Cocktail Corner: Toasting the New Year

Local favorite band King Bee performs at Dargan's on New Year's Eve, courtesy photo.

Local favorite band King Bee performs at Dargan’s on New Year’s Eve, courtesy photo.

A spirited toast to the New Year!  By Leslie Dinaberg

There’s no shortage of great ways to ring in the New Year in Santa Barbara County! Here are a few options to start 2018 off in style:

King Bee at Dargan’s, courtesy photo.

King Bee Dance Party at Dargan’s

One of my favorite local bands, King Bee, performs a rare New Year’s Eve at Dargan’s. They’ll have a full menu available, including a champagne toast and a filet and shrimp special, as well as loads of dancing and loads of fun! This is a ticket-only event ($10), with limited dinner seating.

Dargan’s is located at 18. E. Ortega St. in downtown Santa Barbara. For more information, click here.

The Bear and Star, photo by Grey Crawford.

The Bear and Star, photo by Grey Crawford.

The Bear and Star’s Jazzy Celebration

The Bear and Star, Los Olivos’ hot new restaurant, which has been quickly embraced by food lovers for Chef John Cox‘s inspired, refined ranch cuisine, celebrates New Year’s Eve with a lively jazz quartet reminiscent of bygone days and a five-course menu.

Begin the evening with a flute of complimentary Fesstivity Rosé Sparkling Wine and Sunny Side Quail Egg, Black River Caviar and Tater Tot; followed by a Spicy Winter Greens with Smoked Lamb Bacon, Caramelized Apple and Pomegranate Vinaigrette; then a course of Shrimp & Grits with Santa Barbara Spot Prawn and Stone Ground Grits. The main course is a Petite Wagyu Filet with Cast Iron Sunchoke Hash, Brussels Sprouts and Bone Marrow Bordelaise. Top off the evening with Dark Chocolate Ganache Cake with Fuyu Persimmon and Speculose. Pricing for the prix-fix New Year’s Eve Dinner is $95 per person, with optional pairings by General Manager and Sommelier Robert Williams offered at $50 per guest.

For reservations, call The Bear and Star (2860 Grand Ave., Los Olivos) at 805/688-7788 or visit OpenTable.com

Outpost at the Goodland, courtesy photo.

Outpost at the Goodland, courtesy photo.

New Year’s Eve 1920s Countdown Party at the Goodland

Party like its 1920 at Goleta’s Goodland and Outpost restaurant’s 1920s inspired countdown party! Wear your best flapper dress or pinstripe suit  and get into the speakeasy spirit. General admission tickets are $10, which gets you access to Goodbar and a champagne toast at midnight. VIP tickets are $20, which includes access to Goodbar and an exclusive speakeasy with a specialty welcome cocktail, passed appetizers specially a live jazz band and DJ, and a champagne toast at midnight.

The Goodland is located at 5650 Calle Real, Goleta. For tickets, go to https://nightout.com/events/new-years-eve-countdown-party/tickets.

DJ Darla Bea, courtesy photo.

DJ Darla Bea will spin into the wee hours on the rooftop at the Canary, courtesy photo.

Get Glitzed & Glammed Then Get Down at Finch & Fork and the Canary this New Year’s Eve

Kick off the New Year in style with dinner at Finch & Fork, where Executive Chef James Siao prepares a tasteful a la carte menu with specials set to festive décor and served with a champagne toast. Guests can also ring in the New Year by taking part in Finch & Fork’s New Year’s Eve tradition, where from 11 p.m.-midnight they’ll be serving complimentary passed bites and offering a midnight toast. Reservations: 805/879-9100

After dinner, head to the Canary’s rooftop for spectacular views and, starting at 9 p.m., the Canary’s Glitz, Glam & Get Down rooftop celebration, which includes a welcome cocktail, midnight toast and sweet bites from Finch & Fork. DJ Darla Bea will be spinning and setting the tone for the New Year! Tickets to the Glitz, Glam & Get Down party at Canary are $110, and can be purchased at NightOut.com.

 The Canary and Finch & Fork are located in downtown Santa Barbara at 31 West Carrillo St. Call 805/879-9100 for reservations.

Champagne, courtesy S.Y. Kitchen.

Champagne, courtesy S.Y. Kitchen.

Ring in the New Year at S.Y. Kitchen in Santa Ynez 

In dedication to the rich provisions found in the Central Coast, Chef Luca Crestanelli and his brother, Sous Chef Francesco, have planned a bountiful and elegant dinner to celebrate New Year’s Eve. 

In addition to S.Y. Kitchen’s dinner menu, start the evening off with a platter of freshly-shucked Kumamoto Oysters with Mignonette; or a Dungeness Crab Salad with Frisée, Mushroom, Green Apple and Pomegranate. For the Pasta course, try Francesco’s hand-made Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Oxtail Ragout and Pecorino Romano. Main courses include fresh Wood-Fired Roasted Orata with Saffron-Braised Fennel, Tomato Confit and Roasted Castelvetrano Olives; and a tender Wood-Oven Grilled Delmonico Steak with Porcini Mushrooms, Polenta and Black Truffles. Finish the evening with an extraordinary Italian Tortino al Cioccolato crafted by Francesco Crestanelli.

Optional wine suggestions by Sommelier Bingo Wathen are also available by the glass or bottle, featuring Contadi Castaldi Franciacorta Brut; Araldica Barbaresco 2014; and Ronco del Gelso Pinot Grigio 2015. The holiday menu items are offered à la carte and are meant to be enjoyed alongside other seasonal offerings and signature dishes from S.Y. Kitchen’s dinner menu.

S.Y. Kitchen is located at 1110 Faraday St. in Santa Ynez.  For reservations, call 805/691-9794. 

Chumash Casino Resort New Year’s Eve Dance Party featuring The Boogie Knights and The Spazmatics

Fill your New Year’s Eve with flashbacks from the 1970s and ’80s as you dance the night—and the year—away at the Chumash Casino.

The party kicks off at 9 p.m. in the Samala Showroom and is free for all Club Indulge members. The Boogie Knights were originally formed in 1992 as a Halloween gag in Los Angeles. Almost overnight, the group took the live music scene by storm. Complete with choreography, polyester, afros and bell bottoms, The Boogie Knights have been proclaimed “The greatest disco revival show in the world.” You can expect to hear covers from Disco sensations such as Heatwave, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, The Bee Gees, Kool and the Gang, the Village People, Rick James and Earth, Wind and Fire.

When The Spazmatics take the stage, you’ll find yourself feeling right back in the 1980s. Complete with skinny ties, brylcreem hair, and horn-rimmed glasses, The Spazmatics deliver the ultimate new wave ‘80s show. The band specializes in music from favorites such as Duran Duran, Men at Work, The Knack, Thomas Dolby, Men Without Hats and Devo.

The Chumash Casino is located  at 3400 Hwy. 246 in Santa Ynez, Tickets for all events are available at the Chumash Casino Resort’s Club Indulge or online at www.chumashcasino.com. 

For even more New Year’s Eve celebration ideas, Visit Santa Barbara has compiled a great list. Go here to to get the scoop!

Cheers! Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on December 22, 2017.

Cocktail Corner: Brunch at the Outpost

Outpost cocktails, courtesy photo

Outpost cocktails, courtesy photo

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg

While I’m not quite one of those people who believe that brunch without booze is just a sad, late breakfast, I do believe that just about everything is better with bacon, especially day drinking!

Outpost, at the Goodland Hotel in Goleta, is a great place to hang out any time of day, but their recently added brunch is particularly delish. Sit outside if you can; poolside is a perfect, relaxed place to start your day with one of mixologist Chris Burmeister‘s creative concoctions like the Oaxacan Bracer, made of Mezcal, cantaloupe juice and lime, or the Corpse

Outpost brunch, photo by Leslie Dinaberg

Outpost brunch, photo by Leslie Dinaberg

Reviver #2, with Gin, Orange Curacao, Cocchi Americano, lemon juice and absinthe rinse (to get you in touch with your inner Van Gogh, who was known to indulge from time to time). They also have bottomless Mimosas, along with Bloody Marys, Bellinis and more creative Chevy Chasers like the Knickerbocker (made of Rum, dry Curacao, raspberry and lemon), the Red Snapper (with Gin, smoked oyster, horseradish, caper and cranberry juice) and the Smokemosa (made with Scotch, orange juice and sparkling wine).

I’m guessing Chef Derek Simcik might have had a cocktail or two to warm up his creative juices when he developed the brunch menu. I don’t know how else to explain the impulse to create a housemade “pop tart,” chock full of straight from the farmers’ market filling! Trust me, they’re delicious! (and I’m not usually a fruity sweet person).

The patio at the Goodland, photo by Amy Barnard

The patio at the Goodland, photo by Amy Barnard

Actually it’s all delicious. We loved the Buckwheat Griddle Cakes, made with candied pecans, white chocolate custard and whipped brown sugar butter; the Market Benedict, with asparagus, Serrano, poached eggs, crab béarnaise and hash browns; the Chilaquiles, made from corn tortillas, avocado puree, crème, chorizo salsa and a sunny side up egg, and of course the bacon, available with a traditional egg, toast and hash brown combo; on a torta with scrambled eggs, avocado, queso fresco, black bean puree and hash browns or as a little something on the side.

The Outpost at the Goodland is located at 5650 Calle Real in Goleta, 805/964-1288, Outpostsb.com. Brunch is served on weekends from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cheers! Click here for more cocktail corner columns. Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on April 17, 2015.

Leslie Dinaberg

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

Cocktail Corner: A Toast to Love and Valentines

S.Y. Kitchen's Valentine's Kiss cocktail, photo by mixologist Alberto Battaglini.

S.Y. Kitchen’s Valentine’s Kiss cocktail, photo by mixologist Alberto Battaglini.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg

Nothing says romance quite like a great bottle of wine or a sexy cocktail. Here are some ways to toast your beloved this Valentine’s Day.

The Santa Barbara Wine Collective has a special Valentine’s Day library flight of Babcock Cabernet Sauvignon

The Babcock Library Cabernet Flight, courtesy photo

The Babcock Library Cabernet Flight, courtesy photo

paired with local chocolate truffles created by Santa Barbara confectioner Jessica Foster. The flight includes Babcock’s 2004 Nucleus Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007 Nucleus Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 Block 15 Cabernet Sauvignon and a special release of Babcock’s “Naughty Little Nectar” Late Harvest Pinot Gris. All wines will be paired with Jessica Foster Truffles and winemaker Bryan Babcock will be on hand from 4-7 p.m. to offer an in depth look at each wine. The Santa Barbara Wine Collective, 131 Anacapa St., www.santabarbarawinecollective.com, 805/456-2700.

Jessica Foster Confections, courtesy photo.

Jessica Foster Confections, courtesy photo.

Chef Derek Simcik at Outpost has created a special “Get Your Freak On” aphrodisiac-filled Valentine’s Day Prix Fixe menu that includes: oysters with pork cheek, green curry and coconut (aphrodisiac: oysters & spicy chilies in the curry); rabbit with soba noodles, red wine, pomegranate, pine nuts (aphrodisiac: red wine, pomegranate and pine nuts); and a special Cocoa Boba Tea made with cocoa and cayenne (aphrodisiac: cocoa, cayenne pepper). In addition, bartender Chris Burmeister will have a number of specialty “love potions” – available all weekend at both Outpost and Good Bar, including: Roses are Red (Vodka, passion tea infused aperol, rose water, prosecco); Violets are Blue (Gin, dolin blanc vermouth, blueberry syrup, crème de violet, lemon juice), Between the Sheets (White rum, Cognac VSOP, Cointreau, simple syrup, lemon juice) and With a Bottle of Booze (Tequila, carpano bianco, Pimm’s No 1, Peychaud’s Bitters). Outpost and Good Bar at the Goodland Hotel,  5650 Calle Real, Goleta, www.outpostsb.com, 805/964-1288.

The very romantic dining room at the Wine Cask features a special three-course menu with chocolate truffles from Jessica Foster Confections (she’s obviously in demand this holiday season). The Wine Cask, 813 Anacapa St., www.winecask.com, 805/966-9463.

El Beso De Luz, courtesy Casa Noble

El Beso De Luz, courtesy Casa Noble

Not every man can serenade his sweetheart the way Carlos Santana can, and the man can also mix a mean cocktail. Santana named this drink El Beso de Luz (The Kiss of Light) as a tribute to his wife Cindy, because the first sip of the cocktail reminded him of the feeling one gets when they first

The Raspberry Kiss cocktail from Eureka! , courtesy photo.

The Raspberry Kiss cocktail from Eureka! , courtesy photo.

fall in love. Combine 2 oz Casa Noble Crystal Tequila with ½ oz Licor 43 and 1 oz Lime juice. Then squeeze an orange wedge over the cocktail and drop it into the glass. www.casanoble.com.

Eureka! is offering both His & Hers Special Valentine’s Day Cocktails. His is a collaboration with Mission Brewery on a version of their Dark Seas Russian Imperial Stout that was aged for eight months in Four Roses Bourbon Barrels.  Hers is the Raspberry Chocolate Kiss cocktail featuring Prichard’s Double Chocolate Bourbon, raspberry gomme syrup, and red grapefruit juice. Both are available from Feb. 9 on. Eureka! , 601 Paseo Nuevo,             www.eurekarestaurantgroup.com, 805/618-3388.

Les Marchands has a Valentine’s Day menu designed to inspire passion. Begin with Oysters on the Half Shell with Champagne Mignonette and then sample one of Chef Weston Richard’s acclaimed Ramen dishes—a Pork Belly Ramen for carnivores or, for vegetarians, a Roasted Butternut Squash Ramen. For dessert, a Dark Chocolate Mousse with Earl Grey Custard, Strawberries, Pistachio and Chocolate Tuile (sounds amazing!). Available from 4-10 p.m. with no reservations required and à la carte pricing, this is a great option for people who don’t like to plan far ahead. In addition, a flight Rosé hand-selected by Brian McClintic MS is available. Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant, 131 Anacapa St., www.lesmarchandswine.com, 805/284-0380.

The romantic S.Y. Kitchen Firepit at Night , Photo by Rocco Ceselin.

The romantic S.Y. Kitchen Firepit at Night , Photo by Rocco Ceselin.

Just over the hill, S.Y. Kitchen has a San Valentino dinner designed for romance. Beginning with a first course for two of a Branzino Carpaccio with Osetra Caviar and Dill Crème Fraiche, guests will share Sous Chef Francesco’s House-Made Ravioli with Porcini and Black Truffles. The main course is a choice of a tender Filet Mignon with Foie Gras, Pineapple and Port Reduction or a Maine Lobster Catalana, to be selected by each guest. Chef Francesco will prepare a Chocolate Trilogy for the table completing a perfect Valentine’s Day evening in the Valley. Plus, Mixologist Alberto Battaglini has crafted his special Valentine’s Kiss cocktail —a stunning presentation of Rose Infused Gin with Lime, Lemon, Rose Liquor and Lavender. S.Y. Kitchen, 1110 Faraday St., Santa Ynez, www.sykitchen.com, 805/691-9794.

Cheers!

Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on February 6, 2015.

 

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”