Sitting down to dinner at 7:30 on a summer night, just before sunset, at the breezy Bella Vista at the Four Seasons Biltmore Santa Barbara was an epiphany. For a minute we felt like we were at the Halekulani in Ohau, with a magical sky, balmy air and ocean waves twinkling from the setting sun.
Romance filled the air as couples sat starry-eyed sipping cocktails or savoring their meals. It was just one of those special occasions when all was right with the world. After Richard’s usual martini and the Diva’s big buttery Chardonnay, we dug into the menu trying to decide from the many luscious Italian-inspired California cuisine courses created by executive Chef Alessandro Cartumini. It wasn’t easy selecting. Did we want a past course? Why not, Chef is proud of his new pasta machine and his black truffle angle hair with grated Parmesan cheese and butter, which we had to try.
Then there was a crispy Branzino, a must that turned out worthwhile and a red snapper special that was superb. We also ordered a tasty mushroom ragu and for starters a perfectly prepare beef carpaccio and a fresh summer salad with heirloom tomatoes and basil. Each course reflected Chef’s penchant to tie in Italian with SoCal with just the right herbs and spices.
We barely had room for dessert, but somehow managed to get it down. Richard has a DYI ice cream sundae and the Diva did a special deconstructed cake with cream that was divine.
Our wait staff was great and the evening couldn’t have been better. Although this time we were staying at another hotel, like every other time we visit Santa Barbara, we make time to dine at the Bella Vista.
If you’re headed to Santa Barbara for a getaway or just passing through on your way to northern California, do stop here for dinner, but make a reservation, Bella Vista is very popular for both the food and the view.
The Four Seasons Biltmore is located across the street from the Pacific Ocean at 1260 Channel Drive, 805-969-2261.