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Santa Barbara Public Market Merchants Prepare for Film Feast

The Visit Santa Barbara event shows off local restaurants that are creating movie-themed dishes during the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Thinking about the Santa Barbara International Film Festival propelled Pasta Shoppe head chef Brian Dodero back to a memory from studying abroad in Italy.

The Santa Barbara native pictured a heaping bowl of pasta — much like the one shown in the old film An American in Rome.

Dodero plans to re-create that vision this week as part of Film Feast, a promotion involving several local restaurants, wine tasting rooms and hotels that coincides with the 30th anniversary of the film festival.

Locals and visitors can catch special menus and discounts during the Visit Santa Barbara-organized program, which corresponds with the festival’s kickoff Tuesday and ends along with the event on Feb. 7.

“I had an image in my head as soon as I heard we were going to do some type of prix fixe,” Dodero said this week of the prearranged meal option offered inside the Santa Barbara Public Market, just a stone’s throw from where much of the festival unfolds at the Arlington Theatre.

The Paste Shoppe will sell $30 meals based on Italian-themed films, such as Lady and the Tramp (bucatini with beef and pork bolognese sauce) or An American in Rome (wild mushroom gnocchi).

“I know people are on the go,” Dodero said, noting meals could be boxed up for later. “To be right here behind it … I’m excited.”

The Pasta Shoppe expects to experience an increase in business during the film festival, a sentiment shared by all 15 merchants within the public market, which was recently vandalized during a break-in spree of downtown businesses.

Bucatini with beef and pork bolognese will be part of a Film Feast special at the Pasta Shoppe inside the Santa Barbara Public Market, which will offer a fixed-price menu based on Italian-themed movies. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

Dodero said the merchants rallied around each other to open after the early-morning burglary Jan. 17.

The merchants first opened up shop last April, which makes 2015 the first year all of them will encounter the film festival. 

Belcampo Meat Co. is trying to keep the mood light, offering a Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs sandwich. Customers who remember to mention the film by name even get 30 percent off the sub.

The butcher shop was glad to participate in Film Feast alongside Eladio’s “Planet of the Cakes” dessert trio for the three Planet of the Apes films and other dishes inspired by The Goonies and more, said Belcampo general manager and head chef Carrie Mitchum,

“We’re right in the middle,” she said of the market’s proximity to film fest activities. “It’s fun.”

For a complete list of offers, and for information about Visit Santa Barbara’s special social media contest, click here

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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