Sly’s ‘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 Cervin 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. The sauces are what you’d expect, 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. 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 Michael’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 Michael 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.