Santa Barbara, Calif.,
09:06 PM

Chef Vincent Lesage's Angel Oak Opens in Santa Barbara , California

Santa Barbara, Calif. (June 30, 2016) – New signature restaurant Angel Oak officially opens its doors today at Bacara Resort & Spa with the property’s Executive Chef Vincent Lesage overseeing the culinary team. Following his tenure at Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach – as well as his time at Michelin-starred restaurants L’Astrance in Paris and Bras in Laguiole – Lesage debuts Angel Oak, a modern seafood and steakhouse restaurant, while also continuing his role as Executive Chef for the resort. (; 805.571.4444; 8301 Hollister Avenue, Santa Barbara, CA 93117).

“The inspiration behind the menu was to reimagine the ordinary, what you classically see in a steakhouse with a twist,” said Vincent Lesage, Executive Chef, Bacara Resort & Spa. “We wanted to showcase the best of seasonal ingredients and preparing every single one of them with an element of surprise.”

“When I first came to Bacara it felt like the closest place to heaven on earth,” said Nate Tanner, vice president of food & beverage, Pacific Hospitality Group (PHG) – Angel Oak’s parent company. “We wanted to build a restaurant that would stand the test of time and become the iconic destination for Bacara and for Santa Barbara. Vincent has done an amazing job curating a menu that inspires and excites the steak and seafood lover in all of us.”

The Angel Oak menu celebrates the theme of duality, showcasing traditionally robust steakhouse offerings juxtaposed alongside refined seafood dishes, all crafted with Lesage’s classically-trained and deft hand. The menu features appetizers, soup & salad, and a reinvented Market Seafood Tower to start, with larger meat and seafood dishes and a variety of unique side dishes following. Additionally, the restaurant offers certified Kobe beef and a dry age program developed exclusively for Angel Oak. Menu highlights include:

  • Market Seafood, poached Maine lobster, daily selection of oysters, split king crab legs, boiled jumbo shrimp, fresh lump crab ceviche, house cocktail sauce, signature mignonette, lemon caviar
  • Foie Gras Torchon, toasted brioche, strawberry chutney
  • French Onion Dip, roasted Walla Walla onion, Passmore Ranch caviar, potato gaufrette
  • Kobe Beef Tataki, soy-cured melon, yuzu, puffed rice
  • Angel Oak Dry Aged New York (12 oz.), shaved black truffle, brown butter
  • Angel Oak Burger (10 oz. house grind), a house made potato bun, porcini crusted, stuffed with foie gras, lettuce, and heirloom tomato
  • New Zealand Grass Fed Rack of Lamb, house made harissa and apricot puree
  • Steamed Halibut, spring pea and verbena puree, citrus vinaigrette, and local greens
  • Lobster ‘a L’Americaine, roasted potatoes, celery root, heirloom carrots
  • Lobster and House Made Gnocchi Gratin, local lemon
  • Wild Mushroom with soft poached egg and crispy house bacon

Angel Oak’s dessert menu, created by Bacara’s award-winning Pastry Chef Brooke Martin, presents revived classics with selections including the Baked Alaska with toasted coconut ice cream, strawberry elderflower gel and grand marnier; Warm Dark Chocolate Molten with malt ganache, almond nougatine, and a bailey’s milkshake; Cinnamon Apple Cobbler with hazelnut feuilletine crunch and vanilla ice cream; a “Candy Bar” with dark chocolate cremeux, peanut butter crunch and salted ice cream; and finally, a Banana Split with chocolate meringue, banana spuma, waffle crisp, and brandied cherries.

Angel Oak’s wine and spirits program features a curated selection of Old and New World wines housed inside the restaurant’s 12,000-bottle cellar. The expansive cellar is climate controlled to ensure quality, doubling as an impressive event space for up to 40 seated guests. Angel Oak’s General Manager Branden Bidwell serves as the head of both the wine program and service team. Bidwell is a longtime Santa Barbara resident, a Santa Barbara Culinary School graduate, and a certified sommelier. His experience includes working on the service and culinary teams at many of the best restaurants in Santa Barbara. Bidwell also serves as the sommelier captain for ‘World of Pinot Noir’ and on the sommelier team for ‘Pebble Beach Food & Wine.’

Angel Oak’s craft cocktails highlight refreshing takes on time-honored classics such as the Manhattan’s Angel with High West Rendevous Rye, Sweet Vermouth, and Bitters; Our Signature Daiquiri No 6 with Denizen, Lime, Sugar and Absinthe; Smoke on the Water, a cherry wood smoked spirit forward cocktail served tableside. Additionally, Angel Oak provides one-of-a-kind after dinner drinks and delicious alcohol free elixirs.

Under the creative direction of the Hatch Design Group, Angel Oak’s interiors emphasize the surrounding oceanfront scenery with an elegant open-air design. With the ceiling-to-floor windows and panoramic views, each of the 162 seats from the dining room and bar are ensured a view of the Pacific Ocean. California’s natural beauty is reflected in the dark wood and earth-toned accents of the restaurant, such as the hand-carved granite podium, exotic Chamcha wood table, hand-blown chandeliers, and the Amazonite bar that serves as a focal point and anchor in the dining room. Guests can also enjoy the coastal views with their meal al fresco on the outdoor dining terrace.

Angel Oak is open for dinner from 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. seven days a week. For more information or to make reservations, visit You may also find Angel Oak on Twitter and Instagram at @angeloaksb.

About Angel Oak

Set to debut in the summer of 2016, Angel Oak is a modern steak and seafood restaurant housed at the acclaimed Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara, California and is part of Pacific Hospitality Group. Angel Oak will showcase the culinary knowledge and classical training of Parisian Executive Chef Vincent Lesage and feature classic steakhouse dishes with a uniquely Santa Barbara interpretation as part of a diverse menu of locally-sourced fare – including Santa Barbara's famously fresh uni and the restaurant's certified Kobe and dry-aged beef program. Accompanying the cuisine is an ambiance of pure scenic beauty designed by Hatch Design Group, with ceiling-to-floor windows boasting expansive panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean from every table and a striking 25-seat bar topped with a vibrant blue Amazonite quartz that mirrors the dazzle and grandeur of the ocean. Angel Oak will offer a premier cocktail program and an exclusive wine cellar to house the restaurant's formidable, hand-curated collection. In addition, seating on the outdoor patio will be provided, showcasing some of the most captivating views of the arcing sunset over the ocean.

About Bacara Resort & SpaBacara Resort & Spa opened in 2000 and quickly established itself as the premier Santa Barbara resort destination. The property features 360 guestrooms and suites, four restaurants and lounges, a four-story spa and wellness center, three oceanfront swimming pools, a 12,000-bottle Wine Cellar, the Foley Food & Wine Society Wine Tasting Room and 70,000 square feet of function space. Embodying the essence of the American Riviera lifestyle, Bacara is nestled on the bluff and beaches of the Gaviota coast, just 40 miles from the famed Santa Ynez Wine Country and five miles from the Santa Barbara Airport. For reservations or more information, please call (855) 817-9782 or visit

About Chef Vincent Lesage

At the age of 30, Chef Vincent Lesage's impressive career already includes 3-Star Michelin restaurants in Paris, as well as experience at some of the world’s most luxurious hotels. Born and raised in Paris at the center of the food universe, Lesage was surrounded by the rich flavors and techniques that define French gastronomy. His passion for art and hours spent at the Louvre studying color palettes later inspired his artistic presentations of dishes. After graduating from the Institut Paul Bocuse in Ecully, France, Lesage trained at some of the world’s most celebrated establishments, including The Ritz Paris, the Michelin three-star restaurant, L’Astrance, and Michelin three-star restaurant, Bras.

Most recently, Lesage served as Executive Chef of Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach where he opened two of the city’s waterfront restaurants, Waterline and A&O Kitchen + Bar. Prior to that, he served as Executive Sous Chef at St. Regis Monarch Beach, managing a culinary team of more than 60. Today, as Executive Chef of Bacara Resort & Spa’s renowned culinary program, Lesage oversees all culinary operations at the resort, including the new signature restaurant, Angel Oak.

About Branden Bidwell

Branden Bidwell is a longtime resident of Santa Barbara with an impressive list of experience in his 15+ years working in hospitality. A Santa Barbara Culinary School Graduate and Certified Sommelier, Branden can handle any aspect of the restaurant. He has worked at many of the best restaurants in Santa Barbara both in the front of house and in the kitchen. He is also the Sommelier Captain for 'World of Pinot Noir' and on the Sommelier Team for 'Pebble Beach Food & Wine.'

About Cassie Hesse

Born and raised in New Orleans, the city instilled Cassie with a love for hospitality. With 8 years of bartending experience from coast to coast, she has picked up a few tricks of the trade. Her industry experience started in New Orleans before moving to Las Vegas, where she was introduced to the dynamic and intricate world of cocktails. Her love affair with the classics heightened while being apart of the opening team for Rose. Rabbit. Lie. in the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas. Working at the Cosmopolitan also afforded her the opportunity to run Neapolitan. Her next ventures included opening Sayer’s Club in SLS Las Vegas and consulting work for Ellis Adams Group based in Los Angeles. Recently venturing back to New Orleans, her past year was spent running the bar for the first AC Hotel in the US. She also had the pleasure of bartending at Compere Lapin for Chef Nina Compton, Eater’s New Orleans Chef of the year. Cassie has recently entered the competitive world of bartending as well, beginning with Bombay Sapphire and GQ’s Most Imaginative Bartender Competition and winning People’s Choice New Orleans. You may have also seen her at Freret St Block Party to end Tales of the Cocktail in a dynamic duo with Neal Bodenheimer and Suze liqueur. Cassie has found herself living in California for the first time, hoping to bring the art of genuine hospitality and craft cocktails to Huntington Beach with Pacific Hospitality Group.

Press Contacts
photo:Kristal McKanders
Kristal McKanders
Meritage Collection
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