With more than 200 shorts, documentaries and feature-length movies packed into 11 days, the 31st annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival offers plenty of chances to enjoy dinner and a movie, a movie, a movie and yet another movie.
Helping cover the “dinner” part of the equation is the sixth annual Film Feast, a concurrent event that features special dishes, prix fixe meals and pours of a thematic, limited-edition wine at more than a dozen participating locations now through Feb. 13.
You don’t have to be a festival ticket-holder to take advantage of the offers. But it’s a good idea to call ahead to assure that menus and/or specials are available on the date you plan to visit.
In keeping with the cinematic mood that envelops the city every festival season, many of the specials are either named for or inspired by specific films.
Witness the “It’s (Not) Complicated”pairing of a Cask Burger with a glass ofMargerum Wine Co.‘s M3 blend atIntermezzo Bar + Cafe. At $21 for those who say the words “Film Feast” when ordering, the special is a shoutout to the 2009 movie “It’s Complicated,” starringMeryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Santa Barbara itself (819 Anacapa St., 805-966-9463, http://www.intermezzosb.com).
At Olio e Limone Ristorante, diners who visit now through Feb. 12 have the option of ordering a two-course menu inspired by “Cinema Paradiso” ($35) or a three-course option named for “La Vita e Bella” ($50).
At Olio Crudo Bar next door, a three-course chef’s tasting menu includes cooked Mediterranean octopus served with frisee, sliced new potatoes and spicy controne pepper among the choices. The food-only menu ($35) has been dubbed the “short” while the with-beverages option ($49 with wine pairings or a mini martini flight) is a “feature” (11 W. Victoria St. Suites 17-18, 805-899-2699,http://www.olioelimone.com).
Foodies and festival goers alike will find red-carpet references aplenty at C’est Cheese. The combination café, bakery and cheese shop is serving Red Carpet Red (more about that in a minute) by the glass ($8) and bottle ($28), and as an ingredient in its red velvet cupcakes ($3.25 each). Add a cheese board ($17) or a cheese and salumi board ($26) to make a meal of it (825 Santa Barbara St., 805-965-0318, http://www.cestcheese.com).
Red Carpet Red is an estate pinot noir made as an awards-season collaboration by Visit Santa Barbara and Ampelos Vineyard and Cellars in Lompoc. Winemaker Peter Work also serves as adviser to actors Kurt Russell and Kate Hudson for their respective labels, GoGi Wines and Hudson Bellamy Wines.
Red Carpet Red premiered last month at the Secret Room, a celebrity “gifting suite” presented in the lead-up to the Golden Globe Awards. During the festival, it is available at C’est Cheese and Opal Restaurant & Bar (1325 State St., 805-966-9676, http://opalrestaurantandbar.com) and in welcome baskets at selected hotels.
For a complete list of Film Feast locations, go to the Plates & Pours tab athttp://bit.ly/1aLc3Em.
To read the Star‘s festival preview, click on http://bit.ly/1o6qpwB.
For festival tickets and information, go to http://sbiff.org.