Les Marchands


Among the nearly two dozen tasting rooms of Santa Barbara’s waterfront Funk Zone neighborhood, Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant is a different sort of animal. Here, hard-to-find Santa Barbara County offerings like Tatomer Grüner Veltliner and Sillix Grenache rub shoulders with a notably deep selection of wines from the Old World. It’s the brainchild of two sommeliers: Eric Railsback, an Oregon native who attended Santa Barbara’s Westmont College before directing the wine program at San Francisco’s RN74, and Brian McClintic, MS, a SoCal native who was featured in the recent documentary SOMM. Chef Weston Richards, who runs the Spare Parts Bistro pop-up, keeps the Les Marchands crowds from surviving on wine alone. On a recent visit, his smoked mussels with dill and a baguette lined up nicely with a Château Pibarnon Rosé from Bandol, while fried padrón peppers found a friend in the Jäger Ried Achleiten Smaragd Riesling from the Wachau. Though the composed plates are available only on weekends, simpler prepared dishes like tuna crostini and pork rillettes are available weekdays. On Mondays, McClintic runs educational tastings that highlight pairings like uni with muscadet and riesling with ramen.

131 Anacapa St., Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, California



This review appears in the print edtion of the December 2013 issue.
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