Welcome to Parklet City - so many restaurants in Santa Barbara are now offering outdoor dining, even beyond the recent closing of State Street traffic for this sole purpose - creating outdoor spaces for dining that flow into the sidewalk, parking spaces and street.
So our favorite Italian deli-restaurant Via Maestra 42 - at Five Points on Upper State Street near East Las Positas, welcomed us for lunch today at their enclosed outdoor "parklet". Very handsomely done, nicely spaced tables using lattice fencing and planter boxes to block the street.
Always enticed by their "Modena" sandwich for lunch and it again delivered - focaccia, soft goat cheese, some wonderful thin slices of a salami, arugula and a thin white cheese - a piquant combo that always keeps me coming back. So corny of a choice today that one almost hates to order it, but the Tiramisu at Via Maestra 42 is perfect and makes you appreciate what other sad imitators are trying to recreate.
Perfect place to also stock up imported olive oils, pastas, and other cooking essentials for Italian dishes, as well as excellent deli item carryout and desserts plus gelato for the uninitiated. Intrigued by a recent recipe in Cook's Illustrated to start using the summer crop of cherry tomatoes - that calls for capers and anchovies- there they were at Via Maestra - the good imported Italian ones.
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