Bouchon Santa Barbara: California Cuisine at its best
It is impossible to overstate the excellence of the Bouchon dining experience, truly transcendent in every aspect. Food, wine, atmosphere, and service are all exceptional in their contribution to a memorable evening out. It has been this way for years, which explains the restaurant’s ongoing popularity and the loyal clientele who can count on extraordinary meals on every visit. They are never disappointed.
As is the case in the best restaurants around the world, pureness of ingredients is the foundation for success. Bouchon’s proprietors Mitchell Sjerven and Amy Sachs have the good fortune to own a restaurant in a location where cool and warm climate zones converge, providing a special farming region where the variety of outstanding agricultural products is vast. The climates are also favourable to grapes, which explains the calibre of wines produced in the nearby Santa Ynez Valley.
Both food and wine are presented with great attention at Bouchon, where menus for both are extensive without being overwhelming. Classic dishes such as goat cheese and persimmon tart and scallops served on vanilla risotto tantalise foodies who live for the latest unexpected combination of flavours. Both the set menu and à la carte menu are tempting; wine pairings are listed with some options or suggested by the helpful and knowledgeable staff for others. Not to be missed is the California cheese plate, served in the proper style between the main course and the dessert. Cheesemakers in the state of California are renowned for the high quality of their products; brands such as Cowgirl Creamery and Cypress Grove have won numerous awards and topped countless Best Of lists thanks to the superiority of their cheeses.
Located in a cosy venue just off State Street, Santa Barbara’s principal commercial axis, the welcome begins before diners even get to the front door; Bouchon’s reception desk is at the entrance to the pretty forecourt rather than inside the building. The forecourt patio is a favourite place for dinner while enjoying the Santa Barbara’s mild temperatures, though the atmospheric decor of the interior is just as charming. Bouchon has a special dining room upstairs for small groups wanting to celebrate family occasions or corporate successes in a private setting.
Chef Greg Murphy takes great pride in his work and shares that pride with participants every Tuesday during Bouchon’s Foodie Stroll when Chef Murphy leads a visit to the Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market before escorting clients back to the restaurant for dinner. Though Bouchon is only open for dinner, the same dedication to producing delicious meals can be enjoyed at both lunch and dinner at its sister property, The Wine Cask, a few blocks away in the historic El Paseo complex.