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Current Solvang/Santa Ynez/Los Olivos tasting room/winery and restaurant recs?

The Oracle Sep 18, 2012 03:47 PM

I'm heading up to the area for a wedding anniversary and would love to know any current 'not-to-be-missed' spots.

I'll be there from Sunday (arriving in the early evening) and staying through Tuesday.

We are staying in Solvang and would LOVE b'fast recommendations. Our last visit was in June and Paula's Pancake House (which can sometimes be passable) and Belgian Cafe were both horrible.

We had an amazing dinner at Hadsten House on that trip - and, on a prior trip, a delicious meal at Hitching Post. We also ventured to Trattoria Grapollo - which, my husband enjoyed more than I did. Love the neighborhood feel of the place, and earnest/friendly service/hospitality - I just wasn't wow'd by the food very much. We've also enjoyed dinner at Cold Springs Tavern - but do not want to go that far.

I've never been to Ballard Inn for dinner.... is it anything like Hotel Corque/Root 246 (which we did NOT like at all)? We've walked by Mirabelle Inn Restaurant - but DH was disinterested, so we moved on. I'd be curious what the current take on either spot is.... and would also welcome any recommendations.

As of now, I'm thinking: Sunday evening: Ballard Inn - Monday evening: Hitching Post or Hadsten House ??

Current favorite tasting rooms (as of that June visit):
Solvang: Sevtap and Carivintas
Los Olivos: Epiphany and Stolpman

Any recommendations?

We are likely to stick to tasting rooms or venture to a handful of not-to-be-missed wineries where we would be able to linger... (to avoid drinking/driving).

Thanks in advance!

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  1. The Oracle RE: The Oracle Sep 18, 2012 04:25 PM

    Just found this recent thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/864489

    Don't know how I missed it when I was scouring the board! Some interesting things in that thread: Succulent Cafe (never mind, closed during the window of time we'll be in town ), Mother Hubbard's will definitely be stop.

    1. g
      glbtrtr RE: The Oracle Sep 18, 2012 09:18 PM

      We loved Ballard Inn for dinner. Breakfast was included in our weekday Ballard hotel package which was not so wonderful - different dining staff for sure. But dinner was worth a detour ... and a return trip.

      We had one of the miss rather than hit evenings at Root 246 too. Never a fan of Hitching Post myself, but have heard good things about Mirabelle. Would you want to drive out to Guadalupe if the Far Western Tavern is still open there? (At least for old times sakes in this historic and unique little town and they keep changing the final closing date.)

      2 Replies
      1. re: glbtrtr
        The Oracle RE: glbtrtr Sep 19, 2012 12:35 PM

        Thanks, glbtrtr... not up to driving to Guadalupe on this go around, unfortunately.

        Is there any place(s) you would compare Ballard Inn to (both in food presentation and overall experience)?

        1. re: The Oracle
          g
          glbtrtr RE: The Oracle Sep 20, 2012 07:47 AM

          Bruderholz comes to mind. But this is a small hotel with a few tables so it does not have the elegance or range of offerings, but similar in quality for what it does present.

      2. m
        masscath RE: The Oracle Oct 16, 2012 11:37 PM

        On your next trip, do not walk by Mirabelle, make a reservation and eat there! It's one of the best restaurants in the SY Valley. But you have to have a reservation, very small dining room and it always fills up.

        And regarding Root 246, we tried it one last time the other night (after two previous poor visits) and we won't be back. Extremely overpriced, even if you order from the bar menu. The drinks were average at best and, you guessed it, overpriced. You can do much better!!

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