The musical crackle of a roaring fire combined with the sedative effect of good food and drink provide an unparalleled recipe for winding down. So next time you need a break, shed your mittens and head for the following hearths.
COLD SPRING TAVERN
Founded as a roadside tavern along a stagecoach route, Cold Spring keeps its pioneer-style charm with a small weathered-wood and stone restaurant, four fireplaces and adjacent log cabin bar. The roasted tri-tip BBQ sandwiches are unparalleled and the crisp and flaky onion rings have few equals. 5995 Stagecoach Rd., Santa Barbara, (805) 967-0066
YE OLDE KING'S HEAD
Heavy wooden chairs and tables and an imposing stone hearth make consuming what is arguably the best plate of golden fish and chips in town a very English experience indeed. 116 Santa Monica Blvd., (310) 451-1402
OSTERIA LA BUCA
This enchanting Italian eatery recently opened a cozy upstairs dining room with a cheerful fireplace. The kitchen -- which cranks out astounding made-from-scratch pasta --was closed for "improvements" for most of the month, but just reopened. 5210 1/2 Melrose, (323) 462-1900