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Wine Cask
813 Anacapa St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 966-9463

Reviews by the General Public

wine corkage surprise
Reviewer: shel from Santa Barbara, CA
Celebrating a birthday last weekend I brought family here for a special treat. The food was outstanding: crispy chicken, ahi tuna and duck...really outstanding. I brought two bottles of fine red wines from my cellar and fully expected to pay the usual $25.00 per bottle corkage....but when the bill came it stated weekend wine corkage is $35.00 per bottle. I think raising the corkage fee (just on weekends) without any mention of this on the menu or website is unconscionable. Just be forewarned this will set you back more than your entrée!

Dissapointing Father's Day
Reviewer: Roseann from San Diego, CA
We decided to celebrate Father's Day here with our adult kids and were anticipating a wonderful meal. It was our first time here and I have always admired the decor. We were very disappointed. Both my daughter's and my dishes were so salty as to be almost inedible. It was a fish with Tapenade Sauce. I complained about mine and they did give me another option, but acted like there was something wrong with me. The second dish was better but nothing great. The waitress was a bit condescending. We will never go back! The food was not carefully prepared and for the price it should be. We visit Santa Barbara regularly and have been to many of the restaurants which are usually very good; this is the first time that I haven't like my meal.

Reviewer: Bernard from Santa Barbara, CA
I had already chosen my meal from the online menu and made a booking for our anniversary based partly on my choice. But the menu in the restaurant was different from the one shown on their website. I chose salmon: it arrived so rare that it was still cold. It sat on a stack of "salad" (I think spinach-based, but couldn't tell) that was way oversalted. But my wife enjoyed her risotto, the wine was good and despite a very disappointing meal I still enjoyed the evening.

27th Wedding Anniversay
Reviewer: Karen from Garden Grove, CA
We have been to Santa Barbara several times and have always had great food. This was not one of them. My husband had the pork chop which was dry and tasteless and I had the salmon which was mushy and the topping was hard . Both of our plates looked really bad when they came out. I expected better from a 5 star restaurant. Also there is a very loud restaurant next door that played loud music and I did not like that.We were very disappointed. The service on the other hand was great. Our waiter suggested the perfect bottle of wine and our food came on time. He was very attentive. Sorry but we will not be back.

Reviewer: Tara Marie from Santa Barbara, CA
We held our company holiday party at the Wine Cask last Friday and the experience was spectacular. The event was amazing and everything was pulled off flawlessly! The food and set up truly exceeded our expectations... DELICIOUS! We had a fantastic time and all our employees were extremely happy and gracious for the accommodating and attentive staff. We could not be happier with choosing the Wine Cask for our celebration.

very disappointed
Reviewer: Annie B from Santa Barbara, CA
Horrible black sea bass. Over cooked and bland. Very dry chicken. Waiter had been there a month but knew nothing about anything. $ 276 for 4 with no desert. Will NOT go back

Nice dinner
Reviewer: Julie from Santa Barbara, CA
Had dinner with two other couples at the Wine Cask last Friday night. The food was good (the Scallop Entree was GREAT) but overall not as good and consistent like the old days. Service was interesting. Our server was pleasant enough, got all the orders right, etc. but he would seem to disappear for long periods of time. I would say the Wine Cask is still one of the better restaurants in town.

Reviewer: Elena from Santa Barbara, CA
My friend and I decided to treat ourselves for the end of the year of classes where we work. The food was fabulous from the salad (generous portion and delicious dressing) to the salmon to the doughnuts dessert. The service was impeccable - attentive and friendly. The atmosphere was very comfortable and cozy. I look forward to returning for another special occasion.

Is it as Good as it Was....?
Reviewer: Krista and Tony from Santa Barbara, CA
Well that may or may not be a fair question but since it has the same name and the same location I think it's fair. The answer is 90 percent. Its still an excellent place but maybe just not quite what it was. My wife and I dined there on a recent Saturday evening and the place was full (a good sign), despite being packed I found the noise level to be perfectly acceptable and made for relatively easy conversation. As expected the wine list was amazing but don't look for any bargains, the usual 3x retail is firmly in place here. For dinner my wife and I opted for the pork chop and the Kobe NY strip. Both were expertly seasoned and perfectly cooked with great sauces and sides. The chop was fabulously tender but a bit fatty around the edges, the center medallion was exquisite but just not quite enough overall when cut down. The Kobe was first rate and joyous all the way through, no complaints there. We also had an excellent dessert featuring Chai ice-cream, gingerbread and black pepper cream. Yum! Service was excellent as well but seemed a bit frenetic, there seemed to always be staff buzzing around table-to-table. Generally thats not a bad thing and maybe a bit nit-picky or perhaps it was our tables location but it did become noticeable after a short period. Anyhow, we'll definitely go back and the Wine Cask is an excellent place. Maybe next time we'll see the magic that was the Wine Cask of old. T

Welcome back Wine Cask!
Reviewer: Sophia from Santa Barbara, CA
The Wine Cask is a Santa Barbara institution and I don't know why I waited so long to return and check out how the place is doing under the old/new owners. I loved it; it's been smartened up a little (but not too much), with tighter staff and a great atmosphere. There are some new things on the menu, the wine is good (of course) and it is solid enough to make contenders like Bouchon seem amateur. The wine bar was buzzing when we went on a Monday night, and the dining room was pretty full, but still classy and discrete. All of the food was well-thought out in terms of good ingredients and taste, but also in terms of being up-to-date and relevant. This is a balancing act for an "institution" like the Wine Cask, but I think they have it right. I am not a Wine Cask regular, but have been to the restaurant and to Intermezzo enough times over the past few years to have witnessed the decline of the place during the time the Wine Cask was owned by "those folks from out of town." I'm certainly going to put this place back on my list of places to dine, and may even shoot for twice this week.

Amazing food but lousy management
Reviewer: Juli from Santa Barbara, CA
I have tried to come to WC twice now. The first time I was rudely told by a woman on the phone that the bar was all booked for the evening, although I was under the impression they didn't take reservations. Well, I didn't think much of it and after hearing great things about the new chef, I decided to give it another try. I have to say, I was not disappointed by the food whatsoever - it was what I believe was the manager on duty. My friend and I enjoyed a glass of wine in their Tasting Room & this guy dressed in a suit came storming through the room. He made some short, snappy and rude comments to some of the staff and then stomped out huffing and puffing. I have to say, he sucked the good vibe right out of the room. It's sad that such an enticing menu was compromised by such unprofessional and negative management. The guests should never have to be exposed to the internal drama of a business, but that's just my humble opinion.

Wine Cask
Reviewer: Anonymous from Santa Barbara, CA
We had Thanksgiving dinner at the Wine Cask. The atmosphere was lovely; the service was outstanding. However, for $65 per person, the 3-course meal did not meet my expectations in the least. I will never recommend this restaurant for a holiday meal. I must add, however, that my husband has had dinner at this restaurant after it reopened and found it to be quite nice and the price range is reasonable. (I also think it is chicken of people to remain anonymous, but I will be dining there off the regular menu -- it was just a disappointing holiday meal for me.)

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