In an effort to dine at all 3000 San Francisco restaurants (800 and counting) and visit all 600 Napa wineries(350 and counting), my wife Linda and I recently traveled to Santa Barbara.
From our home in Danville, it is an easy 5 hour drive. We stayed at Bacara Resort and Spa on the Santa Barbara coast offering 78 acres of relaxed luxury. It is located about 2 hours north of Los Angeles and offers 3 restaurants, world class spa, meeting rooms, wine tasting, and some great golf courses nearby.
We had a nicely appointed room and very comfortable bed with pool and ocean views from a large balcony.
The service staff has golf carts that will shuttle you to the restaurants or spa after a day at the beach or nearby Sandpiper Golf course that is known as the "Pebble Beach" of the Central Coast. We enjoyed playing the course with many holes overlooking the deep blue Pacific. It offers 4 sets of tees for to satisfy all skill levels. After golf, the spa offers an extensive list of treatments to soothe your soul and pamper any of your golf aches and pains.
On site, Foley Wines has an elegant tasting room with many of their great wines and daily wine tastings and a knowledgeable staff of wine lovers. If you purchase one of their great wines, you can bring it to dinner for a $15 corking fee.
Angel Oak is their new restaurant that just opened 1 month ago. Like an eagle, it proudly sits high above the ocean with spectacular vistas and sunsets. We ate on the patio of this great place and enjoyed a knowledgeable, attentive and happy wait staff feeling lucky to be working at this beautiful restaurant. They have an extensive wine and drink selection and blankets and gas heaters provided if it gets too cool.
We began this foodie experience ordering one of their specialty cocktails called "Smoke On The Water." It is fabulous and finished tableside with Woodford Reserve Select Barrel, Apple Brandy, Creme De Noyaux, All Spice, Smoked With Cherry Wood.
Chef Alexander Bollinger recommended we try the bone marrow for an appetizer. We were not disappointed as it was cooked to perfection with oxtail marmalade, pistachio gremolata, herbs and grilled sourdough.
There is a wide variety of steaks and seafood dishes all served with warm homemade rolls and house butter made with coriander-lime-espelette or truffle and herb.
We chose to dine on the light side ordering a jumbo shrimp cocktail with 3 large shrimp served on a bed of popcorn, Caesar salad with Pecorino Romano, boquerones, radishes and herbs. We also tried the French Onion soup served steaming hot with a variety of imported cheeses that was the best we have ever experienced.
Since it was Linda's birthday we were advised to try their famous candy bar desert. It was presented with a birthday candle and happy birthday written in chocolate gracing the plate. It is dark chocolate cremeaux, peanut butter crunch and salted caramel ice cream that was fabulous. The couple seated next to us ordered Baked Alaska flamed at table side with toasted coconut ice cream, strawberry elderflower gel and grand mariner that added to the fun of this special foodie experience.
We would highly recommend this resort and on your way home to stop at one of the 200 wineries making great juice in Paso Robles only 2 hours away.
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