The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Buono Vivianda

ou can’t go wrong with anything you order at Giannfranco’s Trattoria.

The cuisine is divine, the atmosphere is warm and welcoming and the guests don’t seem to mind the occasional hour-plus wait to get a table. Unfortunately, reservations can only be made for parties of six or more and it’s first come, first serve otherwise. It’s difficult being patient while waiting for a table because the aroma of Chef Giovanni Contreras’s kitchen made me want to get right in and indulge myself in the taste of the cuisine. Contreras City Culinary Arts Program graduate.

The Italian restaurant is owned and operated by the Contreras family. After being welcomed by Contreras’ mother and father, who help run their son’s restaurant, you receive smiles instantly from the staff, making a meal away from home feel like being invited to a family affair.

The atmosphere is just right. The lighting creates a perfect glow, bright enough that you can read the menu, but faint enough to establish a wonderfully soft ambiance. This glow adds the perfect Italian touch as it radiates from the oil-filled candles sitting next to tiny vases with three yellow roses, making me feel as though I was sitting outside enjoying the Tuscan sun. In addition to the candles the relaxing atmosphere is achieved by the simple, yet eloquent tables.

Story continues below advertisement

The moment I sat down at the table, the wait staff greeted me with polite hospitality, and never rushed me to order. The wait staff will simply continue to bring plates of remarkable garlic-herb oil with bread. Their prompt attentiveness was well executed. The dishes at Giannfranco’s Trattoria are masterpieces. The seafood, chicken, and breads are delivered daily to assure quality. The appetizers would leave anyone wanting more.

The bruschetta is composed of the perfect blend of ingredients and not over-powered by tomato. Cannelloni beans aren’t conventionally added to bruschetta, but the unique addition made for an exquisite combination of flavors.

The entrées were excellent. Literally every guest in the restaurant cleared their plates. It’s a surprise that no one licked their plate off to the point where a dishwasher wouldn’t be needed. Dishes such as the ravioli and pollo rustico are perfectly portioned and the presentation was gorgeous. The dishes were satisfying as they didn’t leave me too full, yet didn’t leave me wanting more bread either.

The selection of desserts is amazing. Each looked so tasty that it was difficult to make a decision. From the vanilla mousse to a mango tart with chocolate, you will probably find it difficult to leave quickly without at least trying one of the delightful desserts, which may explain the hour-long wait.

As a college student, the prices are a bit steep. For an appetizer, two entrées and a dessert, you’ll be set back about $50-60. Giannfranco’s Trattoria may not be a place to go to everyday, but for a great first date or a celebration, this restaurant is the icing on the cake.

More to Discover