Bouchon – Santa Barbara, California: If you want to experience the good life in Santa Barbara, Bouchon is a good place to start. This restaurant, aptly named “wine cork” in French, is not just any typical upscale restaurant. Serving innovative Central Coast cuisine, it represents the finest that Santa Barbara has to offer in terms of local produce, as well as an extensive array of exclusively local wines. It serves regional specialties such as organic pork chops, farm-raised venison, and Pacific ahi tuna.
The restaurant is very casual yet intimate, relaxed and comfortable, as you would expect from laid-back California. It has a country, rustic-chic look complete with barnyard touches and an open line kitchen. The service is just as homey as the place; they really make us feel welcome.
We had bourbon and maple-glazed California duck breast and pomegranate-marinated char-grilled rack of lamb – both were AMAZING! You can’t get those kinds of dishes from anywhere else (at least not that good) but California. Our dessert was a delicious warm chocolate molten lava cake and a huckleberry and blueberry upside-down cake with a California lemon zest ice cream. At the end of our meal, our waiter did an amazing job of pairing a 20-year and 30-year Port with a selection of local cheeses. The experience was simply Fantastic Bombastic!