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Restaurant Nu
[closed, no longer in business]

1129 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 965-1500


Reviews by the General Public

Good food, good wine, good atmosphere, not worth the wait
Reviewer: Robert from Santa Barbara
Great wine selection. Some of my favorite obscure bottles, but took an hour between ordering and getting food for four. Not a particularly crowded Sunday evening but there were about 10 tables when we sat. By the time we got our food, there were only about 3 tables with people still at them, all finished with their meals, By the time we were done with dinner, all the tables were empty, bar was empty, and I had 3 grouchy guests and a sizeable dinner bill. Waitress was nice, but hiding out. About 45 minutes after ordering we started looking for her so we could cancel our meals, pay for our wine, and walk to McDonalds. Don't take people you have to impress or are hungry. We left disappointed.


Would not come back due to poor and unfriendly service
Reviewer: Autumn from Solvang, CA
Atmosphere was quiet and nice. First time dining. Food was good, but not great. Man who sat us at table very unfriendly. Took 15 minutes to obtain wine and soda that was ordered. Once food arrived at table we were never checked on and asked how things were or if we needed anything. We were excited about trying out this restaurant from word of mouth but we were very disappointed, especially in the service and will not come back. We dined for lunch on Monday, 2-12-07.

Restaurant Nu writes: Dear Autumn, I want to apologize to you and your guest for the unacceptable and embarassing experience you had while begin our guests on Monday, February 12th, 2007. We were understaffed as a server had called out sick with the flu. Nonetheless, there is no excuse for the unprofessional, slow and basic lack of service you received while being our guests. I can assure you this is not the level of service you can expect at NU and at our next staff meeting at the end of the month; the importance of service will be addressed and stressed to our staff. Our customers are very important to us and we strive to be consistent in our quality of food, ambiance and level of service, although sometimes we are not, which is the situation with you. Our customer’s feedback is very valuable to us. We want each of our guests to walk away feeling happy and satisfied. I can assure you this is not the typical experience you can expect from NU and I hope you are willing to give us another chance to redeem ourselves. Please feel free to contact me directly by e-mail or phone to arrange to be our our guests as I hope you will give us another chance. Sincerely, Leslie Tucker Klatt General Manager/Proprietor
Great Manager and a good time.
Reviewer: Paul Weymouth from Santa Barbara, CA
I was pleased with my choice for using this restaurant for my company’s dinner party. Our server forgot to bring our appetizer but after explaining the situation to Leslie, the manager, she graciously handled our problem and fixed it perfectly. BTW, some thought that the fondue appetizer was the best part of the night, but for me my entrée (chicken) was so good. Thank you. We appreciated that and we’re looking forward to going back. As far as stars go, I would have given one star for our server, but the manager redeemed all and so I have to give 4 stars.


I love NU
Reviewer: Marianne from Santa Barbara
My husband and I have been to NU three times and have had a wonderful experience each time. The service has been quick and friendly, and one of the proprieters is usually strolling around, checking in with the customers. The food was plentiful and delicious. On our last visit, we sat in the bar area and ate from the bar menu. Once again, we were very happy with our food and the martinis were huge. We will happily return to NU often.


Happy.... Again!
Reviewer: Yoze Van Wingerden from Carpinteria, CA
I returned to NU with my sister who was visiting from the East Coast. We shared the crab fondu appetizer that was superb! We did suggest they serve a few extra toasts with it. We both had the tuna that was very tasty and perfectly undercooked as we had requested. Nice Buttonwood Sauvignon Blanc complemented out meal. I had not been happy with my first visit but now am glad I tried them again. Service was friendly and pleasant.


Bad Filet
Reviewer: David from Santa Barbara, CA
Me and my girlfriend wandered in this restaurant on a Saturday night. We were both hungry and without reservations, and we didn't want to wait for the other restaurants nearby to find a seat. The menu looked interesting, but the prices were kind of high. The location is very nice, I enjoyed the art hanging on the walls, the lighting, and the environment. So I figure if, I'm gonna spend money I might as well get a meal worthy. I decided to order the Filet, cooked medium with mashed potatoes gravy and asparagus. It was the only thing that really caught my attention on the menu. It came out, and the potatoes and gravy were under the steak. It was huge, far from a fillet, I wasn't complaining, that is until, I tried to cut it with my butter knife. So, I ask the waitress for a steak knife, and she tells me I should be able to cut it with my butter knife, but she will bring out a steak knife, well, the first slice was tough, and chewy because of the huge piece of fat in it. The meat tasted funny as well, not like a filet should taste like. Soon after, a lady came out to ask how our meal was, and I told her not very good, so she immediately took it away, and I had lost my appetite for steak after the funny taste it left in my mouth, and I asked for just the potatoes and gravy with the asparagus. I was truly dissapointed, considering I wanted to goto Outback in the first place, but my girlfriend, wanted something else. Ended up paying $15.00 for potatoes and asparagus. Next time I want a sterak I will stick with Outback.


Impressed
Reviewer: A. Salsburg from Santa Barbara,CA
I attended a small event at Nu last Saturday and was so impressed by the friendly, efficient service. Some of the members of our party can be a bit scattered and demanding at times, but the servers we had were professional and very patient. And the food was good too! Thank you!


NU does NOT stack up to the Santa Barbara Competition
Reviewer: Shane from Santa Barbara, Ca
Since living in Santa Barbara my girlfriend and I have dined at many of Santa Barbaras restaurants, both high-end and mom and pop. NU is one that we have been wanting to go to, but hadn't had the right opportunity. Maybe we built up our expectations too much? Last night we went in for cocktails and appetizers to cap off our evening. We sat at the bar hoping to get a good feel of the atmosphere, clientele and staff. It was a relatively calm night with only about half of the restaurant occupied. The menu looked rather intriguing with moderately expensive prices. The service was rather poor as the staff was paying more attention to the management and staff that was having drinks after their shifts. Once we received our food, we were not impressed. When you are spending 15-20 dollars on an appetizer, you expect more than three items on the plate. Unless it is out of this world, melt in your mouth food. It certainly did not stack up to the competition throughout the town. If you want nice dining and pleasant evening atmosphere, don't let the outdoor courtyard seating of NU real you in. You will be disapointed and more than likely not return. Walk a few more blocks and head to Elements or any of the other 50 restaurants in the area.


Another Perfect Evening
Reviewer: Jeremy, GM Pascucci Goleta from Goleta, CA
On Saturday night we arrived a little before nine and sat behind the bar in the lounge. We had the entire corner to ourselves. Of course we had to order the crab foundue - still a spectacular selection. We also ordered the pear, sage and proscuitto pizza, a mixed green salad and wine wine wine. The bartender was our server, his name was Steve. He was excellent. After talking with him about some recent additions to the wine list, he brought us a couple of samples that he thought we would enjoy. It is the extra little touch that makes Restaurant Nu one of our favorites in Santa Barbara. Until next time, thank you for another perfect evening.


nice dinner out
Reviewer: Tina from SB
I went out for dinner with my sister, we had a good time. She got a crab appetizer that turned out to be more of a fondue -- very substantial! I got a duck confit that was OK. About half our food was relaly good, and about half missed the mark. The service, from hostess to busser to waitress, was very good. I will go back again, certainly, I thought it was rahter a good menu.


Class and seclusion with great bar and food
Reviewer: Lew Marklin Mash from Santa Barbara
Nu is a fabulous, classy experience that is just off of the beaten path enough, that you feel secluded. The bar is fantastic with nice lighting. The service is great. When you go, ask for Eric, he's the greatest Waiter in SB! Drinks are great! Owner is very nice. He sat at the bar with me last time I was there, and just chatted with me like he knew me. Very comforting!


Better than the last time
Reviewer: Gary from SB
My second visit to Nu was definitely a good experience. Nice little area behind the bar to hang out and wait and have a drink. (Paint a faux finish or something on the beautiful entrance and bar ceiling because it looks a little rough but could look great) The wine selection was good-some more local would be nice and the food was well prepared and presented. Our party tried all three fish dishes and they were all prepared well. The only critique is that all the presentations seemed the same. The reason for a four is because the pork dish was over sweetened with maple and the entrees presentations definitely needs some variations. The chocolate dessert tort (seemed like a souffle) was great and the sorbet was good. The creme brulee was average at best. The service was O.K. John seems to struggle after two years of waiting tables there and doesn't know the sauces on the fly? He needs a little more training, but a nice guy none the less. The biggest problem we had was when 6 of the entrees came out and then two entrees followed 10 minutes later. Truly unacceptable for a party of eight. Food was to get cold as we waited or the other guests were to rudely start eating. Neither is acceptable. Overall we enjoyed our meal and would go back here again.


Fond memories of Nu
Reviewer: Allison from Goleta/CA
My friends and I had a wonderful dining experience at Nu on Thursday night. Our table was extremely well-served -- we never had to ask for anything because our servers paid close attention to our needs, despite two special events that were also needing their attention. This allowed my friends and I to have a very relaxed evening and enjoy each other's company at this beautifully decorated restaurant. Although we had a particularly bad experience here for a birthday dinner a couple of months ago (review below), the owners and servers more than proved their standard of excellence this time. I feel that our original experience was a fluke, and I feel comfortable recommending this restaurant to anyone wanting a special night with great food.


Nu changes great results!
Reviewer: Natalie Peterson from Santa Barbara
There have been a lot of mixed comments regarding the quality of service at Nu and I believe that the owners have made changes to bring the standard of service to excellence. I would recommend Nu to anyone because it provides gourmet dishes, warm ambiance and wonderful service. In addition, this is a perfect place to chat with friends, celebrate a special occasion or enjoy a romantic evening.


A wonderful Nu experience!
Reviewer: Rachel from Santa Barbara
The overall quality of Nu's food and service is nothing but excellent. On a packed thursday night we had wonderful service accompanied by delicious food and ambiance. The owners of this restaurant trully believe that they are here to serve the needs of their customers being that a couple of months prior my friends and I did not have a great experience with our server which we posted below. However, the owners took the time to write and express sincere apologies and invited us back to prove that their restaurant stands out as one of the best in Santa Barbara. If I could choose one word to describe my overall experience with this restaurant would be relaxing.


Nu?.........Nah
Reviewer: Steve from Santa Barbara, CA
The thing I liked best about the place was their hostess (not waiter) and their water (that's right, their water). The prix fixe lunch was recommended to me by my girlfriend. I ordered a glass of wine to be served with my meal. I got the beet salad (too salty), the salmon (served luke warm/cold with some nasty sauce and covered with super oily potatoes), and the pistachio gelato (tasty). Since I had to order my glass of wine twice because they apparently forgot I ordered it 30 minutes earlier, the hostess was kind enough to not charge me for the wine. She also didn't charge me full price because she saw how disappointed my girlfriend and I were. Both of us hardly touched our food. The atmosphere seemed clean until the gelato came. The bottom of one of the dishes they served it on was filthy!! Suggestion: clean both sides of plates. The plate stained the table cloth and made our table reek like vinegar. If I was charged full price I would have been furious, but since I wasn't, I'll just take it as a learning experience. This was the first, and most likely last time I will eat at Nu.


PERFECT NIGHT!
Reviewer: Jeremy - GM Pascucci Goleta from Goleta, CA
I took my girlfriend to Nu for her birthday this last weekend. We began the night with a wine tasting hosted by Babcock. The bar was packed! Good sign.
From there we asked to be seated. The restaurant was more than accomodating when I sent in a friend before hand to decorate our table with rose petals, her gifts and a special bottle of wine. When we got to our table it was PERFECT! A small candle, a vase with a rose. A wonderful set up.
We began our dinner with the crab fondue. This dish is amazing. It is worth a trip just to try it. The white wines by the glass are an excellent bargain. We got a great Chablis for only 9 dollars. Our main course was filet mignon. Moist & full of flavor. Then we finished with a chocolate tart. They spelled out "Happy Birthday" in frosting and it was AWESOME. John, our waiter, took excellent care of us.
Thank you Restaurant Nu for treating us so well. My girlfriend fell more in love with me because you did such a good job! WE WILL BE BACK FOR MORE CRAB FONDUE!!!


A Nu experience you don't want to have!
Reviewer: Natalie, April, Rachel from Santa Barbara
From: Natalie Peterson
After dining at Nu this week I realized how important it is to read the restaurant reviews. Sadly I did not and as a result I had a terrible dining experience, the food was fine but our waiter was extremely unpersonable and made our entire party feel uncomfortable with his attitude. When you are spending a lot of money you really expect great service and food. I do not believe that either one can not be compromised because it ruins the entire experience. Needless to say I will not be returning to this establishment and I will pass the message on to others. As a suggestion to management please evaluate your staff and humble yourselves because Santa Barbara if full of outstanding restaurants that surpass Nu in so many ways.

From: April Ramelli
I, along with a few of my friends, decided to take one of our friends to "Nu" for her special day. Looking for great dining in Santa Barbara is always a pleasure as restaurants are plentiful in the downtown area, each presenting their unique combo of dining and environment in hopes of making their patrons' experiences positive ones. Unfortunately, we did not have a positive experience at Nu. The food was amazing and the atmosphere-- decorated with candles, white lights, and a very handsome ceiling-to-floor-mirror-- felt like the perfect place to hold an intimate celebration for our friend's birthday. However, our waiter (name withheld) was pushy, rude, and belittling. I have never been to a restaurant where the waiter hovered (literally) around the table to remind us that his tip should be 18% of the bill or took the liberty of filling in the tip on my credit card receipt. Not only does this give the impression that we are unaware of how much to tip, it also says to us that our waiter viewed our group as being too incompetent to "do the right thing." A not so classy action in a classy restaurant. Would he have reminded a group of businessmen or my grandparents of the same thing or is it just protocol for the "younger" generation? (This is all in addition to the slow service and “scolding” attitude we received at the register). I felt with a full stomach(of excellent food!) but in very low spirits.

From: Rachel
It was our best friend's birthday and Nu looked like the perfect place to share in a fine dining experience. What we should have done was chosen another restaurant. The service was the worst we have ever experienced! Our waiter was very pushy about our menu selections, took what seemed like forever to deliever our food and carried an attitude the whole time. He began to rush us toward the end of our meal and hovered over our table with the bill. We asked him politely to give us a moment and he made condescending remarks which offended and surpised all of us. I understand if he was having a bad or stressful night but that is no excuse to take it out on others especially his customers. Overall the sum of our experience was very uncomfortable and disrespectfull. If you are wondering about the tip he went ahead and took care of it by adding 18% gratuity for our table of 4. We were so in shock about everything that we just wanted to leave and end the nightmare.

Restaurant Nu writes: In response to your complaint from last night's experience here at our restaurant, NU: We, David and myself as owners offer our sincere apologies. We also want to offer you a gift certificate for 4, at no cost to you, hoping you'll give us, NU, another chance. We have addressed your remarks to your server and the asst manager on duty that evening, AND and we WILL take measures neccessary to prevent this from happening again. Furthering our goal to avoid such unacceptable circumtances and behaivor in the future we are making this the focus of discussion in this weeks staff meeting. Again, please accept our apologies. Leslie Tucker/David Cecchini Please contact myself or David directly at 965-1500 leslie@restaurantnu.com dcecchini@restaurantnu.com


fixed price lunch
Reviewer: Bill from Santa Barbara, CA
Had an amazing lunch there today. It never seems to be crowded outside, even on a beautiful Santa Barbara day. The fixed price lunch for $15 is a great deal, three courses, and what a meal!! Service was solid, although there weren't many people there so the service was hard to judge. My new favorite place for lunch.


Great food, nice atmospshere, terrible, terrible service.
Reviewer: Michael Fossi from Santa Barbara
I went to Nu for an event Sunday night. It was an amazing atmospshere. The food provided was outstanding. I was having a great time. I decided to grab a drink from the bar. It was served to me, yet was extremely over-priced. I questioned the cost to the bartender, thinking she had made a mistake. I was told that "This is a higly sophisticated and elegant establishment, this is how much it costs." Unwilling to return the drink, I asked for the manager. She then told me since I had already taken a sip (while waiting for my receipt), there was nothing she could do. I then asked again for a refund, and was denied. Furious, some bus boy offers me $20 out of his own pocket to try and calm me down. A bus boy. Where was the Maitre'd? Not giving me the time of day. I felt humiliated in front of my date, who witnessed the whole thing. I didn't take the bus boy's cash, first off, I do not need it, and secondly it was his, not Nu's. I did end up paying $30 for a shot of Stoli vodka with ice. This was the worst experience I have ever had at a restaurant in my entire life. I am never going back here again. I reccommend everyone else take my advice and stay away from Nu. The worst service can make the best food taste horrible.


Nu has the best ambiance and service in SB
Reviewer: Lorna B. from Santa Barbara, CA
I love restaurant NU, and I´m not just saying that because the filet seems to melt in your mouth as soon as you take a bite, or the fact that they have the most curteous staff in town. The ambiance of the restaurant is tucked slightly away from chaotic State St. but still so close by that you can take a nice walk following your dinner. This is a great locals place to go grab a drink, or eat a delicious meal.


Good food, but way too expensive

This is a fairly standard California cuisine menu, which while very well prepared was not worth the prices. The service is very good, but a bit too good. We were ´interrupted´ from our conversation more often than necessary. There are much better SB restaurants for much less money.


Limited menu but good food
Reviewer: Joseph from Buellton, CA
Not the most exciting menu -- just the kind of staple dishes you´d expect to find in a nice restaurant. But food quality was very high, and for me at least the service was just fine. I also went to Nuuva (up in the Santa Ynez valley) and found the experience largely the same -- non-descript menu, very good food, commendable service.


Don´t Go Here!!
Reviewer: Very Disappointed from Brea
It was our wedding day and we had a wonderful lunch at Sage and Onion. For dinner we went to Nu. Why? Because the owner had talked me into coming for dinner on the evening of our wedding and talked us out of going to Stella Mare´s. What a big mistake!! The server wasn´t too friendly but that wasn´t the worst of it. The food was lousy! Don´t order the pan fried chicken on garlic mashed potatoes. The food was cold, with something that tasted like burnt gravy, and no garlic flavor to the mashed potatoes. I couldn´t eat mine it was so tough. It cost us $81.00. That´s two meals, a glass of water and a soft drink for two people. It would have been ok had the food tasted good but it was terrible. Don´t go here, try Stella Mare´s, Sage and Onion, or Palazzio on State Street. Maybe some day things will improve, until then....I won´t be back.


Good food but poor service
Reviewer: K & J from Los Angeles, CA
We went to Nu this past Saturday night for our first anniversary and our first trip to Santa Barbara. My husband had made the reservation with the owner´s wife and had asked for a table for two. She offered to do something special like put some roses in a gold box on the table for me and he thought that would be great. When we arrived, we were seated at a table of four and without the roses. Then twenty-five minutes passed until our waitress came over to introduce herself and take our order! We were appalled that she didn´t introduce herself, apologize for the wait or mention the specials. In fact, she was pretty impersonal the entire night. After dinner, my husband went to talk with the front desk to find out about the roses and if they were going to bring our crème brulee dessert he requested with Happy Anniversary written on it. Then a girl who oversees the restaurant (Leslie I believe) came by our table to apologize for the roses and said the dessert was on them. We were happy that she acknowledged the mistake and worked to rectify it. The food was great, especially the salmon, but the service was extremely slow and we were disappointed that they couldn´t have the flowers that THEY offered for the table. With so many other restaurants in SB, next time we will probably go somewhere else.


Fantastic food, service and ambiance!

I cannot wait to go back. The food was amazing, incredible appetizers and everyone in our party couldn´t get enough! The service was great, no complaints. The hostess or manager girl (tall blonde) was also attentive to every guest. We were well taken care of. Plus, the restaurant is decorated fabulously - it´s a wonderful place to go for a nice, long dinner with friends. Highly recommended!!!


Consistently Good!

I have eaten at this restuarnat numerous times and it is consistently good. I especially enjoy a leisurely lunch on their patio. The set menu at lunch is always excellent.


one of the best in town

Delicious food, attentive service. Service can be hurt by an off night at any restaurant but I´ve been to NU often enough and I´ve never been offended, and frequently impressed. SB is full of this style restaurant but at NU they have everything put together seamlessly - food, service, atmosphere. The bar has a little lounge behind it so you can come before your reservations and have a cocktail, feeling like you´ve been to two different places. A great spot for a special occasion, a date, or (dare I suggest it) a delicious meal alone.


enhanced by the service

Our dining experience was wonderful, from the food to the staff. In particular, a lovely assistant manager was there at every appropriate moment, always ready to refill our wine glasses or clear our plates. I saw a few negative reviews, and suggest giving it another try, especially when that (tall) young lady is there to make the experience full of ease and enjoyment! A must for the SB native.


Love this place
Reviewer: renee from Santa Barbara, CA
I noticed a lot of locals were comlaining about Nu, like that means something different. Good food is good food whether you live here or not! I love Nu, I´ve always had great fod and service. Whenever there was a problem or I was unsatisfied with something, the problem was quickly fixed. I´ve lived here my whole life and Nu has become our favorite "special night out" place to dine.


Constructive Criticism

Much of our food was fabulous (the foie gras, the ahi), but there are areas which need improvement. Specifically, (1) the service was very slow - my wine glass was empty for at least 10 minutes, my husband´s even longer; (2) it was very early Saturday night and NU was out of the chocolate dessert; (3) the cheese course was very, very poorly handled - almost as if no one knew anything about how to serve cheese. It was served refrigerator cold rather than at room temperature. Our server was unable to make recommendations. 2 of 3 of the selections were just mediocre. And our server actually asked if we wanted bread with our cheese (duh!) then brought us the same bread that had been served with dinner rather than something to complement the cheese. That course definately needs improvement.


To the Customer Below
Reviewer: Leslie
I would like to first apologize for the experience you had at NU. Our staff and management represent our restaurant so it is important that we know of our customers experience so that we can correct the situation so as not to repeat it. I would appreciate if you would e-mail me or call me at(805)-965-1500 so that I can get further details and see which staff was working that night and in particular who was serving you. My sincerest apologies to you and your guests and I can assure you we take all complaints seriously and that I will share your comments with our staff. Please contact me at your convenience. Best Regards, Leslie Tucker, Proprietor


Rude staff and below average food

having had lived in Santa Barbara for many years I have seen many new places come and go. Nu does have a very pretty atmosphere but that does not even begin to make-up for the rude, slow and downright bad service, rude management and over priced over rated food. The staff has attitude, the servers just do not know how to create the level of service that SB diners expect or deserve and management should take a step back and remember the word of a bad experience travels a lot further than the word of a good one.


Can´t be beat...
Reviewer: Paris from SB
Nu is awesome. The reviews say the service is slow, but it is my understanding that it is supposed to be an extended dining experience. Don´t go to Nu for a quick (even moderately) meal, but if you want the best and are with good company, then spend a couple of hours enjoying the great food and wine, and chatting with your company while the service makes itself scarce. It´s designed to be that way.


Great ambience and food
Reviewer: Local Event Manager from SB
This place is a great place for happy hour, lunch or dinner but FANTASTIC for any event. I´ve had several business events at this location, one for 300+ people and another for 70 people, and the food, service and event were all-around great. The manager Leslie was a pleasure to work with and very accommodating. The usual feedback I get after having an event at NU is always of compliments and raving of how the food was good, the ambience was beautiful and the service was attentive. Thanks NU for being so good to us!


Excellent food, loooooong wait.
Reviewer: D. Gohlich from Santa Barbara, CA
Had reservations for 8pm a few weeks ago. The hostess went to seat my party of 9, and realized she was leading us to a table that could only hold 8. We ended up not being seated until 8:20, with little apology (some complimentary drinks would have been appropriate, as my elderly grandparents now had to stand for 20 minutes due to their seats in the waiting area being taken, but no drinks were offered). Once seated, it took another 15 minutes for our waiter to come over, introduce himself, and take our drink order. Water came out 10 minutes after that, followed by drinks 5 minutes after that (now 8:45). Waiter took our order, and was not very helpful with the cheese menu. Bread was brought out at the same time, with the most ridiculously small amount of butter I have ever seen, especially to a party of 9. TWO tiny slices of butter were able to butter maybe 2 pieces of bread. We asked for more butter and 5 minutes later, two more tiny slices arrive. Salads arrived at 9:10. At 9:25, we were told our dinner would be out "soon." Dinner arrives at 9:45. The salad and my halibit were outstanding, but unfortunately I had nothing to wash them down with due to the lack of our server getting another beer to me quickly, or the lack of a busboy refilling my water when it went dry. I realize that this is the kind of place where you go to sit and socialize with your party, but in my opinion, you should never have to wait over an hour for something like a salad to arrive. Our waiter definetely did not deserve the tip that was added into the total either. While waiting over an hour for outstanding food may be acceptable, waiting for everything else at Nu is not. I have never been to another resturant where it took 25 minutes for water to arrive to the table. If you can deal with waiting for EVERYTHING, give Nu a try, but as good as the food was, I don´t plan on returning.


Belated Review

It is interesting how Nu could get a 2nd place with such varying reviews. These diverse responses convinced me to write my review. I took my long time boyfriend to Nu last year for his Birthday. We had reservations and chose a Sunday night to avoid tourist season crowds. We sat on the patio and started by looking over the wine list. After about 10 to 15 minutes our waitress came by and we were still undecided. Rather than assist us she left to give us more time. She came back after another 10 minutes and we asked for her opinion since we had chosen entrees that called for very different wines. I sensed a frustration from her so we decided on our own and ordered appetizers and entrees. During the 25 minutes I noticed a gentleman (bus boy?) standing at the main entrance to the restaurant. Immediately after we ordered, he walked over to bring us water and bread. While I am sometimes flustered at choosing a wine and felt that whole frustrating start to our evening was partly my fault, I was now angry that we were left to sit there for 25 minutes without water or bread when there was clearly staff to provide it. The appetizers we ordered were wonderful. I can’t describe how good they were. My now negative opinion started to vanish. Our entrees were brought to us, which promised to be equally as good, but my “seared ahi” was cooked all the way through. While everything else about the meal was good, my opinion now permanently switched back to negative. Most of the bad reviews on this site surround service and management. In our case, I would have to add criticism of the food too. If the ahi had been our only issue that evening, I would think little of it. But the whole experience was not worthy of a special celebration. Most patrons choose a restaurant of Nu’s expense and presentation for extra special moments. From my mediocre encounter, I will not go back to Nu on my own dime. I have to concur with the many locals in their unfavorable reviews.


Another local turned away...

As a local, I now know not to make the mistake of visiting Nu again. The staff we dealt with was exceptionally rude, and the management totally unresponsive. A frustrating experience for what could otherwise be a great restaurant...


Are you concerned with how a local feels?

As a local from Santa Barbara, I wrote over a month ago about the terrible service our group received at Nu and I never received a response. However, when a tourist from Canada wrote, they received a response the very next day. (a very defensive apology, I might add) I´m amazed that word of mouth has not doomed this restaurant yet.


My apologies
Reviewer: Leslie
As one of the proprietors of the restaurant, I would like to extend my apologies to your experience at NU. Service is key to the sucess of any business and we strive to be consistent 100% of the time, which we obviously failed with you. Unfortunately, when groups are booked by outide coorinators, miscommunication can occur. Your large group of 37 (confirmed for 40) that dined on Friday, April 7th was arranged by myself and a destination company we work regularly with. Unfortunately, with groups such In this case, the contract specifically requested that there was to be 5 tables of 8 with open seating for people to mix and mingle. As your group of 8 was the last to come in, there was no table with an open seating of 8 guests. I am sorry you did not feel we accommodated you immediately, but unfortunately, on a Friday night, with other reservation guests coming in, we had to take a minute to reconfigure the dining room to accommodate you. In addition. your "driver" and coordinator that was present told us to explain to you how the seating arrangement was to be, as now two people were forced to sit an 8 top alone, hence, the miscommunication I mentioned. I can assure you, we were not trying to make you feel unwelomed,and we tried to rectify the situation as soon as possible. As for the menus, that was clearly an oversight on our part. The tables were pre set with the pre selected menus and the waiter apparently forgot to move them to your new table. We host many larger groups in the restaurant and we try to accommodate everyone to the best of our abibility. We want every guest that leaves NU to be happy and feel good about their experience. We want guests to dine at their leisure and to enjoy NU. It is never our intention for guests to feel rushed and I am sorry you did. We were told that the departure time for your group was 9:30 PM. For a group of 37 having a three course menu, I would agree that you may have felt rushed having only two hours to eat. Again, I am sorry that you did not enjoy your dining experience with NU and hopefully you are willing to give us another chance to redeem ourselves. Please call me directly to let me know if you would like to join us again.....Leslie Tucker


Rude Staff

My husband and I dined at Nu recently. We were part of a group of about 25 people (Canadians in town for a business conference). We arrived at the restaurant on time and we asked if 8 of us could sit a table together. They left us standing and standing and finally one of us went out front to see what the problem was (there were many empty tables). They told us they had other customers to consider and could not accommodate putting 8 of us together. We told them this was not what we wanted to hear, that we were customers too and to please seat us now (we were polite, but firm). Eventually they sat us at a table together. After about 10 minutes, the waiter came to take our order. We told him we´d love to order, however we did not have menus (we had set menus because we were in a large group). He brought us the menus and came back literally 1 minute later to take our orders. We said we´d like a chance to read the menu before we order (again, always polite, but we were feeling unwelcome and rushed at this point). We all said we felt like they were doing us a favour by letting us dine there. As for the food, it was good, but I think it had been sitting in the kitchen for a while - not hot enough. All in all, I think a dining experience should include gracious service and good food, therefore I would not recommend this restaurant.


poor management

We had dinner at Nu on Valentine´s Day. Although the service was extremely slow, (our wine and bread didn´t arrive until after we were half way through our entrees) I thought that the food was very good. At this point I would have rated the experience alright, but not great. Then about a week later I realized that my credit card had been charged three different times for three different amounts (charging me over $300 more than our dinner cost.) I called the restaurant a number of times to rectify the situation, but nobody there seemed willing to help or call me back. Finally 2 weeks later the money was put back into my account, but I still haven´t received a call back with an explanation or an apology as to why this happened. I would never go back!


Contrary to others...

Contrary to some of the reviews I read, I find Nu to be one of my top restaurants in Santa Barbara. Not only does the place offer a pleasant setting and award-winning cuisine, I find the management to be superb. I have been to numerous private parties at Nu and each time the guests come first. I will admit, some of the wait staff is not quite up to par for the caliber of the restaurant, but I think mature adults can find a way of dealing with that; Possible request to management not be served by a particular staff. Nevertheless, the restaurant has been able to accomplish a very hard feat for Santa Barbara dining – Nu is turning a profit after less than 2 years of opening – quite unheard of in the area (thus I assume the staff cannot be that bad…). As for DC, chef/owner, he has little direct impact on my dining experiences, aside from the awesome food itself, of course. I see no reason to characterize DC as arrogant or un-humble (as other reviews have stated), especially if you know anything about chefs in general – they tend to be focused on their creation of masterpieces. (I did not see any rude responses to other reviews from DC as other reviews indicate…the review ‘‘Owner/Chef of Nu, David Cecchini…’ is the title of the review, not the author of the review…) I would suggest you try Nu – it is a great place for Fiesta Margaritas, after work cocktails, and scrumptious, decadent cuisine at anytime!


great food, lame server

the food was excellent, but the waiter had a problem with two guys holding hands and had to have another waitress take over. Hm..


Great dining...

My wife and I spent our 45th anniversary dinner at NU...the food was wonderful, beautiful presented, wait people were courteous and helpful in suggesting wine to go with our dinner...the Owner/Chef came out to great us with a complimentary bottle of wine and dessert. By the way, this was our first visit there and will not be our last.


Owner/Chef of Nu, David Cecchini at the James Beard House

Nu - Owner/Chef - David Cecchini has been invited to the world-renowned James Beard House for the third time to dish up his amazing cuisine.


Five Star
Reviewer: Dave and Heather from SB CA
I don´t know if this place made some kind of miraculous turn around or what but we just had dinner at NU and the entire experience was amazing. The prevoius reviews make the place sound like a nightmare and luckiy I did not read them before we went there or I might have decided to have our anniversary dinner somewhere else. The food was incredible with service to match. I´ve always been suspicious of these sites where anyone can post their opinions (like an angry employee). I just wanted to let everyone know that our experience was nothing but positive and urge everyone that truly appreciates dining to give NU a try.


could be friendlier
Reviewer: audrey from Goleta, Ca.
I had my rehearsal dinner at Nu. Almost 50 people were there, and although one of owners knew my husband from high school (as learned from a previous dining experience he and I had there), she never came out to say hi, or anything. The menus were incorrectly printed, and the owners were nowhere to be seen (perhaps I expected some hello due to our repeat business...+50 friends...), but the servers were wonderful. Professional & kind. The food arrived fitfully and unorganized, but beautiful and tasty nonetheless. Hope this helps.


I thought it was me.....
Reviewer: Mr. Peeps from Santa Barbara
I worked at nu for a short while and would have liked it but the owner (DC) gave off such a bad,unenjoyable feeling that I had to leave! The food looked good, pricing was ok, but he was a jerk. I find it hard to work in such an environment especially if communication between server and kitchen is one of the most important things but I avoided speaking with DC whenever I could. The place would have great potential if he would get a sense of humor and get out of the spot light,That bad attitude stuff rubs off onto your people and goes to your guests, man.


Owner´s Audacity is a Red Flag
Reviewer: CV from Santa Barbara, CA
As a local Santa Barbara resident, I love the wide variety of fine dining experiences the city offers. I had Nu on my short list to visit soon...until I read the owners response to a dissatisfied customer on this public forum (whoops). Sorry, Nu - I´m going back to the Sage & Onion which makes the customer king (not to mention the wonderful food).


interesting

I find it interesting to read these reviews...I´d heard Nu was very good and I´ve enjoyed drinks and jazz in the courtyard...however, the lack of humility shown by the owner (instead of attempting to rectify the situation in a positive manner, which could have smoothed things out nicely for this customer) made my chin drop...remember, you are writing in a public forum, and great business is largely due to word of mouth...your words make me doubt that your restaurant would make amends if a mistake was made, and now has changed my mind about spending my anniversary there.


Arguments lead to lack of business

I am getting ready to take my wife to Santa Barbara for our 6th anniversary in October. I already have the Bed & Breakfast lined up and I was looking for a nice place to take her for dinner. I have in fact been to Nu right after it opened and did find it to be pleasant, but a bit overpriced. However, I wanted my wife to experience that classiness that this restaraunt has to offer. So I went to this website where I had a chance to read the reviews. The bickering between client and owner, and the owner´s arrogant stand was enough to cause me to look elsewhere. DC, didnt your mother ever tell you that the customer is always right? This is a lesson that you had better learn if you expect your restaurant to last any longer than others previously at your location.


Great Atmosphere

I thought the service was great. The waitress was helpful, but not bothersome. It is a bit pricey, but worth it for the environment and great food prep and presentation. Definitely do the cheese sampler.


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