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Bagels in Santa Barbara?

Thank you! I know I can always count on you glbtrtr for good local recs.

Oct 23, 2013
WSfoodie in California

Bagels in Santa Barbara?

My husband and I just moved back to SB from NYC. We have yet to find a passable bagel. Can anyone make a good recommendation? We would love to know a good place to grab a quick coffee and a bagel in the morning. I am also asking because I am pregnant and we will be planning a bris for our son. My husband is Jewish and I am not so this is a foreign and kind of stressful event that I will have to pull off 8 short days after I give birth. We will be hosting a small group at our home (10-15 ppl) and will have East Coast Jewish family in attendance who really know their bagels. I was planning to have it catered (or just pick up platters) to keep it simple. I would like to have bagels and cream cheese, lox, white fish, fresh fruit, OJ, coffee, and an assortment of muffins and pastries. Above and beyond just your good run of the mill bagel place, I'd love to get your thoughts on whether there is a place in town that can handle this sort of a request?

Oct 22, 2013
WSfoodie in California

Help me get excited about moving back to Santa Barbara

Thank you glbtrtr for this very thorough list! I knew I could count on you. I apprecite you covering high end/low end and various types of cuisines. Just what I was looking for!

Your comment on the NY dining scene made me smile. This is certainly true in a number of establishments but there is oh so much more! If you ever visit, I will help make you a solid list.

Dec 31, 2012
WSfoodie in California

Help me get excited about moving back to Santa Barbara

After living in New York for the past 5 years, it is looking likely that I will move back to SB in 2013. I am excited to move home to be near my family and all that SB has to offer, but I am a little worried that I will get bored, or worse yet, run out of good places to eat.

Can you help me get excited for my move back? What are some of your favorite restaurants, dishes, markets, festivals, bars, etc. in the area? I am working on my NYC bucket list but want a list of fun places to look forward to as well. Please feel free to include places that require a little travel as well (wine country, SLO, LA). I'm hoping this will start a fun chain.

Thanks!

Dec 31, 2012
WSfoodie in California

Can I reheat devils on horseback?

Thanks again and Merry Christmas!

Dec 24, 2012
WSfoodie in Home Cooking

Can I reheat devils on horseback?

I have had them at a few restaurants and loved them. Did a quick test run this evening and they were just as delicious and very easy at home. I used dates, stuffed with gorgonzola and wrapped with bacon. Just hoping they will hold up in transit.

Dec 23, 2012
WSfoodie in Home Cooking

Can I reheat devils on horseback?

Thank you for the quick reply! This is my first time making them. Do you recommend baking them for ~15 minutes at 400 degrees and then a few minutes under the broiler when I arrive? If the oven is full, would the microwave work? Clearly not ideal but don't want to put the host out.

Dec 23, 2012
WSfoodie in Home Cooking

Can I reheat devils on horseback?

I am bringing devils on horseback to a family christmas party this year. They will have to travel with me for about 2 hours. I would like to cook them at home before I leave and reheat them when I arrive. Has anyone done this before? Any recommendations? Alternately, has anyone ever served them room temperature? What is preferable?

Dec 23, 2012
WSfoodie in Home Cooking

Santa Barbara Rehearsal Dinner/Wedding

Thank you both for this information. Oldtypewriter - curious to hear where you end up.

Mar 31, 2012
WSfoodie in California

Santa Barbara Rehearsal Dinner/Wedding

Thanks Beach Chick... The wedding venue is set. We wanted a little more privacy than the courthouse can afford, SYR is too small, and 4 seasons it too pricey but those are all gorgeous suggestions that we considered.

Any thoughts on the rehearsal dinner ideas?

Mar 07, 2012
WSfoodie in California

Group dinner in the French Quarter

My friend made the reservation and it can always be changed. Thanks for the rec.

Mar 07, 2012
WSfoodie in New Orleans

Santa Barbara Rehearsal Dinner/Wedding

Thanks again for your input. The plans are continuing to evolve. We are getting married over a three day weekend and will have a large contingent of out of town guests so we want to host a couple of events:

As I mentioned, we will have a rather large Sunday wedding at the Montecito Country Club (still interested if any members/guests are on the boards and have thoughts on their food and menu selections).

The day before we will have a Santa Maria Style BBQ up at Skofield Park - open to all guests. We think this will showcase a very local spot and style of food for out of towners. My brother in law is a Montecito fire fighter and has experience cooking for large groups so he and a couple friends will be working the grills (and saving us a considerable amount of money!)

The night before that we plan to have a small, more traditional rehearsal dinner with our immediate family only - 11 guests. Curious if that changes your recommendations at all. We want amazing food/wine (primary requirement) and a beautiful setting/SB ambience. A private room would be ideal but not mandatory and would be nice to keep the budget under $100/person (food, wine, tax, tip, included). We are looking at:

-Bouchon
-Wine Cask
-Julienne
-Canary Hotel
-Stonehouse @ SYR

If we go wine tasting before, considering:
-Cold Springs Tavern
-Root 246

Please send your thoughts! Thanks!

Mar 07, 2012
WSfoodie in California

Group dinner in the French Quarter

Thanks for your replies.... We wound up with a Friday reservation at Muriels. Thoughts?

Mar 07, 2012
WSfoodie in New Orleans

Group dinner in the French Quarter

I am heading to New Orleans in March for a bachelorette party. The group is made up of first-timers and regulars. We will have 2-3 dinners and I want to make they are all fun with excellent food and offer a true New Orleans experience. We have most of the itinerary figured out so far, but I am looking for recommendations for Friday night. We are looking for a French Quarter restaurant that would be fun for 10 women in their late 20s and early 30s with entrees in the $25 range. If you have bar recommendations afterward that would be a plus. Here is the itinerary so far:

-Thursday night - Herbsaint (only half the group will be in town for this one)
-Friday night - Looking for a rec in the FQ - a local friend recommended Muriels, NOLA, Bourbon House or Stella (dont want to spend that much if we can avoid it)
-Saturday night - Dick and Jenny's and then out to some nearby spots to hear live music

Please let me know your thoughts for Friday and if you have any comments on the rest of the itinerary. Thanks!

Jan 18, 2012
WSfoodie in New Orleans

$100 gift certificate to fun resto in SF

Hello, I'm a NYC Hound looking for a good xmas gift for my future brother in law and his wife. They live in the Twin Peaks section of SF and will be moving soon to nearby Livermore. I would like to give them a $75-100 gift certificate to a fun resto with good food. The certificate doesnt have to cover the entire bill for two but I would like it to cover a good chunk so nothing too pricey. They are not really foodies so I want something good but not too adventurous or crazy.
Thanks in advance for your help.

Dec 14, 2011
WSfoodie in San Francisco Bay Area

Santa Barbara Rehearsal Dinner/Wedding

Thank you both for your input. I have made some progress since my last post. It is looking like we will have a very large wedding and because we have so many out of town guests we'd like to keep things close to S.B. We are very close to booking the Montecito Country Club which shockingly was the least expensive option we found (including a public park). They do require that we use their internal catering/bar staff . I have heard the food is quite good. Does anyone have personal experience with it?

As for rehearsal dinner, we would like to keep it pretty small. SYR will be a front runner if we can afford it but most likely not. My sister did her rehearsal dinner at Stella Mares so although I loved it, I would like to do something else. The Canary Hotel seems like a front-runner at the moment and knowing it is Chow approved means a lot! I will also look into SBCC.

On a side note, I have always loved the El Paseo space and am glad to hear their food/service is starting to catch up. In the past, it was usually disappointing and inconsistent. I wholeheartedly agree on the Julienne recommendation! I plan to include it on my wedding website as a recommended stop for out of towners.

Thank you both again!

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Stella Mare's
50 Los Patos Way, Santa Barbara, CA 93108

El Paseo Restaurant
10 El Paseo, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Sep 21, 2011
WSfoodie in California

Santa Barbara Rehearsal Dinner/Wedding

I'm originally from Santa Barbara and have lived in NYC for the last four years. My time out here has definitely made me a foodie. I love researching and trying new restaurants, drinking amzing wine, and cooking. I just got engaged and know that I want to do my wedding back home in SB. Can some locals hounds help me think of an amazing place for a rehearsal dinner (probably no more than 30 people)? I care about food and service first and foremost but will also have a lot of out of town guests who will be visiting for the first time so a beautiful setting/view would be a plus. I would also appreciate recommendations for an amazing wedding caterer. We would like to do an outdoor venue, estate, or winery but havent locked in the exact location just yet.

Sep 05, 2011
WSfoodie in California

Dinner(s) for my boyfriend's 30th Birthday with great beer list

We are booked for Bo Ssam this Saturday. Thank you!

Jul 27, 2011
WSfoodie in Manhattan

Dinner(s) for my boyfriend's 30th Birthday with great beer list

Thank you for the thorough recs, sugartoof. I think Back Forty does sound like a good option. Has anyone tried their large format menu (ordering a whole pig, lamb, etc)? Any feedback on that option?

Bo Ssam looks great but the times are a little odd. You can only book at 5:45 or 11 on Saturdays, but it could be a good early option before meeting up with a larger group. nmprisons - have you tried it? Is it good?

If anyone has thoughts on the dinner for two, that would be great as well. Thanks again!

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Back Forty
190 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

Jun 01, 2011
WSfoodie in Manhattan

Dinner(s) for my boyfriend's 30th Birthday with great beer list

I am looking for recommendations for my boyfriend's 30th birthday. I am thinking it will be a two-part celebration and would love input on either segment:

1) I would like to take him out to dinner - just the two of us - on his actual birthday. I have been wanting to try Degustation but I am thinking that may seem more like a present for me since I am a little bit more of a foodie/oenophile than he is. We are both adventurous eaters, and he is appreciative of many types of food but probably wouldn't want anything too fussy. I did Luger's last year which he really enjoyed. He tends to appreciate either straightforward food like that or something very different. He really likes spicy food and trying new cuisines. I am willing to spend up to $250, but if there is a great option for less, I am certainly open to that as well.

2) I would also like to do a group dinner the weekend after his birthday for approx. 10 people. After scouring the boards for ideas, I think a large format feast could be fun. Has anyone tried Breslin, Back Forty, or Resto? Back Forty looks the least expensive which is appealing. If someone has tried this, I would be interested to hear what it was like and what the bill ended up being per person incl. drinks, tax, tip. I am also open to other recommendations with good food and an impressive beer list. He loves trying new local beers. Would prefer to keep it around $60/person all included if at all possible so a good BYOB would be even better. Bonus if you can recommend a cool, laid back bar near the recommended restaurant where some more friends could meet up with us after dinner.

We live on the UWS so prefer staying in Manhattan (downtown, West side preferred) but would be willing to go to the East side or to an easily accessible part of Brooklyn as well. Thank you!

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Resto
111 East 29th Street, New York, NY 10016

Back Forty
190 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

The Breslin
20 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001

May 31, 2011
WSfoodie in Manhattan

Boozy Brunch Ideas

So.... I tried Sunburnt Calf on the UWS for brunch with a few friends. Although my first experience with Sunburnt Cow was underwhelming, I trust Chowhounders enough to give it another try. I have to say I remain unimpressed and got the same sense from my friends who were visiting from Chicago and have been wow'ed by all of our other NYC culinary experiences.

I will give the SC credit for certainly making it boozy. We took advantage of the unlimited drinks brunch special. On top of the bloody mary's, mimosas, and beers we ordered, we were given many shots of some fruity tequila concoction (not very good). I will also give them credit for service. The bartender and waitstaff were adorable australian guys who were very friendly and charming.

After that, I don't have much good to say. The bar area is kind of dark and awkward and the back area was a stroller parking lot. The menu was pretty limited and the food was just okay. The bloody marys are something you would get at a parking lot tailgate.

I think this place would be great for a group of young, single girls who aren't that into food. They can sit at the bar, flirt with the bartender, and get wasted. I will not be rushing back anytime soon.

Mar 10, 2010
WSfoodie in Manhattan

Has anyone been to Bar Blanc recently?

Thank you for the recommendation. I had actually been to Barbuto already so I decided to try Perilla. I have been wanting to go for a long time now and was not disappointed.

We arrived on the early side and they were able to seat us right away. The ambience was a little romantic but after a loud boozy brunch at the new Sunburnt Calf, we were fine with a more relaxed atmosphere. The service was knowledgeable and informative but still laid-back which I enjoy...The four of us started with the duck meatballs and crispy calamari which were both stand-out. The calamari had a tempura-like coating and wonderful Asian flavors. The duck meatballs were fantastic. I loved the quail egg and mint cavatelli. The flavors reminded me a bit of Babbo's mint love letters.

I choose the rabbit entree, as did my friend's husband, my friend had the pompano, and my boyfriend had the duck. We were all very happy and impressed with our selections...though unfortunately I didn't get a taste of the fish.

The rabbit was tender and amazing. All of the flavors worked very well together and I loved the cabbage "bon bon" on the side. The only element I did not enjoy was a tough piece of what I think was rabbit hidden under a light salad on the other side of the plate. That said, I had plenty else on my plate to keep me happy -and to fill me up - so I was not really disappointed by the one miss. I tasted the duck which was also very tender and well flavored, and my friend scarfed her pompano raving about the curry sauce.

My friends (in from Chicago) were very impressed and said they can't remember the last time they had such a good meal. Perhaps my favorite part, and something I think sets Perilla apart from other great restaurants in the City, was the price tag. The group had two apps, four of the most expensive entrees on the menu, and two bottles of wine and the check was under $200! I truly appreciate a nice restaurant that provides some variety on the wine list. I hate when you are going for a good meal but nothing special occassion and you can't get anything for under $50 a bottle.

Kudos to Perilla for getting it right.

Mar 08, 2010
WSfoodie in Manhattan

Restaurants everyone loves--except you

Alta! I am so shocked by all the great reviews both on NY Mag and Chowhound. I usually think the Chow boards are pretty reliable. The food was oily and sugary and came out way too fast!

Mar 02, 2010
WSfoodie in Manhattan

Artisanal cocktails UWS?

Thank you! I will keep those in mind. I have a lot of houseguests coming soon so I will need some good options in the hood.

Mar 01, 2010
WSfoodie in Manhattan

UWS or Hells Kitchen Bar for 40+ people where we can take over a back room?

Good to hear. I went there recently and it was packed... I was beginning to regret my recommendation. Hope it is a good party!

Mar 01, 2010
WSfoodie in Manhattan

Artisanal cocktails UWS?

Thank you. We met up with the group last night at 81 (I had the same thought about going there shortly after posting). We had the place to ourselves which was okay because there was 10 of us. They had last call around 11 so we headed over to Barbao for another one. The group seemed to like the vibe and drinks at Barbao a bit better but all in all it was a success.

Feb 21, 2010
WSfoodie in Manhattan

Artisanal cocktails UWS?

No kidding! We definitely do. Thanks for the recommendation!

Feb 19, 2010
WSfoodie in Manhattan

Boozy Brunch Ideas

Slated for April 1, I believe, with special events in the interim to genrate some buzz.

Feb 19, 2010
WSfoodie in Manhattan

Boozy Brunch Ideas

I will give it another try. They are opening the Sunburnt Calf a few blocks from my house. Agree on the crowd at Essex. I personally really enjoyed the Aristocrat dish but that is all I have had there.
As for Calle Ocho, I went there for dinner once and was also annoyed by the crowd. Is the brunch scene better?

Feb 19, 2010
WSfoodie in Manhattan

Boozy Brunch Ideas

A lot of people love Sunburnt Cow. I believe they have an $18 all you can drink brunch. I went and was somewhat unimpressed with the food but it might have been an off-day. I like Essex (The Aristocrat is great) but it is always a loud, crowded scene so you have to be in the mood.

Feb 19, 2010
WSfoodie in Manhattan