Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dinner time at Sesto Senso

They opened last December at 1026 Coast Village Rd. near Vons in Montecito as a wine & carpaccio bar. Last week the popular Sesto Senso added the word “Ristorante” to their large wood sign above the doorway, responding to the wishes of their many fans. You can now enjoy Italian & Californian cuisine Sun-Wed 5-10 p.m., Thu-Sat 5 p.m. to midnight. Sesto Senso is brought to you by the husband-wife team Alberto & Michelle Mastrangelo, owners of Epiphany Restaurant & Bar downtown.

Michelle wrote to me recently about the changes at Sesto Senso: “Many of our guests have told us that prior to visiting us they were not aware that we even had food and had the impression that we were a wine bar/tasting room. We love great wine but also love great food, so we wanted to make a place where you can enjoy both and can select to have appetizers “tapas” or a full dinner. It was our intention to create an affordable, ambient destination in Montecito for those looking for something different. Most importantly we listened to what our customers wanted and dinner it was!”
The new dinner menu includes Wild Pacific Salmon $14, Diver Scallops $14, Rack of Lamb $18, Filet Mignon $18, Wild Mushroom Risotto $12 and Fancy Mac & Cheese $9. For more information call 565-1956.

I LOVE SANTA BARBARA: And apparently so does the popular Chinese restaurant chain P.F. Chang’s. I heard whisperings a few weeks ago that Chang & Co has an eye on the South Coast so I decided to call their media relations department. As soon as I identified why I was calling, the kind lady on the phone said “I love Santa Barbara.” I then asked her if P.F. Chang’s loves Santa Barbara too. She told me that they are interested in opening a location in the Santa Barbara area and have sent representatives to our area to scout for a location. No leases have been signed at this point.

SUNDAY BRUNCH: Giannfranco’s Trattoria at 666 Linden Ave. in Carpinteria now offers a brunch menu on Sundays (adults $20/person, children $15/person). Brunch starts at 11 a. m. and includes a frittata omelet served with fresh fruit and choice of crisp green salad or classic Caesar salad. Lunch includes traditional Italian-style panini sandwiches and a selection of entree salads & pasta dishes. For reservations call 684-0720.

SUMMER SESSIONS: Chad’s Restaurant at 625 Chapala St now has live music on their heated patio every Thursday & Friday evening. Also enjoy Happy Hour from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Dinner starts at 5:30 p.m. until closing. Call 568-1876.

ANACAPA UPDATE: I stopped by the 600 block of Anacapa St. to see the construction progress of Bollinger’s (602 Anacapa St.) and The Melting Pot (608 Anacapa St.) It appears Bollinger’s has made a lot of progress but still has a few months to go. The Melting Pot, on the other hand, doesn’t appear to have started construction yet. The Melting Pot’s web site still lists 608 Anacapa St in Santa Barbara as a future location.

HLC AGENDA: I took a look at the May 28th agenda for the Historic Landmarks Commission (HLC) meeting that is posted on the City of Santa Barbara’s web site and found two items of interest:

• 801 State St (Piranha Restaurant & Lounge) - “Proposal to construct a 1,080 square foot third story addition and add 607 square feet of additional basement floor area for mechanical and accessory use in an existing commercial building located in El Pueblo Viejo Landmark District. The project consists of alterations and additions comprised of two new kitchens, two bars, 961 square feet of third story outdoor patron seating, and new patron seating in the basement, which was formerly used as a commercial kitchen and storage. The project will result in a structure that is a maximum of 35’-0” tall at the roof ridge line.”

• 928 State St. (former Pier 1 Imports & alleged future Apple store site) — “Proposal to remove an existing 4,375 square foot interior mezzanine and stairwell and the replacement of an existing elevator and stairs with new elevator and stairs at the rear of the building. Also proposed is a new secondary exit stair at the northeast corner of the building and construction of 3,706 square feet of new second story floor area. The existing north and south parapet wall will be raised to the height of the existing tile roof. The rear facade improvements include the relocation of the secondary exit door, restoring the existing rear door, and the addition of seven new windows.”

SPEAKING OF APPLE: Yesterday Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs introduced the next generation version of their wildly popular iPhone (I own one – they rock). The new phone, called the “iPhone 3G,” will be available starting July 11th. Some of its many new features include high speed wireless Internet (the current iPhone uses slow speed Internet), maps with GPS (find your location and track your progress along a route) and 3rd party software support (you can now add thousands of software programs to your iPhone, including video games). It’s affordable too with prices starting at just $199 (1/3rd the cost of the original iPhone).

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

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