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Blue Tavern
119 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 845-0989


Reviews by the General Public

Cocktails slow - plates delivered all together - no new menu, 7/1/2014
Reviewer: Christine from Santa Barbara, CA
We've been going to Blue Tavern fairly frequently on Sundays for lunch since they opened. We really enjoyed Anchor and were happy to see a similar fresh cocktail menu. The food has been good but the service can be a mess. Sometimes the cocktail won't be served until after the food has arrived - bad timing. Sometimes if we order three small plates they all come at once, and then we have a juggling act to do on a small table for two. The tuna on crostini was very flavorful but too oily and the portion is too large to eat with fingers and too small to eat with silverware. Same with the uni/shrimp/scallop on toast. Finally, the last peeve I will note is paper menus. We've been handed wrinkled and dirty menus - why is ownership so cheap as to not print fresh menus? Also, when I see a paper menu I think that must mean the offering changes frequently - but Blue Tavern has had the same offering since they opened. The cocktails (when they finally arrive) have been outstanding but they are not worth the "wait" while our food sits on our table already served. The bartenders need to get faster with their service and the waitstaff need to be trained on timing.


EXCELLENT MUSSELS, 6/16/2014
Reviewer: geri from Santa Barbara, CA
We ate here 3 times in the last week two weeks -- last night for Father's Day, the Thursday before for a business lunch, and a family dinner the week before that. Everything we ordered was great (mussels, paradelle with beef, pizzas, cauliflower, seared albacore, branzino, molten chocolate passion fruit cake, sorbets). The quinoa salad was nice but not as fantastic as the others. They will make a kid friendly pasta and pizza which are not on the menu. Service was very friendly and extremely efficient. This will be added to one of our new local favorites.


Delicious!!!, 2/23/2014
Reviewer: Judith from Santa Barbara, CA
Ate there last night with a party of 8. Several in the group are definite foodies and everyone loved their dishes. I had the seafood risotto and I have to say, it was one of the best dishes I have ever tasted! The waiters were very helpful and attentive. We had a great time and I can't wait to go back.


a 'European' experience, 2/20/2014
Reviewer: kevin from Santa Barbara, CA
Place looks great. The salad came quickly and was your typical baby greens, sweet oil/vinegar and nuts. Good. The soup also came fast: salty minestrone. Amateur mistake. Told the hostess. No reply. That was the last interaction I had with anyone for the next 40 minutes. I told the waiter to cancel my order but then the pizza came. It was ok/good, but had taken 50 min. I'd also ordered the seared albacore dish(raw) to go, asking that it be timed so that as I was finished eating the pizza, the it would be ready. Uh-uh. Another 20 minutes. Then it came: $14 for a piece of sashimi the size of my pinkie *no exaggeration* cut/sliced like a loaf of tiny bread, some vegetable puree on it. *Sigh*


Amazing Cocktails... looking forward to the food, 2/18/2014
Reviewer: Erin from Santa Barbara, CA
My girlfriend and I came on Sunday evening of a very busy Valentines weekend for Santa Barbara and WOW....very impressed! We sat at the bar lucky to find two seats as the restaurant was full. This is the first time i have been since it was Anchor and i would highly recommend a visit if you have not been in. The bartender was fantastic for being so busy but everything he suggested and made was delish! Pisco sours, champagne cocktail (forgot the name), and excellent wine recommendations. He was polite and entertaining as well.


Excellent Food - Excellent Service, 1/16/2014
Reviewer: Mrs. P from Santa Barbara, CA
Four of us dined here last night and we were all very impressed with the food and staff. We had "small plates" consisting of sea urchin, scallops & shrimp toast, tuna crostini (awesome), seafood risotto and home made papardelle. We also had a dinner size steamed mussels and shared a dessert. If was fun to share everything and get to try things I wouldn't normally try. Everything was delicious. Service was great. The wait staff was very helpful in describing the dishes and recommendations. The only thing I would suggest is if you have a party of more than two, sit in the booths. The tables are too small for more than two especially if you're ordering lots of different dishes. We will definitely go back.


OK food, miserable service, 1/5/2014
Reviewer: Mike from Santa Barbara, CA
The food was perfectly decent, but not worth the wait. It took 75 minutes after ordering for lunch entree to arrive. Waiters were apologetic, but not apologetic enough to communicate what was going on, manage expectations, or offer discount. While waiting, had to remind server of seemingly forgotten beverage order 3 times over half an hour. Skateboarders rolled by frequently, and two of them blasted air horn in the ears of unsuspecting guests seated outside.


Good, but not great
Reviewer: Brad from Santa Barbara, CA
Prior to seeing Pink Martini, we had dinner at the new Blue Tavern. Good, but uneven and not great. The Pisco Sour was excellent. The Tuna Crostada was beautiful but without any standout flavor. The ceviche was confused, with very little fish in it, fried calamari, unidentifiable mushy stuff (avocado?) and way too salty. Handmade pappardelle with beef was outstanding, with a perfect combination of texture and seasoning, with the right amount of tender beef. Pan seared branzino was masterfully prepared, the skin was perfectly crisp, the vegs the right amount of doneness and the sauce nice (if a bit meek) but this too tended into the too salty territory. Service was quite good, everyone was enthusiastic and capable. All in all, we enjoyed but don't feel compelled to return. Hopefully they will continue to fine tune as this could be an outstanding place.


Great new restaurant
Reviewer: Meridith from Santa Barbara, CA
We had lunch there yesterday and everything was delicious, looking forward to going back for breakfast and dinner.


Figure Out Who You Are!
Reviewer: Serena from Santa Barbara, CA
Let me just say that the staff was amazing. The decor was inviting, The food we ordered was not what we expected. The ceviche was so wrong. There was fried calamari, very salty seaweed and this very strange fried corn with very little fresh fish. This was called ceviche. We ordered the diver scallop salad. The scallops were cooked perfectly but so spicey. It was difficult t to appreciate the scallop. We order the margharita pizza. This should not be called a pizza. Honestly, it tasted more like a cheese quesadilla. The pizza dough needs to be Itailan or Peruvian. Pick one. Not both. So want this restaurant to succeed! Hope they can make the changes necessary to do so.


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