January in Santa Barbara means three things: unusually cold (yet sometimes strangely warm) weather, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF), and Film Feast, a culinary ode to the film districts that dot Santa Barbara’s downtown areas. From January 24—February 3, Santa Barbara’s culinary scene heats up with an influx of delectable prix fixe menus, exquisitely paired tasting flights and chef specials, allowing stars and locals alike to indulge in the best plates in town.
Whether you find yourself near the Arlington, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Lobero or Metro 4, restaurants all around these iconic theaters (broken down into “districts”) will be offering their finest appetizers, meals and desserts, often with special prizes attached. For example, especially colorful plates at Bistro 1111 win you movie tickets, while showcasing your movie knowledge at Grassini Family Vineyards may get you into a movie after the festival.
Specially designed prix fixe menus at a variety of restaurants will also be offered during this eleven-day film and food celebration, and finding the perfect plates and pairings is as easy as clicking here. With themes such as “Cent’Anni di Julia” at Olio e Limone (100 Years of Julia Child), and “Big Lebowski Meal” at Julienne Restaurant, your only issue will be getting to try each one!
The Film Feast fun doesn’t stop at the restaurants, either. Several Santa Barbara hotels will offer specials, including coupons to wineries and restaurants, as well as SBIFF tickets (you get two of each if you book at Hotel Oceana).
A new addition to Film Feast, and one that has us thankful for technology, is the Film Feast guide, offering a detailed look at all participating restaurants, tasting rooms and hotels. Be sure to check it out here.
Stomachs growling yet? Don’t miss these limited-time menus and specials all around Santa Barbara, all celebrating the wonderful accomplishments of the film industry this year. It also doesn’t hurt that you may see your favorite star dining mere feet away.
-Taylor Micaela Davis