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Arlington Tavern Review
updated: Sep 14, 2013, 1:00 PM
By Lauren Bray
21 W Victoria St
Avg Entrée Price: $25
The Arlington Tavern is one of my favorite hangouts. Not only because it is a few short blocks from my
place of residence, but AT offers a tasty assortment of fine dining options as well as the friendliest staff
in the downtown area. (Be sure to ask for Nick or Diego, two of the most helpful guys around.)
The atmosphere is refined without being stuffy, offering a sophisticated dining experience or a casual
bar scene, depending on your mood.
Here's a little history about the place. 21 West Victoria has been the former home to
HobNob, which was open from March 2010 to June 2011, and before that was
Epiphany, which celeb Kevin Costner co-owned. Per Arlington Tavern's website, chef Ron True was the
executive chef at Epiphany where he met co-worker Diego Barbieri. Together they opened Arlington
Tavern on April 23, 2012.
"The food is best described as New American/farm fresh. We buy most of
our produce from the farmers market and fish from Santa Barbara fish market. I try and as much as I can
locally," said Chef Ron True.
Normally I don't have the budget to eat a full meal so you can usually find me in the bar
area with a Xingu black beer and the tartar appetizer. Recently, I stumbled upon a dinner for two
coupon (now expired) and I couldn't resist. With the option to order a bottle of wine, two
appetizers and two entrees, here is what we selected:
Smashberry Red Wine from Paso Robles is 40% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Petite Sirah. A
nice blend that will definitely get you smashed if you drink a bottle to yourself, which I didn't do by the
Salmon and tuna tartar with house chips, my absolute favorite.
Grilled shrimp and charred pickled tomato
Filet mignon with AT potato gratin, asparagus and red wine veal reduction
10 oz. of smoked NY Strip Steak, fries, red wine sauce, and herb butter
Every item was savory and delicious, explaining the packed dining room of smiling customers. If you're
on a budget I recommend sticking to the bar menu and ordering the AT Dogg, a kobe beef hot dog
made on a house bun.
On a personal note, I have to share this great customer service moment. Last year I had a small birthday
gathering at Arlington Tavern's patio. My mother who lives out of town called the restaurant and asked if
they could surprise me with my favorite cake. AT co-owner Diego ran down to Andersen's Bakery to
pick up a Strawberry Fields Forever cake just in time for my birthday dinner. This is the best customer
service experience I've ever had in Santa Barbara and it's one of the many reasons I keep coming back.
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Lauren is a member of the Dedicated Staff and is currently hunting for more dining coupons.
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