When a chef creates a dish, a lot of thought goes into the combination of ingredients. There is a reason why a protein is selected and then why certain herbs, vegetables, sauces and sides are paired with it. At Barbareño in Santa Barbara, the story behind each dish takes it to another level.
Barbareño, a neighborhood restaurant located two blocks off of State Street, is a restaurant that honors the California Central Coast. It is owned by twenty-somthings Julian Martinez and Jesse Gaddy, who read a number of books, including historian Walter A. Tompkins’s The Yankee Barbareños: The Americanization of Santa Barbara County, California 1796-1925, while devloping the concept of the restaurant.
Like many restaurants today, Barbareño focuses on the farm-to-table concept and sources local and organic ingredients. But they also weave history into each dish on the menu. With all of the fun facts that they learned while reading books integrated into each dish, a meal at Barbareño is also a lesson of the history of Santa Barbara.
To begin with, the name Barbareño is an homage to the Chumash Indians. The local tribe had been named barbareños because of their language and over time, a barbareño is a person from Santa Barbara.