This is one of my favorite spots for a romantic dinner or nice evening out with friends. Bouchon's greenery-draped heated patio is fresh from a 2014-15 renovation, and the French-country dining room with its warm woods, fresh flowers, and flickering candlelight is decidedly elegant yet unstuffy. Owner Mitchell Sjerven and chef Greg Murphy shine a light on fresh local ingredients and Central Coast wines in their "Santa Barbara wine country cuisine." Knowledgeable, friendly servers are spot-on. Preparations change with the season, but two terrific appetizers are the confit of pork belly and the Dungeness crab cakes. For main courses, signature maple-glazed California duck breast and confit of thigh in a port-thyme demi-glace (try it with a glass of Alma Rosa Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills) is always a winner. If seared local black cod is on the menu, order it. Finish things off with blueberry-lemon upside-down cake, or chocolate-chip-cookie bread pudding with local McConnell's chocolate ice cream. Bouchon's location is handy if you're headed to a show at the Arlington, Granada, or New Vic theaters. It's also across the street from the new Santa Barbara Public Market, opened in April of 2014. Note: Remember to make a reservation.