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Maggies
[closed, no longer in business]

1201 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 770-2700


Reviews by the General Public

no wonder it closed, 10/23/2013
Reviewer: Margo from Santa Barbara, CA
Not surprised it closed. I work downtown, never saw many people in there for lunch, and I would never pay over 10.00 for a hamburger...Miss State and A when Gary Lynd owned it.


So over priced and such a old fashion dark decor., 9/13/2013
Reviewer: Marcy from Santa Barbara, CA
I just was shocked by how I was in Santa Barbara and yet I felt like I was dining at a assisted living dinning room in Idaho. Well, maybe older people like a 80 year old would like it. The food was not that good. French? no California? no I don't think they know who they are.


Didn't know what to expect, March 17, 2013, 5/20/2013
Reviewer: Julie from Santa Barbara, CA
After reading reviews on various websites I wasn't sure what to expect at Maggie's. We started with happy hour drinks at the bar. Nick the bartender was very friendly & helpful and made a mean lemon drop and gin martini. I do have to say some of the decor is not to my taste, such as the tapestries on the wall, but it won't keep us from returning. My husband started with a vegetarian mushroom dish that he said was delicious. He had the coq au vin and I had the pork loin for our main courses. They were both really tasty. Our waiter, Jeff, did a wonderful job and had excellent recommendations. Will, who assisted the bar tender and our waiter also did a great job. After this experience we will be back.


Loved Happy Hour Menu & Drinks
Reviewer: Ellen from Santa Barbara, CA
Different, delicious, delightful! We two seniors, mother and daughter, arrived at Maggie's at the end of Happy Hour and decided to sit at the little bar outside, looking into the restaurant. Wow! This is not typical Santa Barbara! We were treated to a view of a beautiful space with tapestries, chandeliers and other European-inspired details. Our friendly bartender, Nick, took our orders - two appetizers, house wine and a margarita. The house wine was excellent - the couple sitting next to us agreed and were already enjoying their second glass of wine and second round of appetizers. The margarita (on the rocks) was classically good, as well. We had the meatballs and pork wraps, which we shared. Loved the crepe wrapping of the pork wraps as well as the filling which was surprising light and fresh, and the meatballs (we thought it was a generous serving) had a little bite which wasn't too much and was complimented by a wonderful smooth cheesy marinara sauce. Next time we might ask for/order bread with the meatballs. This was a delicious dinner for the two of us. The service was friendly but unobtrusive - Nick left us alone unless we engaged him in conversation, but was still attentive. It wasn't noisy, we were comfortable, the setting was beautiful, the drinks were generous and good, the food was delicious and the service was perfect. We will be back! A suggestion would be (if not already happening) to have at least one of the patio heaters obviously on on cooler days/nights so people can see it from the street. The location and patio are wonderful assets Also, the name "Maggie's" doesn't seem to go with the restaurant ambiance, food or style... "Maggie's" sounds to us like a diner or coffee shop.


Didn't work - needs serious intervention - Calling Gordon
Reviewer: Jinelle from Santa Barbara, CA
This is the sort of restaurant story that needs to be part of a TV reality make-over. The owner's wife obviously, cares but the whole effect is clueless. Hard, bare marble tables are harsh, noisy, creepy and create tension about thoughts of tipped, shattered glasses and clattering silverware immediately after one is seated. Cheap, light weight "silverware" adds nothing to those unwelcomed first impressions. Lots of staff who have obviously been trained to fuss and hope this passes off as dining sophistication, but comes across as annoying and ultimately helpless with a good dose of attitude if you actually do ask for remediation of the far too many failures of execution. Food was only mediocre and remarkably inconsistent even in proper service temperature which in inexcusable and probably not even safe, considering how few diners there were that evening.This is a missed opportunity at this location and I hope Maggie's gets nominated for a make-over TV failing restaurant show, because someone spent a lot of time, money and even a lot of love trying to do something here --but it is just out of control going off in too many directions and ultimately fails primarily job number one: an inviting dining experience that makes one want to return. Grade F on that one, Maggie. Sorry. Where is Gordon Ramsey when you need him??


Bizarre
Reviewer: Sophia from Santa Barbara, CA
I have been wanting to try this place for a while, out of sheer curiosity - the crazy decor (Russian? Orange County? Emirates?) and the aspirational menu are so out of whack with what we expect in Santa Barbara that I knew it would be fun. First,you have to see this place from the inside to appreciate the monumentally poor taste that drives this restaurant. Think marble inlays on the walls, crystal chandeliers, faux finishes and more marble to top it off. It was actually fun in a Madonna Inn kind of way. Second, the menu is aspirational (an odd mix of French-American and American, think escargot and gourmet burgers), but the food is not bad. The salad I had was very salty, and the lettuce/microgreen mix was on the wrong side of fresh, but it was far from inedible. Finally, the waiter totally knew the place was kooky, and had a great sense of humor. Will I go back? No. Was it worth the $18 I paid for a small salad? Yes, if not for the food, at least for the experience.


Excellent food and service!
Reviewer: Barbara from Santa Barbara, CA
Maggies is a special dining experience. Every bite of our lunch was delicious! I had the mussels; I've never had better! The lobster bisque is the most flavorful I've ever had. The French Martini is real special! Why do people quibble over the cost of excellent food and service? It is worth every nickel; actually, we didn't spend much more at Maggies than we do at any fine restaurant. This was my first visit and look forward to many more.


Stiff Drinks
Reviewer: Rick from Santa Barbara, CA
By Stiff Drinks, I mean the price is stiff. My wife and I went in to Maggies for the first time since it opened. Nice atmosphere, nice size bar and comfortable. We stopped in to have a drink before meeting some friends. I ordered a Maker's Manhattan. Now, I travel alot and order Maker's Manhattans all the time in cities like NY, DC, Chicago, Boston, etc, etc. and I know it's not a cheap drink. I expect to pay $10-$13 for one. I had 2 at Maggies and was surprised when I got the bill that they were $16.50 each. They were good drinks but come on, that's a bit stiff.


Best New Restaurant in Santa Barbara!
Reviewer: Marna from Toluca Lake, CA
What a wonderful surprise to find a Sunday special 4 course meal for $30. at such an elegant restaurant. Our waiter, Jeff was professional, helpful & friendly. The lobster soup was the best I've ever had & it was followed by a pear salad, braised short ribs (that melted in your mouth) with mashed potatoes & green beans. The portions were large & the meal ended with a slice of opera cake. I can't wait to go back!


Thank you for opening this restaurant!
Reviewer: Anne Clarke from Santa Barbara, CA
I so enjoyed sitting in the comfortable chairs surrounded by the beautiful decor, that I didn't want to leave! The French specialities were wonderful and the servings quite large. The food arrived quickly, delivered by two waiters, and the generous glass of wine lasted throughout the entire meal. Finally, comfortable chairs in a beautiful restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara!


The Eighties called "they want their restaurant back".
Reviewer: Barbara from Montecito, CA
You get the feeling like you have walked into someone's very wealthy in the turn of the eighties mansion except they have very expensive yet tacky taste. The food we thought was going to be French. Well more Italian than true french is what we got. If your gonna make Risotto can you make it edible? Gooey and unevenly cooked sorry guys we travel to Tuscany every year this should be called creamy aborio rice in Italy they use Carnaroli and cook it from scratch. Even the presentations were laughable, trying to be whimsacle but really tacky and abrasive, especially the desserts. The service was decent but a bit uncomfortable and invasive we thought. And the drink prices are you joking? Makes the Marquee look like the .99 cent store. So if you want to be whisked away to the strangest most overpriced new restaurant in town you have found it. My suggestion would be to build a time machine and have the restaurant be dropped off in this century in this economy. Good luck!


Good food, best service
Reviewer: Mike F. from Santa Barbara, CA
What a surprise. I thought we were going to a medium price restaurant and didn't expect Biltmore prices, however, the food was very good and the sevice was THE Best, I think the servers name is Claries. Anyway, I will go back but remember what happened to Ruth Chris Steakhouse with high prices. My reccomendation is to have a special entree under $20.


Happy Hour - Stay Away or Break the Bank
Reviewer: Nicole from Santa Barbara, CA
I'm not opposed to paying for quality, but $20 (literally) for a cocktail is just ridiculous. While other places downtown were packed during Happy Hour on a Friday, Maggie's was nearly empty. If their prices were more reasonable, I'm sure they could drum up some more business. Not even the Biltmore charges that much for cocktails in their lounge area! Despite the comfortable chairs, I will not return. There are plenty of other places nearby that offer great Happy Hour specials for FAR less.


Las Vegas comes to State St.
Reviewer: Didi from Santa Barbara, CA
The service is excellent: the servers are not UCSB students, so they're less cute but more knowledgeable, competent and efficient than the Santa Barbara norm. The wine list is world-wide eclectic and interesting. The food is beautifully presented. The chairs are very comfortable, and the dining tables generously sized. So what's not to like? Our duck was dry, with mashed potatoes, beans, and a tasteless sauce: = edible, but Middle-America bland. That pervasive dull hand in the kitchen and the $17 martinis will make Santa Barbarans wish they'd gone to Downeys, Bouchon or Seagrass, paid less and eaten more creatively. The music is piped airport at its worst. And that heavy pretentious decor? Well it's unique I suppose. But The Cat was packed that night, while Maggies was 1/6 full. In our well-endowed and picky town, Maggies with its Las Vegas feel in decor, in food and in inflated prices, won't last.


Excellent Dinner on Lovely Patio with Good Service
Reviewer: Leslie T from Santa Barbara, CA
Four of us had a great first meal on the patio at a high top table with very comfy padded chairs. The servers were very pleasant & the owners friendly. We shared a Beet & Pancetta Salad, a very interesting combination of flavors, yum. Then, entrees were Chilean Seabass, Halibut, Rack of Lamb, & Pork Loin. All were excellent. We shared one Chocolate Souffle with Pistachio Ice Cream for dessert, for which you need 15 minutes advance notice, & it too was yummy. The items on the dessert tray all looked good, but we were quite full by that point. We all gave the restaurant a thumbs up & will return. It is not inexpensive, but the food is nicely prepared & served, the portions are generous, & the patio very relaxing. The indoor decor is intriguing & classy (though it may not be to everyone's taste); clearly a large investment was made. A nice addition to SB's upscale restaurants. Oh, my Limoncello Collins was great! We will return.


out of stock-not special-nice patio
Reviewer: SC from Santa Barbara, CA
Went here on a double date. They were out of the wine I ordered. They were out of the beer my partner ordered. Then they were out of the octopus salad I was so excited about. So I ordered a $14 turkey sandwich served on a hamburger bun. They brought yummy bread before the meal. Everyone liked their dinner ok but I was bummed they were out of so many things. It just was not special for the price you pay. The crowd was older and most didn't seem like locals.I'd rather go to Brewhouse. The decor is weird. Nice patio though.


Excuse me, but
Reviewer: Dospassos from Santa Barbara, CA
Where is the so called "Bistro Fare"? The last time I checked Coq au Vin was not made with a chicken breast (Jidori or not). Also - what, prey tell is "Old Grain Mustard"


Good addition, better than State and A
Reviewer: Diner Don from Santa Barbara, CA
First, I must say the decor is as good as it is odd. Think grandma's living room meets Queen Elizabeth. That said, they pull it off. They clearly spent the extra dollar on fancy silver and glassware and obviously the remodel. The classical music is weird and the only thing I would change. The menu on the other hand, is classic bistro fare, (fish, steaks, chops) really classic bistro fare. Coc au Vin, Pork loin, Oxtail, good fish, hand made pasta and nice presentation. Good appetizers and salads as well as sides to choose from (see the menu online). The owners must have a lot of money to do this. One thing I've always wanted to see in a restaurant is a classic table side Caesar salad where someone comes out from the kitchen with all the ingredients and mortars the peppercorns, coddled egg, anchovy etc and makes the salad right in front of you. This is the place that could pull it of. Heck I'd go there a few times a week just for that if they offered it. The burger and salad were both very good. Next time I'll go for dinner and look forward to something more fancy!


A new choice in fine dining.
Reviewer: CC from Santa Barbara, CA
What a lovely new restaurant! Maggie's offers casual elegance with detail-oriented decor. Service is warm, friendly and attentive. The food is well executed and in generous portions. It is a welcome addition to the SB dining scene!


Incredibly surprised
Reviewer: T. Marie from Santa Barbara, CA
What a great new restaurant. So glad to see State & A leave... And even happier to have such a top notch replacement! We came in for dinner and enjoyed the seabass, mussels, ahi tartare, salmon and the wonderful fresh bread! Our bartender, Ryan, was awesome and we truly enjoyed every minute of our dining experience! Excited to add Maggie's to our list of faves!


Lovely food and lovely presentation
Reviewer: JR from Santa Barbara, CA
What I liked best about Maggie's is a combo atmosphere/food. The service was very good, but good in the way where they are not intrusive, but are still attentive. The restaurant is a beautiful remodel. It isn't my personal style, but I know a good thing when I see it. The cocktails were very nicely prepared. If you sit at the bar on the inside like I did, you can see that the bartenders are not so much bartenders as they are mixologists. I want to compare this place to the Huntley Penthouse, but with better priced cocktails. Food was fabulous. It came out on time, and not too hot, but not as if it had been sitting under a heat lamp. I had the beef carpaccio. Loved it. If I could change anything I wish they'd play some indie rock.


hmmm. . .
Reviewer: paul from Santa Barbara, CA
kinda a weird vibe. really high prices and somewhatg strange menu choices. cool outside area, but would better be used for a beer and burgers kinda place. the inside part is a weird 'trying to be fancy' vibe -- very odd. a suggestion to the owners: if you plan to stay open, get rid of the $25-$35 entrees and focus more on beer and sandwiches using local/farmers market ingredients. good sandwiches and beer on the patio will attract both locals and state street tourists. . .


Need to Step it up!
Reviewer: Andy from Denver,Co
Had lunch at Maggie's...definitely new but not improved. The resturant is beautiful and looks very 5 Star but looks are deceiving. We went for a late lunch and although the servers were friendly they were not attentive, especially at these prices for lunch. Menu is limited and there are no appetizers/starters. We ordered the quiche which looked and tasted like it came out of a box. The "truffle fries" were no more than fries with Parmesan cheese on them. The burger was AMAZING I will say!! This should be a burger resturant and not try to pass for fine dining. All in all ok and we will probably not be returning anytime soon and I don't see locals making this a regular place to visit. Nice redo but the food and service still need maturing. Nice decor does not compensate for mediocre food. Sorry...


Santa Barbara gets another 1st class restaurant!
Reviewer: Kelly from Santa Barbara, CA
Maggie's is in a class with other exceptional restaurants in our area like Stonehouse, Bouchon, Wine Cask. The decor is tastefully unique. The service we received was top notch. Prices are fair, as this is a high quality operation. Food was exceptional. I enjoyed a wonderful goat cheese salad, pan seared scallops and side of tasty cauliflower w/gruyere cheese. Portions are ample and sides can easily be shared. Maggie's offers a superb selection of specialty drinks and wines by bottle or glass. Save room for Maggie's souffle. My favorite part of dinner was the housemade Bacon Bread. Although I did not meet the Chef, I heard he is French and moved here from Los Angeles. He is obviously very talented. Maggie's has quickly become my new favorite spot. Very nice bar for drinks & apps. Comfortable patio, and also love the high top tables & cushy bar stools in the main dining area.


Potentially Great
Reviewer: Peter from Santa Barbara, CA
I think the previous review may be living in the past. Maggie's is a very well finished restaurant in a great location. The owners and staff are friendly and attentive. The French inspired menu is a welcome addition to the menus of Santa Barbara. Is it the old State & A? No and it is not coming back. We enjoyed it, and we will be back soon.


Orange County Chic circa 2003
Reviewer: Mike from Santa Barbara, CA
We were enjoying our day downtown and wandered into this joint. Well, it used to be a joint. We asked to see a menu and they were clearly put off by this request. After inquiring about a couple things it was even clearer that we were not welcome. Half star for the the retro decor.


Why?
Reviewer: Charles from San Diego, CA
Maybe the strangest experience we have ever had anywhere. Ordered a burger to share, looked good, not so much dry & Greasy that has to be tough to do. Burnt gas flavor. Way overpriced for everything. When we questioned the price of drinks people sitting outside gave us a stare down contest. Who knows. Gaudy old decor over the top tacky. We will not be coming back and it's sad because we used to come here every summer. We used to dine here when it was State and A. Good prices, ok food but a comfortable atmosphere. This was A very uncomfortable visit to say the least. The service was robotic and fearful not a good California vibe. We got the feeling no one wanted us there. Well no problem on that one.


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