The absolute repaving of Ricardo Zarate’s former restaurant empire continues, this time with the reemergence of the Blue Tavern space up in Santa Barbara. The upscaled restaurant from the Mo-Chica/Paiche/Picca head turned into a quick shutter late last year, with management informing staff of the door-locking only days before it was scheduled to go down.
Now Santa Barbara sources are saying that the dinner spot inside of the Hotel Indigo has completely flipped into a cozy bistro called Nuance, which just opened days ago. A shiny new Yelp page already has a couple of positive reviews, and the menu (which is in full below) shows a mix of wood-baked breads, larger format seafood dishes, a pork chop, and plenty of snackier options like beef tartare and fried oysters.
The menu comes by way of Courtney Ladin, who previously worked as a private chef. And, this being a former Zarate spot, Bill Chait’s restaurant group Sprout LA is of course also involved. Inside, hanging bulbs, painted brick walls and wood flooring make for a warm, casual space that would be right at home just about anywhere in L.A. Local art from Santa Barbara artist Sean Anderson adds color to the open space.
Nuance is located at 119 State Street in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone arts district, and is open weeknights and Sundays from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, the kitchen stays open until midnight.