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Oct 3, 2007 09:10 PM

Romantic Solvang?

I fear that may be an oxymoron. Any suggestions? We'll be there midweek (a Wednesday) for a special occasion. Doesn't have to be super high end, must have good wine of course. Your help very much appreciated. I've looked through the Solvang threads but can't find any reference to intimate dining there or in villages nearby.

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  1. there are few fine dining restaurants left in Solvang proper, and the ones that bill themselves as such are, shall we say, overreaching.

    One you could check out is Chef's Choice - an interesting establishment that combines cooking classes, a bistro, and kitchen shop together - check the menu and see if it appeals to you. The chef has the credentials, and the food is better than it needs to be in that location. I prefer it for lunch rather than dinner - it's just an atmosphere thing for me.

    As luck would have it, you do have options, albeit just outside of town.
    For an intimate, quiet dinner I would heartily recommend the Restaurant at the Ballard Inn - in Ballard - they have a terrific wine list with local gems as well as well some well selected imported wines. If you google Ballard Inn you'll find the menu posted on the website.

    Less intimate, but delicious choices within a fifteen minute drive would be Brother's at Mattei's Tavern, (LosOlivos) Trattoria Grappolo,(Santa Ynez) or the Hitching Post. (Buellton) All three tend toward noisy and bustling, but it is quieter during the week, especially this time of year.

    I don't know if you've made arrangements for accommodations in Solvang but if you check out the four diamond Petersen Inn - dinner is included with your room in their Cafe Provence - open only to guests. The food is quite competent, if a bit staid.

    1. Don't forger Los Olivos Cafe and rick's Side Street Cafe in Los Olivos.