The Tasting Panel magazine

February 2014

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Page 82 of 111

78 / the tasting panel / february 2014 Influencers of Santa Barbara THESE WINE AND HOSPITALITY PERSONALITIES MAKE CALIFORNIA'S CHARMING CENTRAL COAST TOWN A DESTINATION TO DESIRE Ted Ellis is the Director of Restaurants & Beverage at Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara. With old classic novels serving as check presenters, Ellis is revamping the look, feel and flavor of this hot property. PHOTO: ROB BROWN S by Meridith May anta Barbara has changed since the days when it was perceived mainly as a resort town on the Paciic, a mere hour north from Los Angeles's urban sprawl. The town's restaurant scene began to grow in sophistication in the late '90s—shifting its focal point from tourist-driven surf-and-turf eateries by the Wharf to an inlux of wine country–inluenced cuisine stars such as Bouchon, Olio e Limone, Wine Cask and Sage & Onion in the Downtown district. Now, the dining scene has expanded into the Funk Zone (see our April 2013 issue for a feature story). What was once a community of auto repair shops and other industrial retail is now home to tasting rooms and art galleries. Montecito, the posh village to the south of town, remains a haven for the wealthy, but its riches also lie in a common ground of ine dining and upscale retail, whether it be clothing, cosmetics or wine. In our continuing series on inluencers, I spent some needed getaway time in Santa Barbara, which has been my home-away-from-home for a long time.

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