Olio E Limone
I am not sure the people at Olio E Limone were so happy to discover that the group of 5 included people under 21. Just a gut feeling.
The restaurant is small and intimate. Very California in feel. Large windows, big wine cellar that opens up to the only room with light painted walls. The menu is extensive but like all good Italian restaurants, the key is what is on the specials menu.
We all had something different and as a whole the food was good. Josh went simple. Prosciutto accompanied with piece of toast covered with chopped tomatoes. The girls had a mixed green salad which was mixed up with roasted pieces of eggplants and red pepper. The goat cheese on top worked perfectly. Lots of stuff so it wasn’t all greens which we like. Fred went with the mozzarella over tomatoes. The mozz was okay but not as soft and runny as I’d like. I tried the veal carpaccio special. Thin slices of veal with tiny marinated mushrooms over the top and then a mound of arugula on top of that with shaved Parmesan and drizzled with the house dressing and truffle oil. Very rich and tasty. Lots of food. I gave Fred half of it. The veal was a bit thick and could have been thinner and or pounded better but it worked.
For dinner we had a mixed batch. The girls went with the warm seafood salad off the appetizer list. They said it was okay considering the last seafood salad they have was at Gotham, it is truly not fair to compare. Josh went simple, angel hair pasta with a red sauce. The pasta ended up like a big mound which is what happens to angel hair if not used with the right sauce. Fred went with the sea bass that had been pan fried served with roasted asparagus and a mound of mashed potato. Good, simple and lots of food. I went with the special of the night, cuttle fish. This was really good but again way too much. Cuttle fish pan fried and served with lots of cut up swiss chard and then finished off with a spicy red sauce. It resembled a stew but there was so much fish and greens that I ate it with a fork. It was very good. The girls finished off what I couldn’t eat. The menu steers towards the Sicilian region of Italy.
We were really full and bagged dessert. As a whole, the food was good. The vibe was nice. If I lived in Santa Barbara, I’d probably return. It seemed to be a place where you can continue to come back, become friendly with the owners and staff and order what you wanted for the night. Like an upper East side Italian restaurant that serves as a kitchen for many people uptown. FYI, their olive oil and balsamic vinegar that you can buy there was absolutely delicious.