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“Excellent restaurant offering good food and professional friendly service- tip: try the prix fixe menu”
Review of Downey's

Downey's
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Ranked #18 of 531 Restaurants in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $60
Cuisines: French, Seafood, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Victoria
Description: Downey's restaurant is the cornerstone of fine casual dining on State Street in the heart of the downtown Santa Barbara theater district. Chef John Downey has been serving "Farm-to-Table" cuisine since 1982. The dining room is comfortably furnished with well-spaced tables allowing for pleasant dinner conversation. Original plein-aire landscapes of local scenes painted by co-owner Liz Downey adorn the walls. Liz also is most often overseeing the smooth running of her dining room where you may expect professional yet friendly service.
Adelaide, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
1,330 reviews
753 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1,048 helpful votes
“Excellent restaurant offering good food and professional friendly service- tip: try the prix fixe menu”
Reviewed November 9, 2012

Downey's offers a pleasant dining experience- thoughtfully prepared food, an interesting wine list and quiet tranquil yet attentive service. They have been trading for 30 years, and have won several awards.

It's a good restaurant for dinner with friends or a date night. The ambience is quiet and relaxing- facilitating table conversation!

The location is in downtown State Street.

The staff are friendly and knowledgable. They can give you worthwhile recommendations about local wines.

I suggest you check their menu on their website, to give you an idea about the style of food- there's a focus on local produce.

Highly recommended

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank adelaidiantraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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353 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    275
    47
    22
    4
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Santa Barbara, California
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“The perfect Fall meal”
Reviewed November 8, 2012

Last night we returned to Downey's for the Fall special, a four-course fixed-price dinner planned and perfectly executed by chef John Downey and his team. The menu was simple yet well connected, each dish so pleasing that it raised expectations (that were consistently met) for the next course. We started with a small-pot appetizer of large chunks of lobster on risotto with a thermador sauce - spectacular. This was followed by a wonderfully rich oxtail broth soup with succulent meat bits and perfectly cubed Fall vegetables, a light yet pleasing follow-on to the rich lobster. The delicious soup set the stage for the main entre, succulent roast chicken on whipped sweet potatoes floating on an extraordinary chicken-broth sauce. (Chef Downey does a truly exceptional job with savory sauces) Dessert was a beautiful and delicious confection of vanilla ice cream and baked apple in between light-as-air slabs of puff pastry.

The food was exceptional, as always, but the evening was made perfect by the whole experience: the gracious hospitality of the staff, the lovely companion wines, the unhurried pace of the service and the warm, homey atmosphere of Downey's dining room. Everyone at our table of four thoroughly enjoyed our evening.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank Deb93105
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
white plains, ny
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Best restaurant in a long time.”
Reviewed November 2, 2012

Dinner for two on a weekday. We had the prix fixe dinner. Outstanding service and food-couldn't have asked for more. The couple in charge really care about their business. Don't miss this if you are in Santa Barbara.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank geezer101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Superb meal”
Reviewed October 25, 2012 via mobile

This was one of the best meals of our trip. I highly recommend the mussels for a starter--a unique and very successful combination of flavors. The duck entree was excellent. Desserts are presented on a cart and are the actual desserts as opposed to those restaurants that have plastic mock ups (I run from those). It was impossible to turn down dessert and I recommend you save room or share.

It was a quiet night but I believe staff would have been just as attentive and personable if it had been busy. Decor is very attractive. I think that even if the room was full. It would not have been too noisy.

    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank golightly53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Wonderful dinner!”
Reviewed October 13, 2012

We celebrated our anniversary tonight here and had a delicious meal, great service, and a romantic private table. The butternut and apple soup was incredible. The crab served over papaya was out of this world. The duck was excellent, as was the lamb. We'd go back tomorrow!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank dvmal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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