The Santa Ynez Valley has so many great restaurants, and the upcoming annual foodie celebration is the perfect time to check out a new one or revisit and old favorite.
Part of Visit California’s California Restaurant Month, this year’s Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks feature three-course meal deals—all $20.19—at a record 32 restaurants in the six Santa Ynez Valley towns of Ballard, Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez, and Solvang.
Why is it two weeks long?
“We continually heard from local restaurants and from diners that the only way to improve Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks is to offer more of it,” says Shelby Sim, President/CEO of Visit the Santa Ynez Valley. “The event has been successful from year one, expanding well beyond what can be fit into just one week. It is exciting to continue to see it grow.”
Representing each of the Santa Ynez Valley’s six distinct communities, 32 restaurants will participate in Restaurant Weeks in 2019. In addition to the offerings of the Valley’s restaurants, many Santa Ynez Valley wineries will offer wine and small bite pairings in their tasting rooms for $20.19. And special lodging deals are available at hotels throughout the Valley.
“Santa Ynez Valley’s food scene is rapidly evolving in terms of both quality and quantity; it’s even challenging the region’s reputation for world-class wines. Our restaurants these days—rule,” says Sim.
Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks menus shine with farm-fresh examples of wine country’s seasonal bounty, with tasting menus crafted by celebrated chefs. Exemplary, and locavore, Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks dishes include S.Y. Kitchen executive chef Luca Crestanelli’s “Bird’s Nest Lasagna” (with fontina cheese, roasted butternut squash, chanterelle mushrooms), his “Fried Sous Vide Organic Egg” (with cheese fondue and chicory), and his “Saffron Gnocchetti (with butter and sage, optional bone marrow, raspadura cheese). At The Bear and Star in Los Olivos, chef/partner John Cox’s Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks menus include the likes of his “Wagyu Empanada” (with black beans and Cotija cheese), utilizing proteins pulled from nearby Fess Parker Ranch.
In Solvang, new chef de cuisine at Root 246, Crystal “Chef Pink” DeLongpré, puts her locally- and sustainably-sourced, TV chef touches on an “American Lamb Burger” (Bellwether Farms Jersey ricotta, house-pickled mustard seed, smoky tomato jam, served with fries or Chef Pink’s famous Brussels sprouts), which is destined for the eatery and lounge’s Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks menu.
The food-centric hotspot of Los Alamos will boast chef and restaurant participants like the town’s culinary founders, chef Jesper Johansson of Plenty on Bell and chef Clark Staub at his Full of Life Flatbread enterprise; chef Drew Terp of PICO fame; chef Conrad Gonzales’ Valle Fresh; and Norman restaurant and bar, the dining and drinking component at mid-century motor lodge marvel, Skyview Los Alamos.
At Buellton’s pioneering Santa Ynez Valley food-scape player, Industrial Eats, chef/owners Jeff and Janet Olsson will celebrate the foods of—with 100% of proceeds benefitting—the People of Yemen. Yemeni dishes will comprise the bistro’s Restaurant Weeks menu, with specialties like Shourba Bilsen (lamb broth lentil soup with coriander), Hor’ee (braised beef shank with basmati rice), and Bint Al-Sahn (dough cake with honey).
Dates of participation vary by establishment, but the list of participating restaurants, wineries, and lodging properties includes:
The Ballard Inn & Gathering Table, 2436 Baseline Ave., 800/638-2466
Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.,45 Industrial Way, 805/694-2252
Firestone Walker Brewing Co., 620 McMurray Rd., 805/697-4777
Hitching Post II, 406 E Hwy 246, 805/688-0676
Industrial Eats, 181 Industrial Way, 805/688-8807
La Tequila Mexican Restaurant, 35 W. Highway 26, 805/697-7776
Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, 555 McMurray Road, 805/688-1000
Full of Life Flatbread, 225 Bell St., 805/344-4400
Norman, 9150 US Highway 101, 805/344-0080
Pico at The Los Alamos General Store, 458 Bell St., 805/344-1122
Plenty on Bell, 508 Bell St., 805/344-3020
Valle Fresh, 380 Bell St., 805/865-2282
The Bear & Star, 2860 Grand Ave, 805/686-1359
Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Café, 2879 Grand Ave., 805/688-7265
The Lucky Hen Larder, 1095 Meadowvale Rd., 805/691-9448
S.Y. Kitchen, 1110 Faraday St., 805/691-9794
Trattoria Grappolo, 3687 Sagunto St., 805/688-6899
Willows Restaurant & Bar, 3400 E. Highway 246, 805/686-0855
Cecco Ristorante, 475 1st St., 805/688-8880
First & Oak, 409 1st St., 805/688-1703
Fresco Valley Café, 442 Atterdag Rd., 805/688-8857
Hill Haven Provisions, 448 Atterdag Rd., 805/691-9025
Hummingbird Restaurant, 453 Atterdag Rd., 805/403-7100
Leonardo’s Ristorante, 632 Alamo Pintado Rd., 805/686-0846
Los Arroyos Mexican Restaurant & Take Out, 1992 Old Mission Dr., 805/693-2994
Mad & Vin at The Landsby, 1576 Mission Dr., 805/688-3121
River Grill at The Alisal, 150 Alisal Rd., 805/688-7784
Root 246, 420 Alisal Rd., 805/686-8681
Solvang Brewing Co., 1547 Mission Dr., 805/688-2337
Succulent Café Wine Charcuterie, 1555 Mission Dr., 805/691-9444
Toscana Pizzeria, 485 Alisal Road #163, 805/697-7445
Alma Rosa Winery, 181-C Industrial Way, Buellton, 805/691-9395
Hitching Post Wines, 420 E. Highway 246, Buellton, 805/688-0676
Kalyra Winery, 343 N Refugio Rd., Santa Ynez, 805/693-8864
Loring Wine Company, 201-B Industrial Way, Buellton, 805/691-1300
Pence Vineyards & Winery, 1909 W. Highway 246, Buellton, 805/735-7000
Roblar Winery & Vineyards, 3010 Roblar Ave., Santa Ynez, 805/686-2603
Sunstone Winery, 125 N. Refugio Rd., Santa Ynez, 805/688-9463
Hampton Inn & Suites Buellton/Santa Ynez Valley, 600 McMurray Rd., Buellton, 805/686-1555
King Frederik Inn, 1617 Copenhagen Dr., Solvang, 805/688-5515
The Landsby, 1576 Mission Dr., 805/688-3121
New Haven Inn, 271 Alisal Rd., Solvang, 805/618-8541
Pea Soup Andersen’s Inn, 51 E. Highway 246, Buellton, 800/732-7687
Santa Ynez Inn, 3627 Sagunto St., Santa Ynez, 805/688-5588
Sideways Inn, 114 E. Highway 246, Buellton, 805/688-8448
Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Week menus do not include tax, tip, or beverages, and reservations are strongly encouraged. For the latest updates, including menus and dining hours, visit www.DineSYV.com.
Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 24, 2019.