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“Not the experience we hoped for”

Wine Cask Restaurant
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Ranked #92 of 528 Restaurants in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $40
Cuisines: Seafood, Wine Bar, International, American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic, Large groups
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Canon Perdido
Description: DOUG MARGERUM and MITCHELL SJERVEN'S Wine Cask, located in downtown Santa Barbara in the historic El Paseo complex, offers the best of all worlds to enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner in a stylishly relaxed setting. Their passion is great food, the highest caliber of service and bringing back the comfort and nostalgia of one of Santa Barbara's favorite restaurants. Indulge in great foods featuring the freshest local ingredients and select from the best wine list in town, not to mention signature cocktails that change regularly. Whether you're looking for a casual drink and shared plates alfresco in the Mediterranean courtyard or nestled up in front of the fireplace, or feel like a lively dinner in the main room, you'll find what you're craving at the Wine Cask.
Uk
Level Contributor
150 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
“Not the experience we hoped for”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 11, 2013

Sadly I am putting this restaurant at an 'average'. The restaurant itself is fine, and looks professional and serious and well decorated. However the food and menu did not match the standard expected of the price one had to pay. It was good but not that good. The wine list is extensive, but so it should be, and the sommelier certainly knows his stuff, and the wine we had was also good. However, the service was not too good, with the staff being somewhat dismissive after one had ordered. Once ordered we were forgotten, and had great difficulty in attracting the waiters eye. This would not have mattered if the restaurant was full, but there were only three other couples in the dining room. This perhaps did not help with the ambience, but warmth comes from the friendliness of the establishment's staff and not necessarily from other customers. We just felt disappointed when we left that we had not had the dining experience we hoped for. The prices are quite high, which we have no problem with at all when everything else is equal, but overall, this time, we felt that the experience was not good value for money.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Pringle1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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235 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    136
    62
    21
    8
    8
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Sherman Oaks, CA
2 reviews
“Rehearsal Dinner”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2013

Had my rehearsal dinner the friday before my wedding day at Wine Cask. I was so impressed with the food and service. And so were my guests. I highly recommend this restaurant ! really great!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Michele N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monrovia, CA
Level Contributor
95 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Expected More”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 31, 2013

Because we consider ourselves wine snobs, we thought this place sounded like our kind of spot. While the restaurant itself was pleasant, I wasn't that impressed with either their wine list or their food. It was decent and palatable, but for the price, I expected more. There was a private party on the patio, otherwise the place was fairly empty. When I asked not to be sat near the door as it was chilly for an August evening, they moved us close to a gas fireplace that didn't emanate much heat, but right behind a short glass partition by the door. The staff was attentive, and the food was okay, but for me not to even remember what I ordered doesn't say much. The one thing I do remember is dessert. We decided to split a butterscotch pudding. It looked pretty in the bowl, but it was topped with SALTED whipped cream. Why anyone would think salt and butterscotch complement each other is beyond me. We scraped off the cream and ate some of the pudding, but by then we were disappointed enough to leave the rest.

All in all, I don't think I'd go back. It was just so-so!

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank DonnaBaker26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Everyone left satisfied”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2013

We had nice adult meal selections while being able to meet the kids' needs. Food for the most part was quite good and the ambiance was lovely. I must say their cask burger was made to perfection!

I only recommend tripadvisor to update its menu link. I should have checked the restaurant menu page instead of relying on tripadvisor menu page. It was the second night in a row I was surprised upon arriving at the restaurant.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank kel213
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jersey Shore Area
Level Contributor
23 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Wonderful experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 17, 2013

This is a beautiful romantic restaurant with fabulous fresh exquisite food. My husband and I are celebrating our 35 anniversary on this trip and can't rave enough about this place. The food, wine, service and atmosphere exceeded our expectations.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank JoAnn W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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