Hometown Comfort & Impeccable Tastes
Restaurant on Linden Street in Carpinteria was created
by Chef James Sly and his delightful wife Annie Sly in 2008,
and has become a home-away-from-home for locals throughout the
Santa Barbara area since it's inception. What began with a wish
to host locals in a warm and welcoming environment has become
a 'not to miss' experience where favorite traditional dishes
far surpass expectations.
and James say they hold a special place in their hearts for
Chef Julia Child, who was involved in their meeting, which lead
to their subsequent marriage. They are now partners in one of
the most beloved dining establishments on the Central Coast.
At lunch or dinner it is obvious Sly's has the ambiance of a
"Cheers" neighborhood favorite meeting place, but
it's the culinary skill of Chef James Sly and his team that
seals the deal for 'be back' patrons.
James, with a culinary career of over forty-five years has a
culinary history in fine food at some of the most renowned restaurants
in the world. They include taking Lucky's in Montecito to the
top of the charts as Executive Chef & co-owner, as well
as working at the Ritz in Paris, and in tandem with renowned
chefs like Chef Michael Hutchings at Le Serre. Sly is a master
at making impeccably done cuisine look like it's an effortless
accomplishment, and his recipes and family style presentation
insures patrons a warm dining experience that far exceeds anyone's
couple are so real, and love what they do so much that the food,
service and ambiance are addictive. During my visit to Sly's
I noticed that one of Montecito's most renowned families, who
have been regulars since the restaurant opening in 2008, were
celebrating a birthday in the back dining room, and they all
stopped at the chef's table to personally thank Chef James and
Annie. There is real love and respect being exchanged in this
venue of honorable food.
Sly Crab Louie Salad
saw people come in salivating for the daily blue plate special,
which includes a variety of authentic traditional dishes that
many of us know and love, and on that night the special was
an amazing beef Stroganoff with wild mushrooms and buttered
noodles. The vegetable dishes have completely hooked me in.
The creamed vegetable and potatoes plates served at Sly's made
me remember eating at Stouffer's Restaurant on Wabash Street
in Chicago with my mother, and when I mentioned it Chef James
smiled and said he also loved eating at Stouffer's as a kid
with a favorite family member. Every veggie dish was outstanding
and Chef James said he buys his produce from the local farmer's
market. The "Mama's Brussels sprouts" sauteed in Costa
Olive Oil with garlic will now be my lifelong favorite dish,
and the creamed spinach and Chef James favorite scalloped potatoes
with gruyere cheese, were ideal to combine with the moist and
delicious Salmon in Bernaise Sauce I requested.
you love freshly baked breads, and home-made desserts you will
quickly be addicted to the brioche and dessert served at Sly's.
Breads and rolls are always served warm at your table. The rye
breads are ideal with double chicken broth Matzoh Ball Soup,
escargot baked in green butter, or a shrimp with avocado salad
swimming in chef made Louis dressing.
is nothing I desire more than a great souffle with fresh crème
anglaise, and Chef James serves the best you will find anywhere,
including the Le Cinq in the George V, Paris. Some desserts
are also topped with sweet and ripe berries from Harry's Berries
that become one more recipe component of a perfectly prepared
dessert combo. "Combining several well prepared components
is the secret of any well done plate," says Chef Sly.
a reputation as a place to get a delicious steak, ribs, rack
of lamb or hamburger, Sly's attracts a varied crowd of hungry
diners. On both my visits to the Linden Avenue restaurant I
was amazed how the staff aim to please, and accommodate any
special needs of guests, and by the variety of patrons which
included everything from young mother's with babies, to groups
celebrating special occasions, and couples having a night out.
"We want everyone to feel comfortable in our place, from
families sharing dinner in the back dining room to biker's having
a burger and beer at the bar," says Annie.
to please, James and Annie are happy to provide gluten free
items when requested, and although they are closed for the holidays,
they offer patrons the opportunity to order advance to-go delicious
holiday dinners to enjoy at home with their families.
has received an 'Award of Excellence' from Wine Spectator for
the past three years, and the wine menu offers something for
everyone from a Pinot by Hitchcock that goes with every dish,
to selections from what they call their "Us" and "Them"
approach. They feel their basic list of about 100 wines are
all good choices in their price range. The "Us" part
includes wines from Carpinteria, Summerland, Santa Barbara County,
and California. What they consider the "Them" part,
however, is what tends to set Sly's apart. "Them"
at Sly's means they offer some comparable wines from France
in a number of categories. Ten Chardonnay, ten white Burgundy.
Ten pinot noir, ten red Burgundy. Seven Rhône style wines
from California, seven from the Rhône Valley in France.
They welcome guests to try these fine wines from France. The
Full Bar offers classic cocktails, and an extensive list of
wines by the bottle and by the glass. They also offer a a bevy
of beer and ale choices to enjoy at the bar or with meals.
the warm greeting you receive when entering Sly's, to the personal
good-bye from Annie and James, who in the evening are always
seated at the Chef's table where guest must pass when they exit,
it is a warm and personal experience, where fine food and wine
reign. For reservations and menu details, including daily blue
plate specials visit: www.slysonline.com.
Seafood - Steaks - Cocktails
Corner of Linden Avenue and Seventh Street
Carpinteria • Reservations: 805-684-6666
Valet Parking from 5:30 pm, Seven Days a Week
By Bonnie Carroll
About Bonnie Carroll
Bonnie Carroll has been a food/travel/lifestyle writer since
1983. She is the founder & publisher of Bonnie Carroll's
Life Bites News - www.lifebitesnews.com,
does travel and food reporting on KZSB1290 radio, and contributes
to a variety of national and international travel/lifestyle
publications. Her first children's book C.C. Charles was published
in 2002 and she is currently working on a second book. Contact
her at Contact her at email@example.com.