Thursday, May 26 , 2016, 11:33 pm | Fair 60º

Santa Barbara’s Mimosa Whips Up Menu in Honor of 27th Anniversary

The French restaurant will celebrate this week with a three-course special

By Ben Preston, Noozhawk Staff Writer |

Nestled on a quiet corner on upper De la Vina Street, you may or may not have noticed Mimosa. For the past 27 years, the restaurant has been serving some of the best French cuisine found in Santa Barbara. This week — Tuesday through Thursday — it will celebrate with a 27th anniversary special: a three-course pix fixe meal with a glass of wine for $27.

The restaurant opened in 1983 under Ann and Camille Schwartz, but since 2000 it has been run by Chris and Derrick Melton, who worked in the kitchen in the 1990s before moving to San Francisco to experience myriad other styles of cooking. They bought the restaurant from the Schwartzes in 2005.

The Meltons are graduates of SBCC’s culinary program, and they say they’re excited to be back in Santa Barbara serving what they consider the city’s only true French dining experience.

“I chose to stay with French cooking after cooking many different styles because it’s the mother of all cuisines,” Derrick Melton said as he stirred an aromatic sauce next to a pan of golden sauteed onions that could be smelled from a block away. “I’ve always believed that things are done right here [at Mimosa]. French cuisine is the core of modern cooking — it’s a good base and palate to work from.”

Many of Mimosa’s ingredients come from Santa Barbara County, although some specialty items, such as frog legs, have to be imported from overseas.

“The basis of French cuisine and a lot of what we do is regional cooking,” Derrick Melton said. “We utilize what we have in the Santa Barbara County area before we look at outside sources.”

Four of Mimosa’s five chefs are also from the SBCC cooking program, and the Meltons said that other than a few decorative upgrades in the dining area, very little has changed about the restaurant over the years.

Touting traditional French dishes and house-made desserts, Mimosa, at 2700 De la Vina St., has different menu options to appeal to every type of lunch and dinnertime diner. The staff arrives early — it takes three hours to do all of the prep work required for the lunch and dinner crowds — but the Meltons say they like to keep their kitchen mellow.

“Most of our staff comes and stays for a while,” Chris Melton said. “We don’t have the craziness and turnover that’s typically found in other restaurants.”

Anniversary Menu

Glass of Louie Latour Ardeche or Chateau Valmoisinne Pinot Noir

Soup du Jour
Salad Mimosa
Petite Alsatian Onion Tart


Chicken Canneloni: served with a tomato coulis and bechmel
Salmon Napoleon: layers of salmon, mushroom duxelle, spinach and puff pastry; served with a tomato saffron cream sauce
Cassoulet Maison: raised pork, layered with flagiolets, duck confit and bratwurst
Chicken en Croute: tender chicken breast, ham, mushrooms and caramelized onion wrapped in puff pastry; served with a fennel and leek coulis


Petite Meringue Mimosa
Lemon Mousse Cake
Crème Caramel

Noozhawk staff writer Ben Preston can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.