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Mother’s Day 2019: Celebrate in Santa Barbara


Happy Mother's Day 2019 floral greetingMother’s Day 2019, like those in years past, will be a celebration honoring the mother of the family, the heart of the home, and motherhood in general. Actually, motherhood has been celebrated for ages. The ancient Greeks and Romans organized parties in honor of their goddesses of motherhood. Early Christians organized a maternal Sunday each Lent to encourage followers to return to their hometown church for a day. But did you know that the modern Mother’s Day celebration began in the United States?

It all started at the initiative of social activist and community organizer Ann Reeves Jarvis in the early 20th century as a workday for women’s clubs in West Virginia. The goal was to lower infant mortality. Women, under the leadership of Ann’s brother, a physician, spent the day educating other women.

During the Civil War, Mother’s Day groups changed their focus to help wounded soldiers serving both the North and the South. Following the war, the women’s workdays evolved into Mother’s Friendship Day picnics. The goal was to promote peace and unity among Union and Confederate loyalists.

Ann died in 1905 and her daughter Anna Jarvis organized Mother’s Day events on a specific day in May to honor her late mother’s work. In 1914, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson officially declared that the second Sunday of May every year to be Mother’s Day. Today, the special day is celebrated all over the world. Those of us who live in Santa Barbara can celebrate in style.

Read: Santa Barbara Events and Festivals: A Cornucopia of Fun

Here are some ideas on how to let your Mother know you love her:

Restaurants in Santa Barbara

Mom has fed you so many times, so this year, treat her to a special brunch. The good news, we have many fine restaurants in Santa Barbara, so it won’t be difficult to find the perfect local dining spot for your Mom. What could be difficult, though, is getting a reservation, so I suggest you make one now! Here are some of my favorite places to celebrate Mom:

Bella Vista Restaurant
Four Seasons Resort, The Biltmore Santa Barbara
1260 Channel Dr.
Montecito, CA 93108
1 (805) 969-2261
Bella Vista Restaurant is known for serving more than great food. Dining at Santa Barbara’s most beautiful oceanfront patio is the perfect al fresco dining experience for you to celebrate Mother’s Day 2019. Enjoy Italian-inspired Californian coastal cuisine while taking in the amazing panoramic ocean and island views across Montecito’s Butterfly Beach. Dine on delicious regional seafood complemented by produce from local farmers markets and the on-site garden at the Four Seasons Biltmore. For sheer ambiance, the outdoor patio with views to the ocean and Channel Islands is unbeatable. On Mother’s Day, starters include a Santa Barbara harbor seafood platter with a half lobster tail, oysters, king crab legs, tuna poke, and prawns. Move on to fresh house-made pasta and main dishes such as chicken alla diavola or dry-aged New York steak with chimichurri. End on a sweet note with the gelato or chocolate hazelnut cake. The Sunday brunch buffet is one of the most extensive in Santa Barbara and the perfect venue to show your Mom how much you love her.

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El Paseo
10 El Paseo
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
How about dining on delicious Mexican food in a cool, historic setting? The popular downtown restaurant, El Paseo, is the place to do just that. Located in one of Santa Barbara’s oldest buildings, El Paseo is almost more famous for its architecture and décor than for its food. But if you like guacamole, then you’ll love El Paseo, where “guac” is prepared tableside. You’ll also enjoy the authentic dishes prepared by chef Alex Castillo, who brings his refined cooking style to create dishes fit for your Mother. Start with fire-roasted pasilla chiles and caramelized onions atop fresh house-made tortillas. In addition to Mexican standards like sizzling fajitas, entrées include a rib-eye steak with baby mushrooms and pan-seared salmon with an orange beurre blanc cucumber relish. Take Mom to the Sunday brunch buffet, which includes all-you-can-drink margaritas. Yum!

Read: Have You Experienced The Santa Barbara Public Market Yet?

Finch & Fork
Canary, A Kimpton Hotel
31 W. Carrillo Blvd.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Finch & Fork crafts seasonal menus reflective of the diversity of Santa Barbara. The popular restaurant is located inside Canary, A Kimpton Hotel. Finch & Fork offers multiple dining areas with booths, and tables all in predominantly classic wood tones. It’s open without being noisy and large yet intimate enough for the perfect Mother’s Day 2019 gathering. Chef James Siao aims to use just six ingredients per dish to maximize flavor, and indeed they pop in starters like fried chicken sliders with cilantro slaw and smoked honey mustard, and the skillet of tender cauliflower, broccoli, and capers. He is also into house-made pickles, jams, and chutneys. Entrées include a chicken and kale salad mixed with feta cheese, toasted pine nuts, and Greek yogurt, and pan-seared sea bass with crispy Brussels sprouts, citrus hollandaise, and bacon. Desserts, too, are worth your time. I like the carrot cake, made with carrot purée, candied walnuts, and a cream cheese ice cream.

Read: Santa Barbara Wine Country: The Santa Ynez Valley

Wine Parade

If you’re looking for a different, unique way to celebrate Mom, why not join in the fun at the Mother’s Day Wine Parade?

Jamie Slone Wines
23 East De La Guerra Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Treat Mom to the ultimate wine and food pairing experience at four fabulous winery tasting rooms in Santa Barbara: Jamie Slone Wines, Cebada Wines, Sanford Winery and Silver Wines. This exclusive wine and food pairing experience is being offered only on Mother’s Day 2019. Guests may check-in and begin their experience at ANY of the winery tasting rooms and then enjoy a short walk to the rest. Tickets are $48 and limited to first 60 guests.

Wine and Food Pairing Experiences:

  • Jamie Slone Wines – Enjoy a glass of their new 2017 Sparkling Grenache Blanc de Noir paired with potato chips. This is Santa Barbara’s first ever Sparkling Grenache Blanc de Noir. Bubbly!
  • Cebada Wines – Enjoy two wine tastings paired with homemade mini blueberry muffins. Featuring their 2016 Estate Sparkling Rose and 2017 Estate Rose of Pinot Noir. Local!
  • Sanford Winery – Enjoy two tastings of their Rose and Pinot Noir paired with yummy
  • Silver Wines –Enjoy two tastings of Grenache Blanc and Super Tuscan along with a delicious cheese plate. Buy your tickets here.

If you think you’d love to celebrate Mother’s Day in 2020 as a “local,” or would like to move within Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities, give me a call at 805.886.9378 or email me at Have a blessed Mother’s Day 2019!


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