Friends and Neighbors Dinner at the San Ysidro Ranch

When I was in Santa Barbara last week for a quick wine-tasting blitz, I stayed with friends who live in Montecito near the fabled San Ysidro Ranch resort. They told me about a special weeknight deal the restaurants there, Stonehouse and Plow & Angel, offer. For $37 you get a three-course prix fixe with huge portions and attentive, world-class service. If you're lucky, you can even sit on the outside patio under the olive trees, with an old-fashioned oil lamp illuminating your table. It's heaven on earth: