A farm-fresh wine country meal at Bouchon in Santa Barbara, California

We had dinner at the “original Santa Barbara Wine Country” restaurant, Bouchon when we were in Santa Barbara this summer. It was one of the best evenings and meals we had during our time there. Bouchon is the best restaurant in Santa Barbara, California IMHO! The food was delicious, the ambiance inviting, the service friendly, the wine pairing divine! Put it on your list if you are visiting Santa Barbara, you are sure to be Wowed!

Bouchon, Santa Barbara, California

The wine served at Bouchon is from the valley, the fish from the Santa Barbara Channel and produce from the surrounding countryside – can it get any more local than that?! You can even tag along with Chef Greg Murphy of Bouchon, Santa barbara on either Tuesday afternoon or Saturday morning to visit the Santa Barbara Farmers Market for a foodie stroll. Which is followed by a dinner cooked based on the finds from the farmers market – an evening of Wine Country Cuisine! Market Tour & three-course dinner comes with wine pairing. Check their website for dates, rates and availability.

Farmers Market, Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara farmers market where you can go on a foodie stroll with the Bouchon chef

Bouchon’s greenery-draped heated patio is romantic and reminiscent of a French-country dining room with its warm wood decor, exposed brick walls and flickering candlelight. Owner Mitchell Sjerven, Chef Greg Murphy and the staff do a great job shining the light on fresh local ingredients and wines. Our server was Tony and he lead us through a beautiful four-course meal and wine pairing. He was knowledgeable and friendly and spot-on with his recommendations.

Bouchon, Best Restaurant in Santa Barbara
We started with some champagne of course!

I wish I had written down the yummy wines we had tasted, here are a few that I took photos of including the 20 year old Port wine.

The menu at Bouchon changes with the season. We enjoyed great appetizers including and the Dungeness crab and prosciutto served in a small summer melon and delicate risotto with fava beans, asparagus and truffle. For main courses, we had a pan-seared sea bass, and char-grilled rack of lamb which came with red lentil & Spanish chorizo risotto served with braised rainbow chard and a Bordelaise sauce.

Their signature dish are maple-glazed California duck breast and confit of thigh in a port-thyme demi-glace and a wagyu center-cut ribeye but the chef made me this veggie dish that was amazing. It had shaved fennel, fava beans, celery, mint, red pepper purees and more… I wiped that plate clean! Mr. Suburbia was surprised that I polished off so much food during the dinner at Bouchon!

Special Vegetarian dish at Bouchon, Santa Barbara, California
My ‘special’ veggie dish that the chef made with some mint, celery and red pepper purees on the side
Rack of Lamb at Bouchon, Santa Barbara, California
Char-grilled rack of lamb which came with red lentil & Spanish chorizo risotto
Bouchon, Best Restaurant in Santa Barbara, California
Close up of my risotto with asparagus and mint puree

We finish things off with my favorite – Traditional vanilla bean Crème Brûlée and a warm chocolate lava cake with local McConnell’s vanilla bean ice cream.

Desserts at Bouchon, Santa Barbara, California

A few more photos from our dinner at Bouchon, Santa Barbara, California

With Chef Murphy at Bouchon, Santa Barbara, California
With Chef Murphy
Dinner at Bouchon, Santa Barbara, California
With our friendly server Tony
Bouchon, Santa Barbara, California
My dinner dates

Bouchon’s great location makes it for a perfect stop if you’re headed to a show at the Arlington, Granada, or after some shopping on State Street. It’s is across the street from the new Santa Barbara Public Market. Make sure to add Bouchon and enjoy a California Wine Country meal in a warm and inviting place on your next trip to Santa Barbara!

Don’t miss these other posts from Santa Barbara: Where to stay in Santa Barbara for a Luxe Weekend and fun things to do in Santa Barbara.

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