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Seagrass Restaurant Review
updated: Oct 12, 2013, 12:00 PM
By Lauren Bray
30 E. Ortega Street
Avg. Entrée Price: $27
Ok Edhatters, are you ready for me to gush about my latest dining adventure? I was recently invited to
dine at Seagrass Restaurant and it was hands down the best dining experience I have ever had.
Seagrass is the epitome of a family-owned fine dining restaurant. It's the type of place that could easily
grace the pages of Food&Wine Magazine while also staying true to their Santa Barbara roots by
incorporating local foods and farms. "Our produce is 100% organic, we mainly use local and sustainable
purveyors," said Seagrass owner Ruben Perez. Restaurant expertise certainly runs in the family as
Ruben's father Robert is the chef and his mother Marianna is the General Manager.
After being seated in the cozy dining room, Ruben described the menu and wine pairings. He described
a lot of chef specials and market fresh ingredients, it made me feel like a judge on Top Chef.
Ok let's get started! Here are the food and wine tastings we indulged.
(Note: These photos are slightly dark due to dimmed romantic lighting.)
A glass of Prosecco and an oyster on a half shell with apple and red wine vinegar migonette.
Seagrass Bruschetta with herbed goat cheese, red onion marmalade and roasted garlic. Yum! The goat
cheese was creamy and the marmalade had a sweet touch. Whenever there is garlic and cheese together
the Italian in me gets very excited!
(Scallop Crudo and Market Menu Salad)
Jumbo Diver Scallop Crudo with andouille sausage, fava beans, mandarin segments, pistachios and a
sudachi mirin chili flake dressing. The wine pairing for the scallops was a Ken Wright Cellars Pinot Blanc.
The scallops were so soft and creamy they almost melted in my mouth. The pinot blanc coated my
palate and played off the scallop's buttery texture, an excellent pairing.
Market Menu Salad with the Chef's choice of vegetables which included pickled watermelon, citronee
dressing and bleu cheese. Pickled watermelon is a must try! This was paired with the Margerum
Grenache Blanc, which was very crisp and accommodated the hard veggies.
The off menu Tomato Cloud: It's a Chef's secret and I'm not totally sure what's in it or how it's made.
But I do know that I've never had anything like it before. It's a solid foam-like texture that melted on my
tongue releasing robust flavors of tomato and herbs. If the flavor of my favorite tomato soup could
evaporate into a cloud of foam, this would be it. The cloud was paired with a Quivira Sauvignon Blanc.
Grilled Watermelon with tomato concassee, pistachios, mint, red wine syrup, basil oil and a waffle chip.
I've seen this on the Food Network and never thought it would taste as good as it does. Smoky and
sweet is a wonderful combination. This was paired with Au Bon Climat's Pinot Gris & Pinot Blanc blend.
(Salmon Mi-Cuit and the Duck Confit)
Salmon Mi-Cuit (half-cooked) poached in olive oil with roasted cauliflower, carmelized ruby grapefruit,
blood sausage and lemongrass ginger foam. Visibly I'm not the biggest fan of foam as it makes me
think the salmon is still alive, but the lemongrass flavor was a nice compliment. The mi-cuit texture felt
a bit like warm sashimi. Wine Pairing: 2010 Navarro Chardonnay
Duck Confit with slow braised pork belly, Brussels sprouts and a red wine sauce. Duck has never been
my favorite entrée but this dish may have changed my mind. This was paired with a Crozes Hermitage.
(Dessert! Chocolate Mousse and Vanilla Lavender Panna Cotta)
Cocoa Barry 60% Concorde Chocolate Mousse with crème Chantilly, citrus segments and chocolate chip
cookie crumbles. Ahhhh, pure perfection with the light and airy texture. This is definitely a must try especially paired with Graham's
30 Year Tawny port.
Lavender and Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with mixed berries, crème Anglaise and vanilla bean tuile. This is
for you non-chocolate lovers who still appreciate a fancy dessert. It is a smooth sweet-cream with floral accents and was very well balanced. Paired with La
Vie Late Harvest Riesling.
After sampling everything above, my favorite is a tie between the scallops and the chocolate mousse
with the bruschetta coming in for a close second place. What is Ruben's favorite? He had a tough time
deciding, kind of like asking which child is your favorite. After some deliberation he settled on the duck
confit but has been recently leaning towards their black cod.
If you're looking for a place to celebrate your next anniversary, birthday, or any other special occasion, I suggest calling
Seagrass. Support a locally owned family-run restaurant with high quality food and service. If drinking is more
your speed, check out their recently opened Taste Wine bar right next door which offers their full menu.
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Lauren is a member of the Dedicated Staff who would happily eat everything again for the sake of
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