to International Wine & Food at Les Marchands
was such a pleasure to enjoy a leisurely dinner in the inviting
restaurant-bar area of Les Marchands, where Chef Weston Richards
was serving a 'Passport to Germany: Baden and Pfalz' set menu
for guests during October that was paired with fine wine from
the renowned Les Marchands collection. The European-style restaurant
and retail wine shop is located in the middle of the popular
Funk Zone in Santa Barbara, just next door to The Lark restaurant.
love this intimate room, and the outside garden as well, for
its welcoming atmosphere and friendly service. It is an ideal
place for catching up with friends or a great date night dinner
spot, with walls filled with fine wines and divine small plates
to savor. I find it very reminiscent of many little French restaurants
in Paris that I've visited over the years. The designers have
managed to bring a stylish warmth to a shell of a building using
artistic lighting fixtures, a European looking bar, wall of
wine and cozy cafe style tables and chairs.
Chef Weston Richards
Weston Richards has a long culinary career in Santa Barbara
that began over 16 years ago at Santa Barbara's Sage & Onion.
From there, he began to shine at Wine Cask and its sister restaurant
Intermezzo, creating dishes to complement their Grand Award
winning Wine Spectator list of wines. Later, he founded the
critically acclaimed Spare Parts, a hot popup spot. Richards
was integral in opening Les Marchands, his current home, and
has directed the show for four years+. His menu is greatly influenced
by time he spent in Rome, Tuscany and Naples Italy, as well
as North African cuisine of Morocco and Tunisia. His menu at
Les Marchands is diverse and seasonally inspired.
Bacon Toast with Wine
Germany: Baden & Pfalz passport dinner began with house-made
bacon toast charred sourdough, crescenza, caramelized onion
with arugula served with a delicious a glass of Dr Heger, 2014,
Baden Silvaner, Ihringer Winkelberg, followed by an entree of
crispy pork cheeks on caraway spatzle, roasted mushrooms, crème
friache and watercress to savor slowly with a glass of 2016
Pinot Noir, Becker Rechtenbacher Erstes Gewachs, from Pfalz,
Crispy Pork Cheeks
dishes reminded me of menu items found in small villages I visited
in June while cruising on the Rhine. The divine ending to this
German surprise dinner was a dark chocolate mousse with sour
cherries, chocolate streusel and cinnamon cherry chantilly paired
with Rieslander, Gimmeldinger Schlossel, Muller-Catoir 2016,
Pfalz, and it was sehr herrlich (very delightful).
Dark Chocolate Mouse
Marchands is presenting unique passport dinners with food &
wine pairings from various destinations as an opportunity for
patrons and guests to savor the amazing international and local
wines available, along with experience the versatile talent
of chef Richards. If this German dinner is an example of what
can be expected I feel certain guests will be very pleased with
this around the world destination dining experience.
menu information and reservations visit www.lesmarchandswine.com
or call 805-28-0380.
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.