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“Superb”
Review of Downey's - CLOSED

Downey's
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $60
Cuisines: French, Seafood, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Romantic, Special occasions
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.
Reviewed January 5, 2014

We came for dinner based on the high ratings and were not disappointed. Make a reservation in advance. A nice, well appointed and quiet place. Service is superb and servers know the reservation very well. The tasting menu is a good value. The crab and papaya salad with lime vinegarette dressing was superb and the choice of desserts was great. A nice wine selection but no liquor license (not the only place we found this situation at a nice restaurant in Santa Barbara). We would definitely return--after having a drink across the street.

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Thank Otto W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
woodsander, Owner at Downey's, responded to this reviewResponded January 9, 2014

Thank you so much for your review. I like the word "superb" and even more so with three (count em!) exclamation marks! Regarding the absence of a liquor license for spirits at our place, may I suggest you stop in at Opal for drinks? Then we want you back in our dining room!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (358)
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162 - 166 of 358 reviews

Reviewed January 4, 2014

Downeys is like the Hope diamond in the jewelry box that is Santa Barbara's dining scene. A monster monster commitment to quality, a flair for creativity, and a passion for highest quality local ingredients are backed up with service dedicated to creating a perfect dining experience. Folks, don't miss this.

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1  Thank Frances W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
woodsander, Owner at Downey's, responded to this reviewResponded January 9, 2014

Thanks for your "monster monster" review! Come back when you are nearby and we'll be happy to serve you once again. Liz and John

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 15, 2013

This is such a charming place. The service is helpful and laid back, not at all pretentious or stuffy. The food is fabulous-they are some dishes that have been on the menu for years, that are always good. Lamb, Duck, but you really can't go wrong. My wife had an excellent cauliflower soup followed by an equally delicious black cod. I had a salad followed by the lamb loin. Wow. Everything was perfect and how wonderful to be dining here once again.

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Thank DAVID F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2013

The food and ambience were exceptional--the best duck I've ever had, moist, flavorful and tender, yet lean. The wait staff and Liz Downey made the evening particularly enjoyable. They were friendly, attentive, knowledgeable and fun. We let Liz surprise us with wine choices, that were tasty and unusual, yet moderately priced. A second tip: there is easy and plentiful parking in the bank lot across the street. It's $5 for five hours in the evening. You can pay with cash or credit card at an automated small kiosk that yields a ticket to place on your dash. The kiosk is somewhat hidden away and unlighted, so you will need to look for it, if you believe their threats of towing with no ticket.

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2  Thank jefferyg_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 3, 2013

We were greeted and made to feel most welcome by Liz, the owner/chef’s wife. There is something to be said when the owner is in the kitchen and Downey’s is a perfect example of that truism. The lobster starter with capellini, asparagus tips, radicchio and endive was sublime. The seabass was done in a sauce like a perfect bouillabaisse and the evening’s specially prepared medallions of lamb loin with roast potatoes, green beans with chanterelles and enoki made one wonder where their Michelin star is. Their simple and varied menu is nicely complemented by a superb yet modest wine list with plenty of moderately priced half-bottles.

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1  Thank Michael H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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