Santa Ynez Valley News


Numerous eateries offering gourmet international cuisine found in Santa Ynez

18 Dec 2013 9:20 AM
Numerous eateries offering gourmet international cuisine found in Santa Ynez

While California is highly regarded for its unique brand of cuisine derived from fresh, regional ingredients - which has grown exponentially in popularity during recent years - a substantial number of area gastronomes also enjoy having direct access to respected restaurants touting innovative fare from around the world. Expert chefs can be found throughout the Golden State, however, many have seemed to have taken up residence in concentrated areas, one of which being the Santa Ynez Valley.

A stroll through this historic community can afford visitors and natives alike a glance into its storied past, but also, a peak into the future, as the dishes created in many of the local high-end eateries are incredibly inventive and on the cutting-edge of the worldwide culinary scene. The next time you find yourself within this revered western town, you may want to make reservations at the following establishments - or risk missing out on the chance to enjoy an upscale, international fine dining experience. 

Trattoria Grappolo
Due to the fact that Italian cuisine is viewed favorably among different cultures across the globe, it is of no surprise to many that this restaurant is one of the most popular in Santa Ynez. Founded by chef Leonardo Curti and Daniele Serra in 1997, the pair have witnessed their company grow into a booming business, where diners come for its accommodating bucolic ambiance and stay until they are satisfactorily satiated. Additionally, Trattoria Grappolo offers private dining and event catering, for those looking to host a posh social gathering.

Centrally located on Sagunto Street, this establishment features a wood-fired oven as well as an extensive wine list populated by selections from local vineyards and unique labels from various regions in Italy. Popular menu items include carpaccio, gnocchi al gusto di pollo and rollino veneto, as well as their exquisite pizzas and delicate desserts.

Bit O' Denmark Restaurant
Situated in a 102-year old building that once served as a schoolhouse, this family-owned and operated eatery has been surpassing the expectations of Solvang diners for 50 years. The updated structure provides an intimate dining atmosphere appropriate for romantic dinners between lovers as well as lively lunches with friends, and the Danish cuisine does not disappoint. 

Located on Alisal Road, Bit O' Denmark boasts a smorgasbord of interesting dishes, including time-tested favorites like roast duck, apple cinnamon crepes and its celebrated Monte Cristo sandwiches. In addition to its full bar and selection of premium local wines, this restaurant features an espresso bar. Those seeking a private dining experience can enjoy exclusive use of the enclosed patio, which offers scenic sights of the picturesque surroundings. 

The Willows
Though this establishment is widely recognized for its American cuisine, it is a requisite stop for any individuals touring the globe through Santa Ynez's gourmet eateries. This four-diamond rated restaurant, found within the Chumash Casino Resort, specializes in mouthwatering seafood and prime steaks, coupled with a curated collection of imported and domestic wines.

Using ingredients sourced from local farms, ranches and gardens, the chefs routinely provide patrons with the freshest and most flavorful culinary combinations, all presented amid a comfortable, elegant setting. Popular orders include braised pork, pappardelle carbonara, fresh lobster and free-range bison, among many others. 

Dos Carlitos Restaurant
Offering Santa Ynez residents and gastronomic tourists the finest in bold Mexican and Latin flavors, a visit to this restaurant is a sensory experience. The aroma of fresh handmade tortillas, coupled with the smoky scent from the open fire grill is sure to delight all who patronize the eatery on Sagunto Street.

In addition to the lengthy menu filled with traditional and contemporary fare, diners can choose from more than 60 premium tequilas. Meals can be enjoyed in any of the available spaces, including the relaxed outdoor patio or main indoor dining room, as well as the private space with connected terraza.