Feature Story

Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach

Santa Barbara’s Finest On The Beach

April 26, 2013

Perched atop the sand on secluded and beautiful Arroyo Burro Beach, better known as Hendry’s to locals, sits one of Santa Barbara’s newest and most exiting restaurants. The Boathouse at Hendry’s, owned and operated by the same family who started the Santa Barbara Shellfish Company and Santa Barbara FisHouse, is truly a feast for all the senses. In the mornings, you can dine on the expansive patio and watch the sunrise over the coastal range to the east. In the evenings, gorgeous shades of red, orange and purple from the sunset to the west, flood the entire restaurant.

The Boathouse at Hendry’s also offers an excellent escape without ever leaving town, one is struck with the sense they have been transported to a remote and tropical place, while just minutes from downtown. It is difficult to see any signs of development from any part of the Boathouse, with the ocean on one side, the Douglass Preserve on the other and Hope Ranch to the north. Dolphins in the surf just out front seem to be a daily occurrence, and in season migrating whales are also common.

The best part of the visit however is the food. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily and the menus feature some of the best executed familiar favorites, as well as many very tasty unique dishes. The signature breakfast is incredible; real Dungeness crab cakes over breakfast potatoes topped with poached eggs and chipotle hollandaise; amazing! Corn beef hash at the Boathouse nearly qualifies as a life changing experience. The serving borders on gigantic. Of course all the usual favorites are there, pancakes, waffles, French toast, eggs benedict, thick applewood smoked bacon and eggs etc. Get there early on the weekend.

Lunch is a very fun experience at the Boathouse, it’s busy, beautiful and again, delicious. Try the Mahi Salad with mandarins and crispy wontons, or the Shrimp Louie, or the Lobster Tacos. The cioppino is excellent, and the Seared Ahi Club on ciabatta is fantastic, and huge. Fresh fish specials abound and generally two to three oyster varieties can be had.

Dinner dresses up nicely at the Boathouse, with the servers donning all black and a quiet elegance complimenting the natural beauty of the place. Stuffy would never be a word to describe the Boathouse, with beachgoers in flip flops as welcome as those in their designer apparel.

The food at dinner is quite special. Appetizers such as Giant Mesquite Grilled Prawns on sourdough with scampi butter, Spiced Chicken Cigarillos, and Pan Fried Dungeness Crab Cakes start of a delicious meal, or make a meal in themselves. The mesquite grills beautifully cook many fish delicacies, such as Ahi Tuna, Yellowtail, Arctic Char, Mahi Mahi, White Sea Bass, as well as Newport Beef Ribeyes, Top Sirloins, and New York Steaks, as well as the truly sinful Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon with blue cheese compound butter and fried Maui onions. End it with a molten chocolate cake or McConnell’s ice cream mudd pie and you are in heaven.

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