Lower State Street giveth and it taketh away: Apéro opened last week downtown in the spot formerly known as Verdé, formerly known as Zia Cafe. Yes, we know, Verdé wasn’t even here a year and now it’s toast. Santa Barbara is a harsh mistress for those in the restaurant trade. But Anthony Van Daele has been thinking of his idea for a while and hopes that his Western European tapas and appetizers way of thinking, coupled with an open-late bar on State Street, will bring in those wanting a late-night bite but not wanting to go clubbing.
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.