The hotel El Encanto is about to re-open its doors in Santa Barbara. Room bookings begin May 31. However, for those who can’t wait for a peek: the restaurant run by Executive Chef Patrice Martineau is now open to the public. I’m not an official foodie but anytime someone bothers to make their own cheese they have my full support. I am looking forward to checking out The Wine Room where Martineau prepares custom menus. If the weather holds, you’ll find me eating breakfast on the Terrace of the main Restaurant staring out over the hills and at my left coast ocean. The renovation by Orient-Express was meticulous, extended (seven years) and to the tune of $134 million.