As the temperatures go down in Santa Barbara, the comfort food cravings come in. Luckily for us locals, Finch & Fork — located in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara — now serves delicious fried chicken on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. The upscale restaurant’s menu consists of locally-sourced and clean ingredients that the executive chef, Peter Cham, uses to create culinary masterpieces. We had the pleasure of trying their fried chicken along with a few other dishes from their fall menu.
To begin our meal, we had each had a blackberry smash cocktail, a mocktail created with seltzer, fresh local blackberries, ginger, lime and black pepper. The mocktail was very refreshing and the sweetness from the blackberries worked wonderfully with the tartness of the lime. We also had the charred broccolini and summer squash which were both incredibly appetizing. The broccolini was cooked perfectly and complemented with a tasty nutritional yeast and miso sauce, which tasted shockingly similar to cheese, but was shockingly vegan. The summer squash was exceptional as well and was paired with a sweet yet earthy black garlic vinaigrette. For our entrees, we shared the diver scallops and fried chicken.
The diver scallops were very fresh and adorned with colorful cauliflower. The scallops were cooked perfectly with the right amount of char. Although all of the dishes we ate were delicious, the fried chicken stood out the most for us. The portion was huge and consisted of a thigh, breast and wing. The skin of the chicken was perfectly crunchy and not overly greasy. The meat itself was juicy and flavorful. As if there wasn’t enough delicious food on the plate, the chicken was also served with mashed potatoes and pickles. The mashed potatoes were super creamy and delicious, especially with the meaty flavor of the gravy. Along with the mashed potatoes, the pickles complemented the dish well because its hint of sweetness cut the saltiness of the other two pairings. Although fried chicken has a tendency to be very heavy, we found that Finch & Fork’s was well-balanced between the flavor and texture.
To complete our meal we had the mascarpone cheesecake and sticky toffee cake. The cheesecake was one of the best we’ve ever had; it was light and not too sweet, which was a great way to end the meal. We also had the sticky toffee cake that came with the most delicious caramel corn and fresh whipped cream. These desserts were to die for so make sure to save room for them after your meal!
So if you ever decide you want to grab a friend and try Finch & Fork’s adventurous take on classic comfort food. Enjoy a mock cocktail —or a real one if you can — and have a fun time talking the night away. You are bound to have a fun chat with any of the waiters who are so kind, knowledgeable and funny. Food tastes better with good company and Finch & Fork definitely has the ambiance for nonchalant conversation. It feels like home while simultaneously being one of the top restaurants in Santa Barbara. With great food and a fun time, you can’t go wrong with forking at the Finch!