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Jul 18, 2013 05:57 PM

Santa Ynez Dinner Recommendation

We're going to Santa Ynez this weekend for one night (Sunday night) and looking for a great recommendation. We're staying at Santa Ynez Inn, so someplace nearby would be ideal, but willing to travel if it's really worth it. Probably someplace romantic, but food is #1. TIA!

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  1. I've never been for dinner, but COLD SPRINGS TAVERN, as I understand, is very romantic at night. It is a drive, but it sounds like it's worth it. It's a former stage coach stop. I've only been there on weekends during the day when they have their outdoor tri tip sandwiches. Check it out.

    Close to where you are staying is TRATTORIA GRAPPOLO, an Italian restaurant I've heard has good food, although I haven't eaten there. I have no idea if it is romantic, or what the ambiance is.

    I had a lovely dinner once at BALLARD INN, not too far of a drive for you.

    I had just a so-so dinner at LOS OLIVOS WINE MERCHANT & CAFE. I would try one of the above-mentioned restaurants before returning to the Cafe.

    Finally, my go-to place anytime I'm in the area is THE HITCHING POST, but I don't know if it's what you're looking for. Their steaks are fabulous, but it is not a romantic restaurant.

    2 Replies
    1. re: brandygirl

      Cold Springs Tavern is a great idea - great setting of great romantic intimacy in this old wooden stage house withi its large stone fireplaces and creaky floors - just be very careful when driving Highway 154 - lots of speeders on this winding road and unfortunately those who enjoyed SYV wines.

      I like Grappolo, very nice, but not romantic- more with a lot of buzz and good cheer, next to the equally buzzy and good cheer Maverick Saloon.

      Yup, agree Ballard Inn is probably tops for cuisine alone. Small dining room but very homey and take some time to enjoy the broad front porch verandah either before or after dinner in this charming old hotel.

      1. re: glbtrtr

        Thank you so much for the recommendations. Cold Springs Tavern sounds awesome, but after wine tasting during the day I don't think we want (or should be) driving that far! I made a reservation at Ballard Inn, but may consider Grappolo since it looks like we can walk there. I'll for sure report back :)

    2. SY Kitchen recently opened up that way too - don't know anything about it but looks worthy on face value: