El Encanto Opens New Dining Room and Terrace on Friday, Has Its Own Dairy Cow Named Ellie

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The view from El Encanto's new Terrace restaurant Photo: El Encanto

El Encanto, the classic crown jewel of a hotel property hanging above Santa Barbara on the city's Riviera, is now reopen after a major refurbishment under Orient-Express. As reported back in December, the seven-acre hotel's new incarnation comes with a restaurant called The Dining Room and Terrace, lead by Daniel veteran Patrice Martineau.

Opening to the public this Friday, the restaurant has a bird's eye view of the charming Spanish-style city and island-speckled sea, and also takes hand-crafted, dotingly sourced dining to a few new extremes.

The restaurant, which specializes in coastal California cuisine with Japanese-Franco touches, roasts its own coffee, brews its own unpasteurized beer, sources vegetables from an on-site garden and Japanese herbs from an aeroponic tower, and also updates the hotel's signature Ile de Flotante with mango meringue and lime saboyan. But it's what's off the property that truly takes the cake for locavore one-upmanship.

According to the restaurant's press reps, the hotel has its own dairy cow named Ellie. She won't hit the plate, as the restaurant has supposedly been pampering her for the kitchen's homemade cheese program. In fact, Ellie has it better than most of us, with treatments like hoof pedicures, hot baths, and massages supplementing her custom diet. Oh Santa Barbara, even your cows live a life of luxury!

The Dining Room and Terrace open this Friday at 5:00 P.M. featuring locally-stacked dishes like dashi-poached halibut, uni toast, seaweed custard with quail eggs and caramelized urchin, and a burger styled on the legendary one at Club 21. Santa Barbara News-Press reports that Martineau may also be pairing some of the restaurant's 3,000-bottle strong wine list with tasting menus.

El Encanto's Dining Room and Terrace open this Friday at 5:00 P.M. at 800 Alvarado Pl. Santa Barbara; 805-845-5800.