Santa Barbara’s Film Feast Serves up Delectable Experiences

Sixth annual program, running Feb. 3 to 13, celebrates food and film
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Santa Barbara, Calif. (Jan. 26, 2016)

While theater-hopping across the city, Santa Barbara visitors and locals alike can pause to take in the area’s exciting culinary scene — from its restaurants to its tasting rooms, bars and lounges. Businesses have crafted special menus, eclectic tasting flights and lodging specials expressly for Film Feast, including several inspired by blockbuster hits and indie film favorites. Read on for more details about this year’s offerings.



  • Olio e Limone’s “Double Feature”: Diners can choose from prix-fixe Italian menus inspired by “Cinema Paradiso” or “La Vita e Bella” (Life is Beautiful). Its sister eatery, Olio Crudo Bar offers up the latter menu, as well as a “feature”-length option of a mini martini flight or wine pairing. (Daily from 5 p.m., $35-$50.)
  • The Lark’s “Movie, Popcorn and The Vesper”: Throughout the film festival, the popular Funk Zone eatery will swap out its regular popcorn for Movie Popcorn, which pairs perfectly with a “Vesper” Cocktail, aka 007’s Dirty Martini. (Daily, $14 martini.)
  • Rodney’s Grill at The Fess Parker: A Doubletree by Hilton Resort “Film Feast Appetizer Specials”: The spotlight is on two special appetizers — “Lord of the Rings,” flash-fried calamari with arrabbiata sauce, and “Rebel Without a Claws,” chilled snow crabs and horseradish chili sauce — and two special drink options — “Some Like It Hot,” a jalapeno margarita, and “Flight Club,” red or white wine flights. (Daily, price varies.)
  • Intermezzo Bar & Café’s “It’s (Not) Complicated”: This promo pays tribute to the film shot just steps away from the restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara. Quips Intermezzo’s staff: “While we all know relationships have their challenges, deciding to hook up with the Cask Burger and a glass of M3 during the Santa Barbara International Film Festival isn’t complicated at all.” (Most nights, $21.)
  • The Bistro at Bacara Resort & Spa’s “Dine-In Theater at Bacara”: Special menu pairs dinner and a movie (literally). Start off with appetizers and a main course at The Bistro. The second act takes place in Bacara’s own screening room, where guests enjoy a past film festival movie. Dessert will be packed to go, for enjoyment during the movie. (Feb. 5 and 6, $60.)
  • Bella Vista at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore’s “From Italy with Love”: Italian cooking is paired with Italian films, and celebrated Montecito chef Valerie Rice shares her secrets for hosting the perfect Italian feast. (Feb. 10, $99.)
  • Belmond El Encanto’s “Dinner and a Movie”: Prix-fixe menu incorporates locally sourced foods — including its own house-made cheese – plus its signature Floating Island for dessert. (Daily, $55.) Sips and bites also available in The Lounge.
  • Downey’s “Eat Drink/Man Woman”: Chef John Downey will cook up a regular entrée, while his wife Liz pairs it with a complimentary half-glass of selected wine. (Daily, $32-$42.)
  • The Paradise Café’s “Perfect Pairing in Paradise”: A flight of three Santa Barbara wines will make palates soar. (Daily, $16.)
  • Enterprise Fish Co.’s “A Perfect Pair”: Three-course tasting menu showcases succulent seafood with optional wine pairings. (Daily $40-$54.)


Tasting Rooms:

  • Cebada Wine and Forbidden Fruit Orchards’ “Everything Blueberry Tasting Flight”: Veruca Salt, your time has come. This tasting features fresh organic blueberries, blueberry jam, blueberry syrup, blueberry sorbet and blueberry dessert wine. (Select dates, $10.)
  • Grassini Family Vineyards’ “Corks n’ Kernels”: Grassini’s Tasting Room teams up with Santa Barbara Popcorn Co. Complimentary pairing of unique popcorn flavors and Bordeaux-varietal wines to delight the movie-goer’s palate. (Select dates, free with $15 Estate Flight purchase.)
  • Santa Barbara Wine Collective’s “A Film, A Fine Wine”: Pairs a wine with one of the films screening at the festival that day. (Daily, $10 glass.)
  • Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant’s “Royale w/Cheese”: Two quarter-pound beef patties with caramelized onions and molten Taleggio cheese co-starring garlic herb pommes frites. (Daily, $15 burger, $22 if paired with Weihenstephaner hefeweissbier beer.)


Red Carpet Red Wine:

This year, Film Feast brings something extra special, as select restaurants and hotels will offer a limited-edition “Red Carpet Red” wine — inviting the public to get their taste of the red carpet experience in Santa Barbara. This organic, biodynamic pinot noir is a collaboration between Visit Santa Barbara and local winery Ampelos Cellars, and was given as an exclusive gift to red carpet celebs in this year’s Golden Globe Awards Style Lounge in Beverly Hills. (Ampelos even has a cinematic connection: Its winemaker also makes the labels for actors Kurt Russell and Kate Hudson.) Red Carpet Red can be found in some of the following offers:

  • Eateries:
    • C’est Cheese’s Film Feast Cheese & Salumi Board: Showcases three California-made cheeses and salumi (dried Italian-style cold cuts) designed to pair perfectly with Red Carpet Red. In addition, Red Carpet Red Velvet cupcakes will also be available. (Daily, $3.25 cupcake, $8 glass of wine or $28 per bottle, cheese board $17, cheese & salumi $26.)
    • opal restaurant and bar’s “A Perfect Pairing with Paring Wines”: Prix-fixe menu celebrates the Santa Barbara region’s unique vintages and locally sourced food. (Daily, $39.95.) Red Carpet Red wine will be available for purchase separately.
  • Lodging:
    • Santa Barbara Hotel Group packages: Book a two-night stay and receive a bottle of Red Carpet Red at any of the hotel group’s hotels: BEST WESTERN PLUS Encina Inn & Suites, BEST WESTERN PLUS Pepper Tree Inn, Brisas del Mar Inn at the Beach, Inn by the Harbor, Lavender Inn by the Sea. (Feb. 1-12.)
    • Hotel Milo: Visitors who stay in an ocean-view king room at Hotel Milo receive a VIP welcome with a bottle of Red Carpet Red.
    • Assorted Red Carpet Red hotel promotions: Hotel Indigo, Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara, Pacifica Suites, Santa Barbara Ramada.


Additional Hotel Packages:

  • Hotel Santa Barbara: The hotel is the official “hub” of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, located just steps from the Metro film theater. Package includes dinner for two at Cadiz, two tickets for trolley tour, complimentary continental breakfast and complimentary valet parking. (Two-night midweek stay, $499).
  • Secret Garden Inn & Cottages: Visitors will enjoy four festival film passes, $50 lunch voucher and full gourmet breakfast. (Two-night stay, $400.)
  • Cheshire Cat Inn: Special package available during the film festival. ($195-$245 mid-week; $225-$275 weekend.)
  • Belmond El Encanto “Dinner and a Movie”: Package includes luxury accommodations, a daily breakfast credit and Film Feast Menu for two. (Minimum two-night stay, starting at $485 per night.)



Santa Barbara’s century-long career as a movie location and getaway for top Hollywood talent dates back to the silent era, when American Film Manufacturing Company (aka the Flying A Studios) set up shop downtown. Whether visitors scout sites used by Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments” (1923), sip pinot noir along the “Sideways” (2004) wine trail or watch cutting-edge cinema in historic theaters during the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, they’ll discover that Santa Barbara looks as good in real life as she does on the silver screen. Visit Santa Barbara offers a comprehensive film tourism site, as well as a “Sideways” movie tour map. Film Feast is presented by Visit Santa Barbara and Downtown Santa Barbara. Read more at



Voted “Best Beach Town” by Sunset magazine in its inaugural travel awards in 2015 and one of Condé Nast Traveler’s “30 Best Small Cities in America” in its Readers’ Choice Awards, Santa Barbara is located just 92 miles north of Los Angeles and 332 miles south of San Francisco, on the Pacific coastline. Visitors can arrive via scenic Highway 101, train, bus or by flying into Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA) or Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). For travel and accommodation information and to request a free copy of the official Santa Barbara Visitors Magazine, contact Visit Santa Barbara at (800) 676-1266 or (805) 966-9222, email [email protected] or visit Visitor information is also available at the Visitor Center, 1 Garden St. (at Cabrillo Boulevard).





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