There is a fairly new place in Santa Barbara called Square One. My friend went and wrote this great reveiw and gave me permission to post it.
Square One got a mixed review from us. The interior was nice, but a bit too stark for me (which means it's probably too stark for most everyone). I liked the light fixtures, and a few pieces of artwork would have solved the problem. There was not much on the menu that sounded great, can't say for sure why. So Mom and I had salmon and my husband had the filet. The presentation was very artsy and they got bonus points for it. Mom especially liked how creative they were. The meals were served on rectagular plates that gave an slight Asian influence. The meals were laid out to make the most of the shape of the plates. Our salmon was in three sections (square shapes) of exactly the same thing: garlic mashed potatoes with salmon on top, with diced pieces of fingerling potatoes (kind of like french fries) and a twig of green between. It didn't look like much food because it was divided up into 3 small sections, but it was more that it looked like and I was stuffed by the time I was done. It was great and tasty, the garlic mashed potatoes added just the right flavor with the salmon. The salmon was done med-rare. Mom and I agreed it was missing a green veggie. Neither of us had ordered a salad.
My husband got the filet. It came pre-sliced thinly and sitting on a brown sauce with three tiny rectangular white square bowls lined up across the top of the rectangular plate. It had a small amount of pureed asparagus, creamed corn and something else like sauteed ham in them. It looked artsy, but he wasn't that crazy about it. I think it was tasty, but he wanted to cut the filet, I guess it was a manly thing. The things in the little bowls didn't look too appetizing to me.
They didn't have a full liquor licsence, so my husband had a beer and mom and I had wine. We both wanted a Merlot, but there was none by the glass on the menu, so we asked about it. The waiter suggested another type of wine (Spanish? I don't remember the type) that he said drank like a Merlot. It was the cheapest on the menu $7 and was excellent. The waiter was great, happy and helpful, but didn't overdo it.
For dessert my husband had the Bananas Foster (we all had bites). It was excellent, the bananas were deep fried in a light batter, not sauteed. It was served on a caramel sauce, but the best part was the coconut ice cream. yum.
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