Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Gelateria opens on State

Spoon has arrived. The gelato specialist opened a dessert boutique next to the Granada Theatre last month. Spoon is the brainchild of Erin Casey who dreamed of opening an ice cream/gelato store for more than 20 years.
The endearing and enthusiastic Casey, with the help of James Rippel, saw her dream come true on Friday, April 25th.

She had been searching for a small location in an upscale part of Santa Barbara for over five years. Casey found the perfect spot when Victoria Vogue moved out and their space was partitioned to include a new entrance at 1222 State St.
Spoon has been packed with happy customers who come to try the many unique flavors including Rose (it actually tastes like a rose smells!), Nocciola (hazelnut), Zuppa Inglese, Cupido and Pink Grapefruit. The gelato is created by an artisan gelato chef who designs special flavors for Spoon. Casey & company will soon be offering a portable gelato cart for hire, complete with girls in go-go boots and groovy outfits! Call 962-1838.

CANTWELL’S: The popular Cantwell’s Market at 1533 State St is opening a new location in our cozy coastal village known as Summerland. Cantwell’s replaces the Summerland Market at 2580 Lillie Ave which closed last May. Opening is scheduled for this June. Call 969-5893 or visit cantwellsmarket.com.

WINE FUTURES: Enjoy fine food, wine (including special early releases) and music at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse this Saturday, May 10. Elements Restaurant and Bar presents “Santa Barbara Wine Futures in the Courthouse” from 6:30-9pm. The cost is $90 per person and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Granada Theatre Restoration Project. Call 884-9218 or visit elementsrestaurantandbar.com.

RUMOR MACHINE: I turned on the newly-repaired Rumor Machine yesterday morning and nothing happened. No blinking lights. No chug-chug of the ink cartridge motor. Before throwing it out of my home-office window and onto my driveway I realized that my power strip had blown a fuse. An Inconvenient Truth is that I have way too many power-hungry gadgets at SantaBarbara.com’s corporate headquarters.
With a gentle push of the little fuse reset button hidden behind a tangle of cords, the Rumor Machine suddenly came alive and popped out a message that said that California Pizza Kitchen is hoping to open a new location somewhere in Goleta and has a particular interest in Camino Real Marketplace. As always, this rumor might be completely false or a brilliant forecast of future events. Your call.

IT’S HOT: No, I’m not talking about the weather. I am referring to the new Corktree Cellars at 910 Linden Ave in Carpinteria. Friends of mine had to wait nearly an hour last Thursday to get a table and a chance to try Corktree’s popular tapas menu. Call 684-1400.

SQUARE ONE: Charlotte Boechler had a great article in last week’s News-Press detailing the story behind Square One’s recent appearance on Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen.” The producers of the show gave owner/chef Jason Tuley a days notice to dream up the most exotic burger in the world. Tuley had beef FedExed from Los Angeles and $500 worth of Black Perigord truffles shipped overnight from New York. Their creation for the show is now also on their menu, listed as the “$90 Burger.” Call 965-4565.

FLIGHT NIGHTS: Every Wednesday from 5:30pm-8pm the Four Seasons Biltmore at 1260 Channel Dr. in Montecito offers $12 flights of mini cocktail creations. Each flight consists of three different cocktails and each week a different type of liquor is debuted. Here’s the cocktail calendar for this month: May 7: Mommy Dearest (Grey Goose Le Citron), May 14 - Bollywood Bling (Bombay Sapphire), May 21: Baja Getaway (Patron Tequila), May 28: American Spirit (Jack Daniels). Call 969-2261.

RESTAURANT ART: I was browsing the web site for the Santa Barbara Visual Arts Alliance recently and noticed that they had a very interesting list of local restaurants that sometimes show art. Here are some of the places they suggest you visit: Alcazar Tapas Bar, Arigato Sushi, Brewhouse, Blue Agave, Coffee Cat, D’Vine Cafe, Elsie’s, Faculty Club, Fresco!, Intermezzo, Max’s Restaurant, Muddy Waters Coffee House, Natural Cafe, Northstar Coffee, Patrick’s Side Street Cafe, Red’s, Roy, SOhO Restaurant & Music Club, Sojourner Cafe and Zookers.

OLIVE CLUB: The nationally known Santa Barbara Olive Co has an “olive of-the-month club” where you can receive automatic deliveries of gourmet olives every month at a discounted price. Each shipment of three jars arrives in a stylish gift box and the service costs $17.99/mo. Call 800-472-6548 or visit sbolive.com.

SPEAKING OF CLUBS: I was wandering State St. last week and noticed that Tonic is closed and that there is new construction going on inside. I also noticed that the alcohol permit application for “The 300 Club” is no longer posted on the front window of the old Pep Boys location on State St.

BEST OF 2008: Last week I hand-delivered the “Best Of 2008” 11x14 award posters to nearly 100 restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries and clubs. For a complete list of this year’s winners of the annual poll, visit santabarbara.com/dining/best_of_sb.

SPAM TURNS 30: No, I am not talking about the popular canned lunch meat from Hormel Foods which celebrated its 70th birthday last year. I am referring to junk email which marked its 30th year as a world-wide headache last Saturday. The first spam was a pitch for a new computer. “We invite you to come see the 2020 and hear about the DECSYSTEM-20 family at the two product presentations we will be giving in California this month,” read the message, sent by a salesman named Gary Thuerk on May 3, 1978. “This is a clear and flagrant abuse of the directory!” complained one of the hundreds of users on Thuerk’s recipient list in a publicly emailed response. Next month will be the 10th anniversary of the first Viagra spam, which offered a bottle of 30 pills for $500 from a company identified as “America YA Gifts Inc.”

John Dickson’s column appears every Tuesday in the Daily Sound. E-mail your restaurant news tips to info@SantaBarbara.com

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