Saturday, October 3 , 2015, 8:38 pm | Fair with Haze 68º

Intermezzo Bar + Café Expands Space, Menu Under New Chef Nik Ramirez

Intermezzo Bar + Café, at 819 Anacapa St. in Santa Barbara, recently unveiled a revamped interior. (Intermezzo Bar + Café photo)
Intermezzo Bar + Café, at 819 Anacapa St. in Santa Barbara, recently unveiled a revamped interior. (Intermezzo Bar + Café photo) ()

By Jennifer Guess for Intermezzo Bar + Café |

Change is in the air at Intermezzo Bar + Café, and you’ll love the direction it’s headed!

Chef Nik Ramirez
Chef Nik Ramirez

With Intermezzo’s newly appointed Chef Nik Ramirez now in command of the kitchen, and a recently revamped interior, Intermezzo Bar + Cafe is bigger and better than ever.

Born on the Hawaiian island of Maui, Ramirez was raised on, and gained a love for, local produce. By cooking and creating menus with what the local environment provided, he became accustomed to exercising his creativity on a daily basis.

His goals were to use only indigenous plants, fruits and vegetables, in order to help sustain local farmers and markets, and led to his becoming a supporter of organic and sustainable farming.

Prior to his culinary career, Ramirez spent time in Romania playing semi-pro soccer, where he continued his fascination with cooking, and had the opportunity to experiment with European ingredients. His passion for athletics eventually led to his philosophy of approaching cooking like a sport, with the ultimate goal of conquering cuisines and culinary techniques from across the globe.

“Cooking nightly in a busy restaurant kitchen brings many variables your way, so I’m constantly adjusting and altering my attack in a quick and efficient manner,” he said. “As with games, a menu is always changing, as are the rules, depending on your guests. My goal is to achieve victory by using the very best ingredients in my dishes, and pushing myself to surpass expectations of my guests at Intermezzo in order to captivate their attention, and keep them coming back time after time.”

Ramirez attended Santa Barbara City College’s School of Culinary Arts, and has worked locally at Mimosa, bouchon and Jolly Brothers Catering. Ramirez has now found his playing field at Intermezzo Bar + Café, while continuing to serve as sous chef in Wine Cask’s kitchen, alongside Executive Chef Brandon Hughes, a position he has held for two years.

Ramirez recently unveiled an updated menu at Intermezzo that will still feature the bar’s popular flatbreads and specialty gourmet burgers, in addition to some savory new bites such as beer-steamed mussels with truffle-vanilla velouté, and pasta modeno with cheese tortellini, braised lamb, and mint.

Ramirez’s twist on Intermezzo’s menu will surely fill seats, making the recent expansion to the bar ideally timed. To make it easier for guests to find a place to cozy up with their cocktail, the masterminds behind Intermezzo replaced the wall separating the bar-café and the Riviera Private Dining Room with an attractive sliding glass door, allowing for those enjoying casual sips and bites to mingle between rooms — and even catch their favorite sporting events on the new flat-screen television — on nights without a private event reservation.

More space means more ‘Mezzo to love! Next time you find yourself in the neighborhood, stop by and check out our expanded digs, and be sure to say hello to Intermezzo’s new chef, Nik Ramirez.

Intermezzo Bar + Café is located at 819 Anacapa St. in Santa Barbara. For more information, click here or call 805.966.9463.

— Jennifer Guess is a publicist representing Intermezzo Bar + Café.

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