Wednesday, April 21, 5-8 p.m.