Established in 1986 by the Bennett family, this lively restaurant has a beautiful backdrop view of the ocean and harbor. The menu was relatively straight forward, with a daily fresh fish menu served along with seafood appetizers. Our expectations were high since Brophy Bros has won every Best Seafood Restaurant and Best Clam Chowder award from Santa Barbara Independent News press over the past 22 years. Not to mention, it is also ranked #1 on Yelp Santa Barbara.
Stearns Wharf is located at the bottom of State Street - Fabulous view of the harbor, islands and mountains
Enjoying the ocean breeze....
Night view of Santa Barbara waterfront
We managed to catch a glimpse of the fishermen unloading their fresh catch on the pier - very cool!
New England Clam Chowder (US$4.50) - The chowder was served in a mug with a nice balance of potatoes and clams. Nevertheless, it wasn't the best bowl of clam chowder. We much prefer the chowder at Lure Fish House.
Hot combo appetizer (US$14.95) contained beer boiled shrimps, garlic baked clams, oysters Rockefeller, steamed mussels & clams with broth. The broth was rather salty but overall it was a decent starter.
Scampi - jumbo shrimp sauteed with white wine, lemon, garlic and a dash of tomato. The garlic sauce was divine, I'm a big fan of clear broth as compared to cream, which tends to be heavy and overpowering.
Seafood Pasta - Gulf shrimps and sea scallops sauteed with a Madeira and spinach cream sauce. As you can see, the portion was HUGE. The scampi and scallops were fresh sprinkled with a generous amount of cheese.
Local Halibut - Grilled and served with roasted garlic, basil and tomato vinaigrette. The fish was tender and moist but nothing to rave about.
Crab Cakes - Lightly breaded, sauteed and served with a tarragon and mustard cream sauce. I much prefer the crab cakes from Bouchon.
The service was excellent and the food portion was very generous in size, with each main served together with coleslaw, a choice of soup or salad and fries or rice pilaf. Nonetheless, the meal was nothing mind blowing. It was rather forgettable and I wouldn't bother waiting 40mins for a table.
Verdict: SOMEWHAT SMITTEN