Saturday, January 19, 2008

Epiphany Restaurant and Bar in Santa Barbara

My brother is visiting from Sweden and last night we had reservations for dinner at Epiphany Restaurant and Bar while in Santa Barbara over the weekend. We have been there a couple of times in the past for a drink in the bar, but never for dinner.
The restaurant is located at 21 W. Victoria St, and the building in which the restaurant is located, was built in the 1800's. The decor is warm and modern with rustic architectural feature like the brick archways in between the small intimate dining rooms.

After arriving, being seated, and presented the menu, we were served an Amuse Bouche, White Asparagus Salad with Truffle Vinaigrette on Endive. Very light with subtle flavors. The salad also contained Granny Smith apples which added a juicy, sweet/tart crunch to the dish.

Warm, rosemary foccacia was placed at the table with olive oil and balsamic vinegar prior to our starters arriving.

For starter I had the California Halibut Ceviche ($12) which was served in butter lettuce cup. The halibut was tossed with citrus segments in a citrus/sesame marinade, and topped with semi dried, grated, carrots. Wonderfully fresh and delicate, with quite a bit of punch in the flavor. The serving was huge and would have been sufficient as a lunch, or even lighter main course.

The Dungeness Crab Cake ($14) my brother ordered was a big hit with him. Served with a cucumber/radish salad and a chipotle butter sauce. I had a bite and the cake was dense with fresh crab and the sauce added a nice spicy note.

My husband's Celery Root and Cauliflower Soup ($8) was also great according to him.

For main course I just had to have the Cracked Pepper Filet Mignon with Chive Mashed Potatoes ($32). Served with a cognac shallot cream sauce, topped with mushrooms, and on the side tender green beans and carrots. This dish was very satisfying. The filet was cooked exactly as ordered and the meat was incredibly tender and flavorful. A great dish!

Both my husband and brother had the Pan Roasted Herb Chicken ($25) with roasted golden potatoes, green beans and carrots, and natural jus. They both agreed that the chicken was moist and delicious. Not the best they had ever had but pretty darn good...

At this point we were all stuffed, but upon finding out that there was a chocolate souffle on the dessert menu, we decided to order one for the table. The Fire and Ice Molten Chocolate Souffle ($9) with vanilla bean ice cream and raspberry coulis was warm, gooey, outrageously good, and way to small, we realized as we fought over the last crumbs.

Now you can't have a good meal without a good bottle of wine, and last night was no exception. We had a bottle of the Demetria Estate "Jours de Bonheur" Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir. Unfortunately I forgot the vintage but I suspect it was a 2005. The wine showed medium bodied qualities with dark cherry and raspberry with good acididty and well integrated, relatively smooth tannins, and a nice earthy complexity. Quite nice wine that worked well enough with the whole meal (although I would have preferred a big Cab with my steak).

The service was attentive, but relaxed, throughout the dinner and the staff was knowledgeable when asked questions about the wine list. I love when they actually have tasted the wines and can speak from first hand experience.
We will definitely put Epiphany on our list of restaurants that we return to frequently.

1 comment:

Rob said...

Thanks for this review. I am taking my wife to dinner there tonight to celebrate our 7th anniversary, and now I have a little more to go on.

Rob D.
Santa Barbara