Santa Barbara > Restaurants > Gisella's Trattoria
Ca Dario

Gisella's Trattoria
No longer in business
Opened: ? Closed: 2006

1311 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 963-8219

Reviews by the General Public

Husband popped the question on the balcony there!, 8/2/2006
Reviewer: Breda Overman from Seattle formely Santa Barbara and Ireland,
Had a final break up date there and my husband proposed .So sad to hear it may close Food good as the competion is toughf in Santa Barbara, and atmosphere warm and cosy( that I remamber)Giselle and I caught the same bouqet at a wedding along time ago>>

Not impressed..., 3/28/2006
Reviewer: Molly from Santa Barbara, CA
I feel like I have given this restaurant my best shot and after the horrible service we received on Valentine's Day - we won't be coming back. This restaurant seems to have everything going for it - great location, beautiful ambience. However, the food tends to be mediocre and on our last visit, there was a 45 minute period where NO ONE came to wait on our table - no one even came near the balcony where we were seated during this time. Once we finally asked for service, the waitress was defensive at best and never even apologized. I suggest hiring more servers and making sure to check up on the people sitting in the balcony. Also, maybe don't seat people over the grill - I was sitting there and the cook did something will some salmon that caused a lot of fishy smoke to envelope me - not pleasant.

Fantastic!, 8/25/2005
Reviewer: Jessica from Austin, TX
Just got back from Santa Barbara and loved our fist meal at Gisella's. We stumbled upon it looking for at late dinner, and they were very accomodating. We sat on the adorable balcony overlooking State St. I had the insalata caprese and the gnocchi with gorgonzola cream sauce. Both were excellent!!

Room for improvement, 8/14/2005
Reviewer: Sarah from Los Angeles
There is much room for improvement. The arrugula salad was a large mound of greens with a tasteless dressing. The pizza crust was fairly good although it could have used a few more minutes in the oven. The sauce and toppings were tasteless and the cheese was low quality. My husband's linguini with seafood was average at best. The atmosphere is nice, certainly cute, but the chef and/or owner would be doing diners a huge favor by taking a very good look at the food quality and stepping it up a notch at the very least. Perhaps improve the quality of ingredients to begin with. If authentic Italian is the goal here, their intentions are good, just need attention to detail. There is too much competition in the restaurant world to get lazy about quality. good luck

Amazing, 7/12/2005

Amazing pizza, amazing food. I nearly wanted to cry when I was having the pizza. It is really how it is made (or very close) to the real pizza in Italy, and this is a first for the USA (at least for me). I hope these are rumours about Gisella's closing; if so we need to march on whoever is trying to close the store. Forza Gisella!

Don´t miss Gisella´s, 6/18/2005
Reviewer: John Daley from Santa Barbara, CA
With the perfect combination of taste, atmosphere, and service, Gisella´s was the best dining experience I´ve had in a long time. My seat in front of the fire place along with the live music made for a very warm and cozy evening out. Our waiter was friendly and had a good sense of humor. I had the Sea Bass from the wood burning oven and it was not only prepared beautifully but it was absolutely delicious! Overall A++ Don´t miss this place!

I Love Gisella´s, but I heard it was For Sale ?, 4/27/2005

I love eating here. Nice music, romantic atmosphere, friendly staff and great food. I heard it was for sale? Say it ain´t so. Anyone know anything about this ?

the best, 4/26/2005

my favorite restaurant great food, great service, great atmosphere

The Best Italian Pizza in Town, 3/28/2005
Reviewer: Debbie from Santa Barbara, CA
I love Italian Pizza and have been to almost every restuarant in town who has a Italian Pizza Oven. Gisellas is by far the best Italian Pizza in town. I could live on it. The crust is thin and they always put the right amount of ingredients on top. My favorite is the Margherita Pizza. The Best!!!

FABULOUS FOOD, 3/28/2005

This is one of my favorite Italian restaurants in SB. The pizza is tasty. The person who wrote about not having enough food must have an altered appetite. My husband and I shared a pasta dish and a pizza and had plenty to take home! The ambience is wonderful - with live music on most Fridays and Saturdays. The best view is from one of the balcony seats...

New Staff, great service, 1/17/2005

The atmosphere here is beautiful and romantic -- coopered celings, fireplace, a balcony with a mountain view (perfect for an early sunset dinner). The food was great, a good value, traditional Italiano. My previous times there have varied from great to service to bad, however, a fully new equiped staff, has changed the energy at the place! Wonderful, friendly experience!!!

not enough food, 12/30/2004

I went here for my birthday and the service was good. However, the food was way too expensive for what you are getting. It tastes good but the portions were for little children. They also charged us to cut the birthday cake that we brought in per each slice. That was the worst part. Not enough food and too expensive. You need to buy three dinners to fill yourself up. Will not go again.

Nice atmosphere and good food!, 12/2/2004
Reviewer: Tad
I don´t know why the last review was so harsh. Maybe they have never had decent pizza before. Gisella´s makes great pizza. I come from the East coast where the pizza is authentic and not topped with bbq chicken. Gisellas crust is always nice and thin and cooked in a wood oven. The basic dish bolgenese is really good. I order out from them all the time or bring a date and request to be seated upstairs on the balcony. I reccommend it.

not a pleasant experience, 9/18/2004
Reviewer: paolo from santa barbara, ca
the place would be so cute inside.....too bad the food is not so pleasant. the pizza was way below average, and more expensive than better joints in town. service sucks!!!!!1 customer experience is important....tell it to the brazilian waitresses and waiter....if you don´t like the job, leave it....

Bad service one too many times, 8/5/2004
Reviewer: Eric
This used to be one of my favorite restaurants in SB, but I have had several bad experiences here and would never go back. The big drawback to this restaurant is the service, or lack thereof. When I´m paying $16+ a plate, plus drinks I expect to be treated nicely. The people including the owner herself are rude and pretentious. I have never felt so unwelcome. From looking at other reviews I see that this must be a policy of theirs to be incompetent and nasty. I hope your establishment fails!!!

Best Pizza´s in SB, 7/9/2004
Reviewer: Ardy from Holland
Seriously this is the best place to eat real Italian Pizza. Great service and seriously great pizza. At the time I lived in SB I loved these pizza´s the most, it really doesn´t get any better.

The Gnocci is out-of-this-world!, 12/1/2003
Reviewer: Megan from Santa Barbara, CA USA
I recently went to Gisella´s after forgetting about it for a couple of years and I was so impressed! My friend got the gnocci, which I had never had, and it was excelente! The glass of merlot and caesar that I had were terrific too. We started with the calamari and being a local who constantly attends fish restaurants in the area, this was some of the best I´ve ever had! I´m taking my boyfriend there for his birthday because of the romantic atmosphere and because it´s very reasonably priced, especially for S.B. Highly recommended!!!

WHAT A ROMANTIC PLACE!!!, 11/26/2003

Last night our dinner experience was amazing! Thanks

lemon tiramissu!, 11/18/2003
Reviewer: Mia
I tried the lemon tiramisu at Gisela’s, and I love it! Worth every calorie!

Brazil, 11/18/2003

I had a terrific dinner experience last night at gisella´s. It was a night full of surprises. Well I have been going to gisella´s for ever, I love the atmosphere, the paints, the casual service, the food is excellent, and the pizzas..Ah! the´s a real trattoria! And now, gisella went down south...all the way for the Brazilian culture, adding specials from that part of the world that I had no idea how would be.... and let me tell was delicious! I had a shrimp plate, made with was to die for! The waitress was very helpful with my selection, live music, and even samba dancer!!! I had a blast! Thanks one more time for everyone at gisella´s! You made my night!

Worst experience ever!, 7/9/2003

I have eaten at Gisellas several times and have had good experiences. However, one time we made reservations for a group of 20 for two hours before a show at the Arlington next door. We placed our orders with plenty of time to spare. As time ticked on, we started asking about our food and the waiter kept assuring us that it was coming. Five minutes before our show was about to start, we finally gave up. Just five minutes before that, the waiter assured us it would be right up, but there were no plates waiting at the kitchen. We suspect they were just too busy that night and consciously chose to not feed us, which, if it is true, is absolutely inexcusable We all went away hungry. They didn´t really try to appologize for that experience and never really acknowledged that they messed up. The owner was present that evening.

Gisellas is an Authentic Italian Experience, 4/26/2003
Reviewer: Karen from santa barbara
Having been a patron for years of this local trattoria, everytime I go in there I feel like I´m in another world, like I am in Italy, in a quaint neopolitan restaurant complete with authentic and delicious food, hustle and bustle, great service from a loyal staff that know us all by name. I´m sorry to hear that some have had bad experiences, I am inclined to feel these mishaps are few and far between, as for years I have never personally experienced, heard of anyone experiencing, or observed anything like the negative reviews listed here. I would recommend that people think for themselves and try Gisellas to see for themselves what a great dining experience this is!

Best Italian food in Santa Barbara, 12/27/2002

The gnocchi with gorgonzola melts in your mouth as does everything else we ordered...service was EXCELLENT and the environment was wonderful...thank you for a wonderful experience!

Fresh food, 10/22/2002
Reviewer: Victoria from Woodland Hills, CA
I enjoy the fresh food. The first time I ate there we had great service by Pete. Went there recently and the service was horrible, except for the Hostess Gisella.

Shockingly bad service, 9/17/2002

The ambience is terrific, but every time I´ve eaten there the service has been bad. Here´s the worst experience I had: I booked a wedding shower party for 28, and set up everything three weeks beforehand. I confirmed the reservation the day before with the party organizer I had dealt with (a guy named Shannon). When we arrived the next day, no one could find the reservation, and Shannon was not there. The restaurant had no idea we were coming! None of the preparations had been made (there were supposed to be special menus printed and tables arranged for our party). We were left adrift with no where to turn. No one apologized--instead they said they could try to accomodate us, but they had no reservation, so it would be difficult. Absiolutely unbeliveable! I wish I could say this was the only bad experience, but there have been several more.

Upper East Side New York or State St. in Santa Barbara, 2/12/2002

We thought that we were in New York for a moment. Fabulous thin, crisp Margherita pizza, a great arugala and goat cheese salad with walnuts. Perfect pasta and a lovely hostess Gisella in a delightful room just a few blocks from the beach. You tell us! Does it get any better than this? Not for these Santa Barbara lovers.

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