Sunday, February 7, 2010

Square One

Date: “So, do you work out?”

Me: “No.”

Date: “But you watch what you eat, right?”

Me.: “No. Hey, you wanna do the foie gras appetizer?”

This is the point where his eyes narrowed and he began to imagine me obese and middle aged. First dates are fun.

I was really excited to eat at Square One Restaurant in Santa Barbara. Not only is it aptly named for a first date, but I’ve heard lots of good things about the restaurant and its cool cause the head chef is a woman. Also, the online menu seemed interesting and different. One review mentioned foie gras petit fours. I was definitely interested.

Upon walking in, Square One seemed like just another restaurant in SB. The decor was nice and simple, but lacking some artwork on the walls. It was also very empty for a Friday night, especially during the SB Film Festival. But I didn’t let that deter me.

The menu was really surprising. It had a lot of items that you typically do not see on the normal SB menu. There was a good mix of “normal” fine dining options such as mustard crusted pork chops and obscure items such as pan seared foie gras with green apple puree.

For an appetizer we ordered the cheese plate which had gorgonzola, mejon, and humboldt fog cheese with a side of wild flower honey and chopped nuts. The cheeses were really good, but they all were pretty strong. I would have preferred a selection that featured some milder cheeses.

For my entree I ordered the sweet potato gnocchi with braised lamb. I loved this dish. I do wish that the sweet potato flavor was a little more pronounced but dang, it was tasty. I also have to give this restaurant props because its the only restaurant I know of that makes their pasta in house…yes, even the gnocchi. It was a great dish, and the prices seemed reasonable. I definitely want to spread the word on this restaurant because I thought it was really good and I love the creative menu. I was told that they’re constantly changing their menu and I can’t wait to go back again and see what else they have to offer. Maybe next time I’ll get my foie gras! I’ll also try not to drop my knife four times on the floor.