This post originally appeared on FoodableTV.com
Every year, from October to December, the illustrious white truffle appears on menus around the world. This sought-after item has many spending top dollars just...
I went to S.Y. Kitchen for my first time last summer and loved it. So, when I drove up to Santa Barbara wine country for the weekend recently, I knew I wanted to go back. I remembered that the chef and sous chef are Italian brothers Luca and Francesco Crestinelli and I have actually known Luca from when he lived in Los Angeles and worked at Vincenti and then Bar Toscana. Luca hadn't been there the last time I was in so this time we got a chance to catch up. But, suddenly, I realized that I was surrounded by Italians - the chefs, the bar manager Alberto Battaglini and many of the waiters. The wine director Emily Johnston is American but, like me, an Italo-phile. I almost felt as if I was in Italy.
I took a seat at the bar and started with cocktails (and wine). SY Kitchen is one of the only places in Santa Barbara wine country to get well-made cocktails. And, truth be told, after a day of wine tasting, a cocktail is what is needed. Bar Manager Alberto Battaglini focuses on fresh ingredients and makes all of his own garnishes. There is a wall of jars with candied citrus, herbs and other housemade garnishes. Alberto has created a good menu but really likes to hear what guests want and he has trained his staff to do the same.