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Posted On: Monday, Jan 28, 2013 9:17 AM
Our guest blogger and Southern Belle in Santa Barbara, a.k.a. Holley, provided some additional high notes from her Film Feast experience, this time touching upon the delicious dishes of Film Feast. Here's what she had to say:
Before Duncan Hines was the food brand of everyone's favorite cake, he was a traveling salesman who became an American pioneer of restaurant ratings for travelers. He said, "Nearly everyone wants at least one outstanding meal a day," and I happen to agree with that logic. Although I love to cook and entertain, often the one outstanding meal of choice for me is at a restaurant where someone else does the cooking and cleaning. The problem I have with this sentiment in Santa Barbara is that there are so many amazing restaurants that would have surely garnered Duncan's top rating. And the problem just got more complicated with the introduction of Film Feast's exclusive prix fixe menus and tasting flights at 24 local restaurants.
You've got to start somewhere, right, and for me it was Opal Restaurant, which is conveniently located next to the Arlington Theatre where the opening film, Disconnect, was premiering. We sat in Opal's recently refurbished dining room, with handsome new drapes, comfy booths, and stunning photographs adorning the brick walls. I was delighted the owner, Tina, stopped by our table to say hello and welcome us to her restaurant. She simply exudes warmth and grace. You feel as if you're a guest in her home and she is dedicated to ensuring every aspect of your meal is indeed outstanding. The prix fixe menu was both sophisticated and indulgent--not to mention very generous in portion. I started with a wild mushroom risotto, prawn and crab cake with a Meyer lemon beurre blanc; followed by a grilled Kurobata pork loin on an asparagus truffle butter beurre blanc with mashed potatoes and a warm artichoke mushroom relish. For the sweet ending, it was a rich yet balanced dark chocolate creme brulee. The entire meal was frankly ridiculous.
Actress Mae West famously said, "Too much of a good thing can be wonderful." I'm taking her outlook to heart and am going to try my best to feast enthusiastically throughout the SBIFF. I'd say the stellar line up is pretty wonderful in my book.