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Santa Barbara Costa Kitchen Balances Nostalgia and Newness

Stepping into Costa Kitchen & Bar, the Mar Monte Hotel’s new signature restaurant together the Santa Barbara waterfront, I felt as however I had hopped on a plane and landed in Morocco. As the whitewashed brick ceiling, cozy sunflower-yellow velvet chairs, and lively wall art transported me to a radiant oasis, I took in the comforting ocean views of Cabrillo Boulevard that frame the place, casting the acquainted natural beauty of East Beach front in a new mild.

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“There’s a fantastic harmony between the background and nostalgia of it, and the newness of it,” Chef Nathan Lingle discussed to me of his cafe, which was element of a multimillion-greenback redesign of the Mar Monte under the Unbound Collection by Hyatt that elevated amenities however retained the Spanish-influenced thrives of the previous. “I think the food and beverage form of represent that as effectively.”

Lingle’s “Cal-Mediterranean” cuisine is just as stimulating as the atmosphere, mixing preferences and textures from coastal Italy and the eastern Mediterranean though sourcing as a lot as he can from Santa Barbara farmers’ marketplaces, fish marketplaces, and even honey from the Central Coastline. “Every Saturday, I go to the Ventura Fish Sector,” stated Lingle. “I’m genuinely talking to a great deal of the fishermen there and being familiar with what item is coming in.” 

The menu showcases his seafood enthusiasm. Scenario in issue is the California King salmon, paired with watercress, pickled purple onion, tzatziki, and summer time squash latkes. My mouth still waters wondering about the Central Coast albacore crudo, lightly accented with cucumber, basil, Meyer lemon, and sunflower seeds.

Whilst Costa’s flavors and ambiance are bold, each individual dish is prepared and plated with tasteful delicacy underneath Lingle’s meticulous care. Honing his craft at the Culinary Institute of The usa and later on at the Ritz-Carlton Vacation resort in Naples, Florida, Lingle’s talents led him to positions at the Philadelphia’s Ritz-Carlton and the L’Auberge Del Mar Vacation resort.

“A lot of our inspiration arrives from our travels, things we’ve done in the previous, and substances we see in the farmers’ marketplaces,” Lingle stated. 


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Just take the lamb scallopini. The lamb is pounded slim, breaded, and fried, but the potential fried-meat heaviness is refreshingly offset by the accompanying zucchini-mint salad, with charred feta and smoked chile aioli. The dish was influenced both of those by his mother’s schnitzel recipe and the bounty of summertime squash at the farmers’ marketplace.

“It’s kind of a nod to foodstuff that my mother would have designed,” Lingle reported. “There’s nearly a sort of carpaccio salad with it. It goes seriously nicely with the crisp slim scallopini of lamb. There are a good deal of heat or sizzling factors blended in with cool factors.”

Chilled saffron couscous salad mixed tableside with gems of caramelized onions, dried apricot, roasted lemon, Calabrian chile, almonds, and yogurt, and the house-made flatbread with luscious muhammara beg to be shared and liked alongside your entrees. 

As do their drinks. The pleasant wine listing sings of Santa Barbara County, boasting vibrant beauties such as Stolpman’s “Love You Bunches” sangiovese and Scar of the Sea’s chardonnay. Beers from Figueroa Mountain and Captain Fatty’s movement from the taps, and artistic cocktails these kinds of as the Italian mojito with SelvaRey rum, Montenegro amaro, mint, orange, lemon, and soda start out the evening on a festive take note. 

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Diners can style the sweetness of our town in the innovative seasonal dessert menu from pastry chef Alex Loretto, which features the eclectic sampling of dates from Flying Disc Ranch, or extra basic endings, this sort of as a California olive oil cake drizzled with brown butter caramel, basil-infused peaches, and caramelized white chocolate. Other ingenious choices involve a crème fraîche cheesecake accented with “textures of strawberry,” which include true strawberries, strawberry sauce, and even bits of freeze-dried strawberries to develop an fascinating dessert working experience. 

For these a prominent corner of our town, on an iconic boulevard in the vicinity of the zoo, East Seaside, numerous other lodges, and lots of both of those Eastside and Montecito citizens, there is been very a culinary gap in this place for decades. Costa Kitchen area & Bar is well poised to modify that, as the complete menu is a tour de power for the senses. 

As we ongoing conversing about his passion for Santa Barbara’s deliver, seafood, and outdoorsy lifestyle, Lingle’s motivation seemed pure. “I actually really like telling stories by the food stuff and beverage,” he discussed. 

1111 E Cabrillo Blvd., within Mar Monte Resort (805) 882-1234 costasb.com