••• A couple of weeks ago, Mia asked what Dennis Medina and Carrie Nelson are up to, now that they’ve moved away from day-to-day involvement at Low Pigeon. They’ve just launched Coastal Coffee Collective, a roaster that sells to consumers and wholesale, and also helps restaurants and other businesses develop a coffee program, including sourcing, private-label package design, and barista training. They’re currently roasting at Valley Heart Ranch, the 9.5-acre property in Toro Canyon that not coincidentally has a coffee orchard. (It was just listed for $14.9 million.) They had me over for a visit—it’s a sweet set-up—and gifted me two bags of coffee. I’ve really been enjoying the Toro Canyon Espresso blend.
••• Congratulations to Bell’s for making Esquire‘s list of best new American restaurants: “Chef Daisy Ryan and her husband, Gregory, have created a place that feels so welcoming and familiar, yet every bite brings excitement, as if you were trying steak au poivre, or uni and caviar, or even salad and fries and ice cream, for the first time.”
••• The chef at La Paloma Cafe, in the old Paradise Cafe space, is Jeremy Tummel, most recently executive sous chef at the Miramar and before that executive chef at the Bear and Star in Los Olivos.
••• “Root 246 restaurant at Hotel Corque, 420 Alisal Road in Solvang has closed permanently.” —Restaurant Guy
••• Palisociety officially announced what was reported here in early October: the Spanish Garden Inn on Garden Street (below Carrillo) will become the Palihouse Santa Barbara hotel, and it’s accepting reservations starting in April. The food-and-beverage sitch: “Hotel guests and locals alike will be welcomed into an intimate reception area that opens into an airy lobby lounge with adjacent cocktail bar, Mediterranean-style courtyard and garden café featuring an all-day dining menu, housemade cocktails and a thoughtfully curated wine list.” Below: a model room.
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