Wine Cask Rating: * 1/2 Location: 813 Anacapa St., Santa Barbara, (805) 966-9463 or (800) 436-9463; www.winecask.com. Ambience: Handsome, wine-focused restaurant in Santa Barbara's El Paseo with a Spanish revival dining room and a spacious outdoor courtyard framed by the restaurant and wine shop. The new chef is John Pettit, former chef de cuisine of Mélisse in Santa Monica. Service: Informed and intelligent. Wine-friendly. Price: Dinner appetizers, $12 to $22; main courses, $34 to $52; dessert, $7 to $12. Daily tasting menu, $90 per person ($125 with wine pairings); vegetarian tasting menu, $70 per person ($105 with wines); chef's eight-course tasting menu, $115 per person ($175 with wines). Best dishes: Eggplant soup, duck rillettes ravioli, freshwater shrimp with warm potato and leek salad, local abalone, duck breast, lamb trio or quartet, coffee pot de crème, mixed berry shortcake. Wine list: Comprehensive Central Coast selection, along with good choices from other regions, including Europe. Corkage fee, $25. Best table: One at the edge of the outdoor courtyard. Special features: Wine shop across the courtyard. Details: Open for lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; for dinner, 5:30 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Full bar. Valet parking in adjacent lot. To see a photo gallery, go to latimes.com/food. Rating is based on food, service and ambience, with price taken into account in relation to quality. ****: Outstanding on every level. ***: Excellent. **: Very good. *: Good. No star: Poor to satisfactory.
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