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Epiphany in Sb: Eh, not so much

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Epiphany in Sb: Eh, not so much

Shortsord | Feb 13, 2008 03:23 PM

So I was in the mood for some fine dining style food, and having noticed Epiphany around the Anapamu Victoria wonder spot for restaurants, figured I'd give it a try. The menu looked attractive enough and the offering of a tasting menu excited me. I have definitely been to some good places in Santa Barbara, and was hoping to add another place to my list of regular visits. I was fairly disappointed, and the spot on my list for fine dining is still well open.

I asked for an explanation of the tasting menu and it seemed that it was just six mini courses of what was already on the menu, so we kindly declined.

The wine list was nothing exciting, but it was refreshing to see some non-Californian wines offered by the glass. I was, however, very disappointed by the waiters apparent knowledge of wine, not knowing that brut and extra dry were different or saying that grenache was a region of Italy.

An amuse was brought out consisting of two crispy wonton, one for me and one for my dining partner. It was nothing innovative, with a soy sauce vinaigrette mixture and a sprinkling of red cabbage, but it was tasty.

I ordered the veal capriccio and my partner had a wild rice, chicken, and garlic soup for appetizers. The capriccio was effectively lettuce with a standard, salty caesar dressing wrapped in flavorless raw beef, topped with shavings of parmesan cheese, miniature onion rings, and with three small dots of vinaigrette alongside. Wasn't very yummy at all, and the supposed truffle oil couldn't be tasted in the least. My partner's soup was a simple broth soup filled with herbs, chicken, rice, and a few hunks of garlic. While the broth had little flavor to it, everything in the soup had some substance and the hunks of garlic were nice, but overall it was pretty weak.

For entrees I had the lamb shank and my partner had the crispy duck breasts. The lamb shank was overcooked , and had minimal natural flavor to it. The red wine sauce it was served in was good though, as were the potatoes and spinach, but complimenting a dry flavorless piece of lamb this was very disappointing. My partner's crispy duck breast was only slightly crispy and she described it as "just decent", while the foie gras risotto it was served on was very good and was between us scraped to the last bite. The plate also had some plain lightly sauteed baby vegetables.

After this we were doubtful we would enjoy any of their deserts, but decided we might as well give it a shot since we were here and still hungry. We had their fire and ice: a chocolate soufflé with vanilla ice cream and slices of strawberry. We were surprised by liking it so much, while this is a pretty standard type of desert, it was done very well and was very good. The chocolate was hot and rich, the soufflé was light, and the ice cream was very creamy.

The service was fine, aside from the wine issue, though we did have our original waiter go home during the meal, and the second waiter we had seemed deathly uninterested in us as customers. Not very pleasant, especially after the food. Bill before tip came to 130 with four glasses of wine and a cognac.

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