Not being a very fancy person, I appreciate the Santa Ynez valley region for its laid-back charm. Most places seem pretty come-as-you-are and unpretentious. However, we all like to experience something a little above-the-norm from time-to-time and when you’re in Santa Ynez, one of the best places to do that is at the Los Olivos Cafe and Wine Merchant.
Don’t let the term “cafe” make you think of a coffee shop or a place that whips up lunch-time sandwiches. The Los Olivos cafe has a warm and welcoming ambiance with white linen and a range of exquisite cuisine.
In fact, if you saw the movie “Sideways,” you might recall this as the location the two men took their new lady friends for dinner. And recognizing this worldwide nod, the Los Olivos Cafe returned the favor by offering a “Sideways Tasting Menu” for $35 per person.
The Raspberry Pecan salad was hands-down the best salad I’ve had to date – ever. It featured raspberries, toasted pecans, crumbled gorgonzola, dried fruits, mixed greens, and raspberry vinaigrette.
The Santa Maria pizza is a barbecue chicken pizza that was also excellent. Every one else had food that looked delicious, as well.
Don’t get me wrong, The Los Olivos Cafe would probably still take you as you are; Scott and Mike came in jeans and T-shirts with no problem. This place just has a bit more of an upscale feel than many of the other places in the area.