Back in 1996, when Stella Mare’s opened its South of France - inspired dining room at the eastern edge of Santa Barbara’s Andree Clark Bird Refuge, Chef Roth Ironside was working his way up the ranks of professional cooking. After attending culinary school in Las Vegas and working in kitchens around California, he came to Stella Mare’s five years ago. Now, inspired by French culinary giant Paul Bocuse and the late local cooking legend Julia Child, Ironside taps into the endless array of outstanding local ingredients to turn out classic French country bistro cooking with flair. Coq au vin, cassoulet, mussels with frites, quiche lorraine, croque monsieur, beautiful shimmering salads, bone marrow with brioche crostini, grilled artichokes, and an array of steaks at fantastic prices are all on offer. It’s comfort fare extraordinaire, especially given Ironside’s staple culinary guidelines: “Season your food,” and “There is no substitute for butter.” There are seasonal cocktails from the bar, plus French and American wines with an emphasis on local wineries. Dine in the airy and historic main dining room (it dates back to 1872), with its sunny yellow walls and high-backed wood chairs, in the long country-style table of the private dining room, or in the greenhouse for a spectacular experience you’ll cherish forever.
50 Los Patos Way
Montecito, CA 93108