Monday, February 04, 2008

Seagrass Restaurant, Santa Barbara

Saturday night me and my cousin went to dinner at Seagrass Restaurant, a newly opened restaurant located in the old spot for Sage and Onion (that I miss so much!). Seagrass' chef and owner team is the same as that of Bouchon, a highly regarded restaurant in Santa Barbara. As the name suggest this newest venture has extensive seafood options on the menu, but also beef, chicken, etc.

A small remodeling has been done to the space, with new colors, wall coverings, light fixtures and removal of the bar. It certianly got a face lift even if I did not quite agree with everything in the decor.

We had reservations and were promptly seated upon arrival. Fresh warm bread was served shortly after menus were presented, as I decided on a bottle of Roar 2005 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir with dinner. I have had this pinot before and is was as lush in red fruit and berries with, raspberry, cherry, and earthy notes, as I remembered it to be. Great supporting acidity and tannins, and developed a great smoothness in the glass as it got a chance to breath for a while.

We started our meal with sharing the Seared Gigant Sea Scallop. It comes with a choice of three preperations. We chose the coconut black rice with green curry and spiced apricot chutney. The scallop was perfectly cooked and the curry gave the dish a slight bite countered by the sweet chutney, fragrant from ginger. Very nice dish!

For entree I had the Buffalo Tenderloin with Demiglace, Creamed Corn and Potatoes au gratin. The chef recommended the tenderloin medium rare and it was perfectly prepared and tender. The creamed corn and potaoes au gratin made wonderful side dishes, the corn sweet and flavorful, the potatoes creamy and rich. A very satisfying dish.


My cousin had the Crispy Skin-on Pacific Wild Salmon on Sauteed Kale (or was it spinach?), with Saffron-Salsify Israeli Couscous, Gingered Carrots Julienne, and Beurre Noisette. I tried the dish which was light and delicate compared to mine, but also packed with flavor. Delicious.


The dessert choice was easy as soon as we saw the Warm Chocolate Molten Lava Cake with Cardemom, served with coconut ice cream. The hint of cardemom was very subtle and added a little twist to the chocolate cake. Altough I am not usually a huge fan of coconut, the flavor in the ice cream was so delicate that it only played a supporting role and married perfect with the chocolate and faint cardemom. A great ending to a delicous meal.

Service throughout the night was very attentive but never to much. I assume they have brought over staff from Bouchon or hired experienced staff as the whole evening ran very smoothly. That is unfortunately not always the case for a newly opened restaurant.
The clientel was definitely more mature and we felt slightly out of place to start with. But we soon forgot about that as we indulged in the food. I don't know if this was just a coincidence for the night, or if it is the normal case for this spot. Could perhaps use a little bit more "young and hip" influence to attract an extended clientel.
"Well done" would be my comment for this new spot in the Santa Barbara dining scene.

Seagrass Restaurant
30 E. Ortega St
Santa Barbara
(805) 963-1012


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48 comments:

wineguy said...

Thanks for an informative review! I, too, loved Sage & Onion. But Bouchon is wonderful, too, and I am looking forward to trying Seagrass.

Victoria said...

Thank for your comment! Seagrass is certainly a worthy restaurant of the spot. The meal was truly great. I just read your post on Kris Curran leaving Seasmoke! I love their wines, who is taking over after Kris leaving? I am on the other hand excited to see what that will do to Firestone wines that I really never liked...

wineguy said...

I have not been able to find out yet who is taking over from Kris at Seasmoke. Their website still refers to her as "our winemaker."

You can bet I will post as soon as I hear anything...

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