Upper State Street in Santa Barbara was alive with the authentic sounds and cuisine of Ireland for St. Pat’s Day. Willie & Trini Quinn, proprietors of La Arcada Bistro at 1112 State, a few doors from the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, were serving authentic Irish soda bread with Dubliner cheeese, corned beef with cabbage and a signature Lamb Shepherds Pie that would have charmed my dear grandmother, who was by the way born near County Mayo in Ireland, which is also the birthplace of Willie Quinn.

Irish Soda Bread & Dubliner Cheese

With an Irish band, dancing and singing, and an atmosphere of great fun and good cheer the restaurant and outdoor patio was overflowing with patrons having a tasty and memorable St. Pat’s, including Santa Barbara politico Dale Francisco, and KEYT 3 TV senior reporter John Palminteri.

Corned Beef,Cabbage, and Potato

Irish faire is always on the Bistro menu, along with a sizable breakfast, lunch and dinner list of delicious continental and American plates. Guinness pints and a signature Irish coffee that rivals the old Buena Vista in San Francisco, as well as a full bar of cocktails provide endless options to wet your whistle. It’s nice to see another new place to eat on State Street, with owners who dearly understand the meaning of warm hospitality.  Slainte! (to your good health in Gaelic).
For information and reservations visit: laarcadabistro.com/ or phone (805) 965-5742
By Bonnie Carroll