Hours of Operation
Sly’s is open seven days a week for your dining pleasure.
from 4 pm to close
Sunday through Thursday, from 5 pm-9 pm
Friday and Saturday, from 5 pm to 10 pm
Monday to Friday, 11:30 to 2:30
Saturday & Sunday, 9:00 am to 3 pm
What’s New at Sly’s
Read what Sly’s Bar Manager Mandy Huffaker has to say about IRISH COFFEE at SlysBlog Every day is Saint Patrick’s Day if you want it to be!
When Chef asked me to write a blog entry on the Irish Coffee, I started to take an informal poll of my friends and coworkers. I began asking people one simple question: “If I say the words ‘Irish Coffee’ to you, what is the first thing you think of?” Sort of a free-association exercise, if you will. The most popular answer I got was, “The Buena Vista” (don’t worry, we’ll get there). The second most popular answer was, “Uh, whiskey?” What was and is interesting to me is that if you ask your friends or family the same question (don’t worry, no one will say Ireland …
Click here to read more!
We’re still getting the delicious strawberries from Harry’s Berry’s - and those incredible thin green beans. The brussels sprouts are beautiful, and the season is just beginning. Most of all, we are so happy to have the fresh bay scallops from Nantucket, maybe the best scallops in the world. Icy cold water makes them the plumpest and tastiest available. The season this year has just begun, and we are enjoying it..
We look forward to seeing you at Sly’s, with a chance to enjoy our food and the cheerful hospitality at Sly’s.
Annie & James
Getting to Sly’s
Sly’s is located in downtown Carpinteria, about 8 minutes south of Santa Barbara, California. Here’s a map with directions.
Try the Train
From Goleta, Santa Barbara or Ventura, it's a quick and simple Amtrak ride on the train to the station in Carpinteria. The train schedule works quite well for dinner and for brunch!
And those Ramos Fizzes, Bloody Marys & Mimosas won't get you in trouble.
Who’s Talking About Us? Reviews & Comments
Mention of our grilled artichokes and "aromatic mussels" in the NY Times Travel section
Our Manager Mandy Chinn has been awarded "The Best Bartender in Santa Barbara". You can read all about it in The Daily Pilot.
They’re talking about us in the Chocolate Blog — See what Santa Barbara Chocolate has to say about Sly’s.
Great review in a past issue of the Independent by George Yatchisin. Thanks, George.
One big event that Sly’s takes part in is the Central Coast Wine Classic Hearst Castle Dinner. Read about it in the Independent, and at Noozhawk.
The latest mention of Sly’s in the press is from 805 Living. Take a look at their kind words here.
John Dickson’s posting in the blog section of our wonderful free Santa Barbara paper, The Daily Sound on Friday, March 6 called “Favorite Places” is part of a new series where John asks locals where they like to eat and drink.
The same information appeared as a part of John Dixon’s Santa Barbara restaurant blog, “The Restaurant Guy.” It was nice that in interviewing 12 local columnists, more than one mentioned great restaurants like Los Arroyos, celebrating a 10 year anniversary soon. Great food and great people, Los Arroyos has put its stamp on the community in that time. It was nice that another restaurant, a new comer, came up mentioned twice — Sly’s.
Another addition to the growing collection of reviews of Sly’s came out Friday February 6 in the Ventura County Star. It’s titled ” Seafood Mecca” and you can read Rita Moran’s kind words here.
Westway’s Magazine is now part of the list of magazines and news paper’s who’ve felt the need to say something about Sly’s in Carpinteria. (Scroll down the page to the Sly’s review)
The Santa Barbara News Press ‘Scene’ section saw fit to review us in their January 9 issue. They loved the filet mignon, hamburger sandwich, and spaghetti carbonara, among other things. Link to follow! (We wish they’d noticed that we are a seafood restaurant as well as having great steaks and pasta …)
Others include Santa Barbara Magazine, The LA Times, Sunset Magazine, and the Santa Barbara Independent, (reviewer George Yatchisin also had some kind words about our brunch here.
On the web, the community of Yelp.com is starting to contribute reviews about Sly’s.
Sometimes reviews show up in the most unexpected places. Take this mention from our friends at RB Racing, for example. Scroll down past some cool motorcycle hardware to see the blurb about Sly’s.
For those Santa Barbara and Montecito residents brave enough to venture down to the wilds of Carpenteria, Sly’s has thoughtfully provided valet parking with Signature Parking. A little reward for your trouble, as if great food, service, and terrific cocktails aren’t enough.
Don’t forget, we’re on the corner of Linden and 7th in Carpinteria.
Sly’s Carpinteria - It's a personal thing.
This last August, 2012, marked Sly's 4th anniversary - and the middle of a busy, busy summer season for the hard-working crew at Sly's. As is our tradition, we gave out delicious Big Beef tomatoes from our friends at Belik Family Farms to each of our guests on that hot summer night.
We wouldn't say that the first four years have been easy, but then, good things are often a lot of work, aren't they? We've continue to make a lot of people happy with our great food and service, and look forward to doing more of the same. We'd like to extend our thanks to Carpinteria and all of our clients for all of the wonderful support in the "last great little beach town on the Central Coast". (Not to mention, home of the "World's Safest Beach".)
October 2013 Cruise with James & Annie:
Venice, the Dalmatian Coast, Malta, Sicily, Sorrento, & Rome
With San Marco in the background, the beauty and romance of Venice awaits as the Silver Spirit glides into port. We're certain that the next 9 days will be magical ones for the folks joining us on a wonderful cruise this fall. We know Venice well - and love it. The Venezia fish market, with the treasures of the Adriatic, is one of the most exciting we've been to. We love Rome, where the cruise comes to a graceful finish after 9 days of luxurious cruising. And frankly, we're excited at the thought of visiting everything in between - Koper on the tiny Slovenian coastline, the ancient Roman city and bay of Split, Croatia, the World Heritage Site city of Dubrovnik, the islands of the tiny Republic of Malta at a diverse cultural crossroads for many centuries, Sorrento, on the Amalfi coast in southern Italy (with the nearby archaeological wonders Pompeii and Herculaneum), and the ancient port of Messina in Sicily- can't wait to try the desserts Sicily is famous for.
The best part? You unpack only once, and hang up your clothes in the walk-in closet in your cabin. Your butler brings you a perfect cappuccino and warm croissants freshly baked on board, (or anything else you like) and you step out into a different port each day. Sleep in your own luxurious bed, and the world's treasures come to you. The service is impeccable, the food is wonderful, the bar's charming - and included. You're sharing the ship with just 550 lucky souls. This is grand touring at its best.
The Sly's group with begin with a cocktail reception on the rear deck overlooking Venice harbor and dinner in the ship's Italian restaurant if you like. During the cruise, we'll have a table reserved for those traveling with us in the main dining room - always available, never required. We'll plan on tours of the local markets, and we'll have one private cooking lesson for our group, and a larger lesson with the whole ship invited in the on-board theater. You're free to do as much or as little as you might like. Best of all? Most everything is included in the cost - no tipping required, no extras for most bar and wine selections. As I like to say, it's pretty seamless.
To participate in our events, you have to book your cruise with Millenium Travel.
In 2011, James and Annie took part in a wonderful Silver Sea cruise around Spain on the Silver Spirt, down through the Straits of Gibraltor (with a side trip to Morocco), finishing up in Portugal. Like our previous trips on Silversea - it was an absolutely stellar cruise. In 2010, our travels took us from Rome, up the Italian coast, to Monte Carlo, Corsica, and on to Barcelona. Each time, a number of our restaurant clients joined us on the trip, and everyone had a stellar time. We're sure that this year's trip will be just as exciting. Join us for a great voyage in a beautiful part of the world.
This is one of the sherry bodegas at Tio Pepe in Jerez de la Frontiera, Spain. The tour of the bodegas was great and I can assure you, so was the tasting that followed.
James’ and Annie’s friend Kurt Grasing, of Carmel’s wonderful Grasing’s Restaurant, took a trip down the Rhône river last year - exciting - from Lyon down to Arles, then Kurt and his group headed for Barcelona.
For more information the cruise with James & Annie this year, or with Kurt's cruise in June this year from Budabest to Prague, contact Michael Mastrocola at Millenium Travel. (831) 659-0151, (800) 304-6838, or via email, email@example.com
The Food’s the Thing
Year after year, diners seem to have chosen favorites — a crowd shows for Monday’s Blue Plate Special — Meat Loaf and Mashed Potatoes, but Sunday’s Chicken Pot Pie seems equally popular - reserve ahead to be sure of getting one. Here’s all of our Blue Plate Specials at Sly’s. Some Saturday nights we have sold out of the slow braised Short Ribs of Beef Jardiniére - even with twenty portions.
Fishes are selling well, too. It’s probably no surprise that the generous Dover Sole, available both Grilled and Meuniére (Pan-fried in butter) is one of the top choices. There’s a reason the Dover is considered the king of fish. In our experienced kitchen crew’s hands, it lives up to that reputation.
Naturally, fresh local Abalone from The Abalone Farm, a specialty of James since his days at Santa Barbara’s El Encanto Hotel is a big seller. Like many other items on the menu, Abalone is a “vintage” touch that many people look forward to — sales are brisk.
Vegetable Specialties - the Farmer's Market
Now smack dab in the middle of Santa Barbara County's summer growing season, the Sly's selection of farmer's market vegetables has never been better. Last winter we had the beautiful Brussels Sprouts from Mama’s, at the Santa Barbara Farmer’s Market. Simply blanched, and tossed with butter, they are extremely popular. So were the Brussel’s sprouts leaves, sautéed in butter with a touch of garlic, an entirely different take on a vegetable our customers seem to love. Roxy's "Dinosaur Kale" was another hit last winter, and is so popular we've carried it over into our summer menu. Black tuscan kale, which Roxy says looks like dinosaur skin, briefly blanched, then sautéd in olive oil with garlic. And our ratatouille, made with zucchini, eggplant and red peppers simmered with tomatoes from Belik Farms is hard to beat. Jame's likes the ratatouille chilled, with our new Corto California olive oil, and lemon, as a first course.
Other seasonal specialties include: Cauliflower Polonaise, with brown butter and chopped hard-boiled egg,(winter) fresh Rapini sautéed with Garlic (year round) and the ever popular sugar snap peas (looks like year round). Tiny baked fingerling yams are especially delicious.
Mama's Brussels Sprouts and Leaves
Lauri, at the Farmer's Market, affectionately known as "Mama", has done it again with this winter's favorite vegetable, the Brussels sprout. From her family farm up in Atascadero she supplies us the best quality sprouts we've had. After a chill and a frost, they're even sweeter, and better. We cook them two ways at Sly's: the traditional whole heads, simmered and served with a julienne of carrots and a little butter, and as the outer leaves. The leaves are strikingly different - we blanch them and sauté them quickly in Corto extra virgin olive oil with a hint of garlic. The result is something that even non-Brussel Sprout lovers enjoy. Just more rewards from the Santa Barbara Certified Farmer's Market.
Lauri's specialty is homemade jams and jellies - and boy are they good. We have Mama's Mint-Rosemary jelly available at Sly's for our rack of lamb.
Rick’s hard work at Harry’s Berries
has paid off and we will soon have more of our favorite vegetable, the skinny French green beans (haricots verts) pictured below. They are simply wonderful, sautéed in butter with thinly sliced shallots. We treat ourselves to them almost every night when they're available! You'll want to, too.
The berries, from Harry’s, Lauri, Chuey, and the other Farmer’s Market vendors are still marvelous — blueberries, lucious plump blackberries, and local raspberries, too. Not to mention Harry’s incredible Gaviota and SeaScape strawberries with their heady perfume. Rick tells us that the strawberries will only get better. We know enough to believe him — he’s always right.
Tired Old Favorites
James likes to say he features “tired old favorites” and the pastas he offers are pretty much in that category: Spaghettini Carbonara with smokey bacon, onions, cream and eggs, received a good writeup and a nice photo featured in a review from Michael Servin at the Santa Barbara News Press. (We’re pleased to say we received 4 stars) The spicy Calamari in red sauce, inspired by James’ friend Andy Granatelli vies for popularity with the Spaghettini Caruso with chicken livers in Marsala.
Other pasta hits include a great Linguine al Pesto (with fried potatoes!), Linguine with Clams, and an old memory from El Encanto Hotel days — “Top of the Hill” with steamed seafood, fettucine, and lobster sauce. I suppose that you have to count our Macaroni and Cheese, prepared to order, as both a popular dish, and as a tired old favorite. Straightforward, made from extra sharp Tillamook cheddar, it’s popular with young and old alike.
In a more Italian vein, the menu has an extraordinary Chicken Parmigiana — fresh free range chicken breast, breaded to order, sautéed in olive oil, on a pool of our home-made marinara sauce, topped with melted provolone and Reggiano Parmesan.
Continuing in the Italo-American style, there’s Veal Scallopine “A Piacere” — any way you like it. Milanese, Francese, Marsala with Mushrooms, or Al Limone are all good, but the favorite is probably Saltimboca a la Romana, topped with fresh sage, prosciutto, and melted cheese. (We’ve even been known to make a Wiener Schnitzel or two when asked). We start with fresh, not frozen, milk-fed veal loins on the bone, and trim them ourselves. It’s time consuming, but the quality is worth it.
Steaks are getting their fair share of attention. As you may suspect, Sly’s isn’t cutting corners here, either. (He and his crew are hand cutting the steaks, however.) Aged USDA prime, some of the best sellers are the filet mignon, the bone-in rib chop, and the Kansas City bone-in New York. Our own favorite? That would be the Porterhouse - 24 ounces of thick delicious aged beef - which we order charred rare. The sauces are what you’d expect, well-crafted, shiny, and full of flavor.
Desserts are vintage, too — from the warm, tart apple crisp to the shortcake featuring fresh local berries, you’re bound to find a favorite. Summertime brings one of Annie's favorites - Warm peach cobbler, when the peaches are available from the Farmer's Market, that is. Of course, James’ famous sundae is here — “That” sundae with caramelized pecans from his aunt’s recipe, homemade caramel sauce, and chocolate sauce made with Santa Barbara Chocolate Company’s incomparable organic chocolate. Not so many people use this quality of chocolate, but we think it’s important to use the best.
We’re pleased that our guests are trying Sly's “Vintage” cocktails — the pale red tint of the Negroni is one of the most popular, although the White Lady is doing well, too. And perhaps most pleasing to Mandy and James is the fact that the wine list, featuring select California and French wines, is being well received. “We thought it might be fun for people to try some good French wines,” says James. It seems that they are enjoying it. We look forward to your having a chance to try our cuisine, our vintage cocktails, and the decidedly different wine list at Sly’s. See our cocktail list here.
Finally, one of the most striking things about the decor in the dining room at Sly’s is the collection of photographer Jesse Alexander’s
photos on display. This artists eye and lens captured the European racing scene in the 50s and 60s. More than thirty of Jesse’s images fill the walls of the dining rooms at Sly’s. At the start of August, 2011, curator Paul Prince hung a new show of Jesse's extraordinary images - exciting glimpes of an era gone by. They provide a timeless glance at a far different world of racing and make dining that much more interesting for both the photography buffs and the motorsport enthusiasts out there. Jesse’s blog
is an interesting read, too. Best of all, Jesse has a new ebook out, FORTY YEARS of MOTORSPORT PHOTOGRAPHY, available for iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Available on iTunes
, it's terrific. Highly recommended.
How’re things at the world’s safest beach?