Wine tasting rooms are popping up in downtown Santa Barbara right and left. No longer do you have to drive an hour north into wine country to taste the wines of the region. There are tasting rooms in the Funk Zone, on State Street, the new Presidio neighborhood and even on the pier. So head to the Funk Zone to one of my favorite places…..Les Marchands Wine Bar & Retail.
Les Marchards is a wine bar and a wine shop. You can taste/buy wines from local producers but you can also find wines from France and Italy and other international destinations. It’s a wine lovers dream. After a day of wine tasting, shopping or hanging at the beach, Les Marchands is the perfect spot for a pre-dinner or post-dinner glass of wine.
There is also a small plates menu including house marinated olives, house-made chips, charcuterie, cheese, pickled vegetables and two crostini – white beans with parley, capers and olive oil and marinated white tuna.
But, on a few nights each week (Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday), it is ramen night. Chef Weston Richards hand-cuts the noodles every day. He sources the finest, freshest ingredients and simmers the spicy pork broth for 30 hours. The ramen styles change each week but there is a meat option and a vegetarian option.
Pork Belly Ramen with roasted brussels sprouts and soy marinated egg
Roasted butternut squash ramen with yello curry, coconut milk, tofu and radish
Per the suggestion of our exceptionally knowledgeable server, we selected a light red wine – 2013 Morgon (Gamay Noir from Beaujolais) which paired surprisingly well with the spicy broth.
So when in Santa Barbara, If you want to sit back, relax and enjoy a glass of wine, Les Marchands Wine Bar is a place to go.
Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant
131 Anacapa Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 284- 0380
Ramen is served Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights starting at 5pm until they run out.