Where should you take your dear ol’ mom for Mother’s Day? If you really want to show her a good time and some great views of Santa Barbara, consider El Encanto, which has just re-opened after a major renovation.
The patio seems even bigger than before, the view remains exquisite and the bar … wait, they moved the bar? We had to go investigate the new cocktails and were met by bar manager Emre Balli and bartender Randy Brown, both of whom have a lot of experience under their belts, most recently at San Ysidro Ranch.
The cocktail menu is small, but no matter. The Rocket Gimlet is all about the sharp, spicy arugula that gets muddled with the very special St. George Terroir Gin. Imagine hiking in the mountains, but in a glass. That’s the flavor. Or you could have the Enchanted, a spin of the Collins that uses Meyer lemons, Nolet’s gin, and Art in the Age’s Sage liqueur. Mr. Brown even took us off menu and made us a Pickled Chili, which is full of Fresno chilies and pickled ginger, but surprisingly isn’t that spicy.
Heads up: This Sunday, you can take Mom for a special $95 brunch, which includes endless pours of rosé Champagne. Let the one who made you enjoy that while you order our Drink of the Week. Cheers!
THE ROCKET GIMLET
Several leaves arugula
1/2 ounce pure agave nectar
1 ounce fresh lime juice
2 ounces St. George
Muddle arugula, agave nectar and lime juice in shaker. Add ice and gin. Shake and pour into lowball glass. Garnish with lime and arugula leaf.
Yield: 1 drink
800 Alvarado Place
845-5800 or www.elencanto.com