The Eats...

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Via Maestra 42 is perhaps Santa Barbara's best hidden gem. I've eaten here several times and each time it's better than the next. I'm dedicating this blog post to my friend Hillary Katursky because she first introduced me to the place a few years ago. We've yet to enjoy Via Maestra together but I promise we will! We ate here last Sunday and you really do feel like you're in little Italy. The staff makes you feel so welcome and the place smells so good! It's lined with Italian groceries and wine bottles everywhere. There's also a gelato bar and an Italian deli. You can sit outside on the tiny patio or inside in the small dining room. Come early or at off hours because this place is small and gets filled up quickly, especially at dinner time. We always start with Carpaccio di Bresaola con Rucola ($10.95) thinly sliced cured beef served with baby arugula topped with shaved Grana Padano and lemon Parmigiano dressing. Bruschetta di Pomodoro ($8.95) tomatoes, basil, and garlic) is wonderful too, and we often have this at dinner. The Mare e Monti Sandwich ($8.95) with smoked salmon, goat cheese, arugula, and black truffle aioli on focaccia ios not to be missed! For pastas we love Linguini con Vongole ($16.95) with fresh Manila clams, diced tomato, and white wine. But the Penne Puttanesca is my favorite! ($14.95) Tube pasta is laced with anchovies, capers, tomatoes, and olives...a salty treat! The lasagna della Casa is some of the best around. For $14.95 you get a huge serving of traditional Bolognese or vegetarian. This time we had the Carbonara for a rich, satisfying change! For dessert we never miss the Cannolo Siciliano ($5.99) the best Italian dessert! A cylindrical pastry shell is filled with a sweet mix of sheep milk ricotta and chocolate chips! Have a cappuccino ($2.95) and call it a night!  Via Maestro 42 3343 State Street (San Roque Plaza) Santa Barbara (805) 569-6522. Hours: Mon-Sat: 8:30 am-9:pm Sunday: 11am-5pm.

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