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Santa Barbara: Julienne

138 East Canon Perdido , Phone: 805-845-6488
www.restaurantjulienne.com
Closing day: Monday and Tuesday

Reviewed by: Amy from MA, review #3937

When: 2012

Charming small restaurant serving inventive though thoughtful seasonal food.

Directions: on the corner of East Canon Perdido and Santa Barbara St.

Ravioli with smoked sweetbreads, corn and jalapenos, photo by Amy

I looked at quite a few online menus when planning for a nice dinner in Santa Barbara, and Julienne's appealed to me the most. The offerings, while not typical and often using unusual ingredients, had flavors and combinations that made sense. They do 3,4, or 5-course tasting menus, though since we'd had a late lunch we knew we would not be able to do that justice, and instead ordered a la carte. Several tables around us were doing the tasting menu, and it's a great option because they allow you to pick and choose from the menu.

We shared two appetizers. One was a serving of nicely flavored pate on grilled bread; and we also had a chevre and fig tart with arugula and pine nuts. Both were excellent. We opted to each have a glass of the daily wine specials, both of which we enjoyed very much. My husband ordered the quail, not something we often see on menus. The little bird was studded with wild rice and sausage, and served with lightly pickled broccoli. All the tastes worked together, the slightly gamy bird, nutty rice, salted and spiced sausage offset by crunchy tart broccoli. I had an amazing pasta dish, a perfect little bit of Summer with sophisticated twists. Fresh ricotta raviolis, sauced with smoked sweetbreads, roasted corn, shallots, and a bit of jalapeno. Corn and jalapeno is classic, and added to that the sweet pasta, delicate sweetbreads... it all worked beautifully. Loved each bite.

Sadly, we were too full for dessert. Next time, the tasting menu. We thought the bill quite fair for the wonderful meal. The room is small, so definitely call ahead for a reservation.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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