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“A love/hate relationship” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ca' Dario Ristorante Italiano

Ca' Dario Ristorante Italiano
37 E Victoria St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-2605
805-884-9419
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Ranked #88 of 449 Restaurants in Santa Barbara
Price range: $31 - $35
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Local cuisine, Outdoor seating, Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Anacapa
Sioux City, Iowa
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
“A love/hate relationship”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

I have a true love/hate relationship with this place. The food is wonderful, each bite tastes like you're in Italy. The bad part is the rest of the experience is AMERICAN - indifferent/impersonal service, noisy and cramped seating, insanely huge portions with prices to match. Each time I go I get caught up in the stupid idea it's somehow going to be a "ristorante Italiano" like, well...in Italy. It's NOT. I dream of a true Italian menu with antipasto, primo, secondo, etc. so I can pretend I'm in Italy when visiting family in Santa Barbara but I think Dario knows most American diners don't get it, so he'd make less money trying to do it in the true Italian tradition. They've been there for quite awhile and I'll give 'em credit for not dumbing the food down, it's just as good as always, but the entire experience always leaves me a bit wistful for what could be.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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169 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    87
    45
    22
    6
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Los Gatos, California
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Amazing!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

We dined here over new years with our 3 teenage sons and we all enjoyed amazing dishes. The lamb and ravioli were especially outstanding - the best we've ever had. The ravioli was so delicious we ordered another portion to share before dessert. It's a small space, and loud, but it doesn't detract from the overall experience. The staff was great, too!

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Upland, California
2 reviews
“Found some of the best Italian food, outside of Italy!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

Just to preface this review--My wife and I have been on a search for Italian food, that would rival the cuisine we had when we were last in Italy.
When we took an extended weekend trip up to Santa Barbara, we stopped by Ca'Dario, for dinner, based on a recommendation. And boy were we glad we ate there!
The food here was excellent, the atmosphere was fantastic, and the service was outstanding!
Now the menu, was not as extensive as I would have liked. Some simple recipes were missing, such as wild boar ragu or Spaghetti with truffle. However, with that being said, I would definitely go back to this restaurant and enjoy their food! You won't be disappointed...
Now, this place gets super busy, I mean a line snaked out the door and around the corner.
So, either get your reservation in early or try to walk in around 5 pm or a bit earlier, before the dinner rush. Then you should be able to grab a table!

Bon Appetit!

  • Visited October 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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santa barbara
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Always Good”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2012

I have never had a bad meal at Ca'Dario. Whenever we want a good meal for a special occasion or just to eat we go here. The salmon with roasted beets is our most favorite dish. You can never go wrong with anything on their menu.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gilbert, Arizona
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“The Best in Santa Barbara”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

Ca'Dario is always a favorite restaurant for us when we are visiting in Santa Barbara. Exceptional service and ambiance, as well as the food and presentation. There is a reason we return over and over again and the place is always packed. Because it is really that good!!

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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