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Mattei's Tavern
Mattei's Tavern

Mattei's Tavern Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.MatteisTavern.com
  • Phone: (805) 688-3550
  • Hours of Operation: Brunch
    Saturday - Sunday: 11am - 2pm

    Dinner
    Wednesday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm; Sunday: 5:00pm - 9pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Robbie Wilson
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Private Party Facilities: Please email Events@MatteisTavern.com for details.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Nojoqui Avenue
  • Parking: Private Lot
A word from Mattei's Tavern
As seen in Santa Barbara Magazine's Annual Best of 2014 Issue...

The new Mattei's Tavern is a discovery, interpretation, and definition of Santa Barbara cuisine and spirit, sourcing local ingredients from Santa Barbara County and the Pacific Ocean. Chef/Partner Robbie Wilson celebrates the product and artisans of the Santa Ynez Valley.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "The new Mattei's Tavern is by far, the BEST Mattei's Tavern. No more mashed potatoes with every entree(adios Brothers!), but real thoughtful & flavorful dishes. We are weekenders in The Valley & so impressed that we now have a spot that is as good as any place in California, or the U.S. for that matter. What I've really noticed is how pristine the ingredients are. This place obviously has fun, it's like expertly produced, but they don't take themselves too serious. We do!"
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "We dined at this restaurant based on a recommendation. To say we were extremely disappointed in the food and wine list is an understatement. The wine list was extensive if you prefer whites (there were only 4 cabs) and you wanted a wine from out of the area. We came to the SYV to enjoy the wines, yet there were very few on the list. This was the first time ever that we did not order wine when dining out! The food choices were odd. There weren't any appetizers that sounded appealing, and there was a limited selection of entrees. The salmon was tasty, but there wasn't anything else with it except for a bit of garnish. One piece of the chicken entree was very good, but the other pieces were under cooked."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "This place is not to be missed. Beautiful setting."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Brunch food was expertly cooked, tasty and nicely presented. Their homemade bacon was freakin' delicious. The menu was a loco-vore riff on classic farm-house breakfast fare, tho the egg dishes need a side of some kind of potato thing. Service was charming and attentive. And very knowledgeable about the local wines. The open kitchen fits in well with the old-time stagecoach decor and rooms. The main dining room in the day, however, is an add on to the original building and looks like an addition to a roadside burger/rib joint. It is pleasant enough but doesn't connect at all to the rest of the building. Ikea chairs!!! The inner dining room is small and would not been out of place as the "fancy eatin' room" at Miss Kitty's of Gunsmoke fame."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "We noticed an earlier review that mentioned "strange combinations, etc.." THIS RESTAURANT IS A HOME RUN. For some reason, we live in a time warp in this Valley and many people still think flavored mashed potatoes = quality cuisine. I wish to welcome Mattei's Tavern to 2014 & Mattei's you are alone in this Valley.....I thank you for it. Chef Wilson's food is on par with the best in any big city, I just hope these locals & tourists from Encino will open their minds/eyes a little and savor what is truly one of California's best restaurants. My recommendations are: bavette, rotisserie chicken, artichoke, & avocado. Simply the best to be found!"
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "We were walked through the kitchen then back to seats that were bad lighting and in a corner, then the service was very slow and unprofessional. The menus was difficult to understand with the strange food combinations. The food was marginal and un appealing. We will not be return portions very small and over cooked. Great location but the Central Coast isn't New York were you can charge to much and under a preform."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "We have had the pleasure of dining at Mattei's Tavern several times. Chef Wilson and his fabulous staff have created an incredible dining experience in the most beautiful setting. Their menu celebrates the locally grown bounty of the Central Coast that highlight Chef Wilson's creative and passionate culinary talent. Recently we enjoyed a lovely weekend brunch dining outdoors on Mattei's back patio and enjoying exquisite food listening to a great guitarist. Everyone in our party ordered something different from their varied brunch selections like cornmeal pancakes with smoked maple syrup and sausage, to yogurt with fresh berries, homemade granola and honey, and amazing hamburgers and pommes frites. We are still savoring our experience! "
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "Mattie's restaurant has had a total face lift and is very chic and upscale now . The food in general has gotten a bit fussy and several complex items had to be explained (for just a squirt of a sauce) The guacamole appetizer was delicious...The restaurant has sadly gone the way of others that charge everything alacarte You have to order any sides to go with your meat/fish etc...but the reasoning is to have a "family style" experience. Tables on the porch are wonderful and the staff is friendly and efficient."
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "Foodies paradise. If u r anywhere in the area must eat there. Scenic drive to Santa barbara"
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "As a chef myself when i dine out i expect to be, wowed. I have severe Celiac Disease and can not eat gluten. They refused to think outside the box and accomadte my allergy and offered me an unseasoned steak with a side of sauce that contained gluten....Unacceptable. the bussed however was amazing and should have been the manager as he was the only one apologizing. "
    Dined on 5/15/2014
  • "Had dinner on Mother's Day for a party of five. Great food and service! Everybody had a great experience!"
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Very limited eclectic menu. Small portions, big prices. Good service, noisy with LOUD rock (Led Zepplin) music. Most dishes tasty, but again, mixed."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "This was our first time to Mattei's Tavern since they have changed owners. The menu is very creative, and very well done!! It is no longer a "steakhouse." The only "down side" is that I asked for a quiet table away from the door and heavy foot traffic (like next to the kitchen, etc.). We sat on the enclosed patio which was lovely, but happened to sit next to a table of 8 or more - I couldn't tell exactly how many people, because the kids were constantly up and down, moving into the other rooms and back, etc. I don't object to kids in restaurants, but I do expect them to sit and eat and at least NOT disturb other diners. But we would definitely eat here again!"
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Amazing food and service! The little details really matter at Matties Tavern!"
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "This was our first visit to Mattei's. They recently re-opened and it was one of the nicest experiences we have ever had. The Menu is select and portions are perfect. You may share the dining experience on all items if you prefer to do so. We asked for a quiet location and actually elected to sit ring side the chefs area. What a special treat to watch the chefs in action. You must have the grilled avocado with Ponzu sauce and the Arugula salad as an appetizer and the Pot De Creme for dessert. The grilled veggies as a main entree combined with the pot roast was marvelous to share. This will be our favorite dining experience for many years to come. Thank you staff all for a great dining experience and service that was excellent. "
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "Everything was gorgeous - the food, service, furniture. We had a splendid and memorable dinner! "
    Dined on 5/4/2014
  • "Not ti miss cote de beouf was so flavorful w/ smoked butter and shallots. Salad w/ chopped and shaved walnuts mixed w goat cheese, green olives, green frisee. Refreshing flavors!"
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "We are locals who enjoyed going to Mattei's when it was under the Brothers management. We were checking it out as a possible location for our daughter's graduation night dinner. We found the menu to be limited and definitely not kid or even teen friendly. It also seemed to be somewhat pricy. We were sat in a busy section by the kitchen and went for long periods of time between visits from our server. She seemed to be split between our table at one end of the restaurant and doing something else in another room. Overall, we were not impressed and will probably not go back or bring our out of town guests there either. There are just so many other better restaurants in the valley that we won't be giving them a second chance."
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "Fabulous, interesting and well prepared meal. Impeccable service from a friendly, knowledgable staff. First rate experience in a nice setting."
    Dined on 4/27/2014
  • "The service and food were absolutely great. The location and ambience excellent. Atmosphere was very casual and relaxed. Party of four, one alcoholic drink, two desserts $230.00."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "This is my absolute favorite restaurant. Not only is the food amazing, but the service is also amazing. Everyone from the hostess to the manager to the servers make you feel special and truly create a unique overall dining experience that I have not found anywhere else. I highly recommend this place!"
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "Best dinner we've had in a couple if years. The place is so cool & original. So happy that this area finally has a restaurant that is one of the best in the country. Try the grilled avocado, artichoke, tartare, and skate wing. Los Angeles doesn't even have it this good! "
    Dined on 4/16/2014
  • "We have been coming to Matteis for over 30 years, and have seen many changes, but we were pleasantly surprised by the newest update in decor and food. The updates in appearance do not take away from the history of the property, and I'm thrilled that they kept the cozy fireplace- filled front room. The food was wonderful. We shared a salad, grilled avocado, pot roast entree, and creamed corn side. Staff was attentive and friendly. The atmosphere is classy but not stuffy. We will definitely return."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "I was always intending to visit Mattai's when visiting Los Olivos in the years past. Finally an old friend came to spend the weekend and we decided to go wine tasting. The day was glorious and our dinner was memorable. All was good"
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "They told us our reservation was good but that we didn't need to rush to our table & enjoy a drink at the bar if we preferred. Very friendly staff, gave recommendations & never felt rushed. Great ambience. When we did sit down at our table I was disappointed w how loud it was as we were sitting in the same area as the kitchen. Our fault for not speaking up tho. But mostly we were disappointed by the quality of food. To pay $25 for very little wasn't worth it on top of it not tasting well. I will go back for a drink only. And it was my 40th bday so I expected a cool experience overall and it turned out disappointing."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "This has become our local go-to place in the SY Valley. To start, you are brought hot popovers...more corn-tasting and salty than the usual, and delicious. They have the best salads and vegetables (and always a garden entree - this time a delicious asparagus based dish) to go with terrific meat and fish selections. My husband always goes for whatever kind of brisket is on the menu - last night it was brisket pasta. We never skip the grilled avocado or jalapeño corn brûlée. I must comment on the gorgeous wine glasses they use....makes every meal more special. They've added a tasty bar menu that includes a buttermilk fried chicken sandwich, burger, and other more casual fare. And weekend brunch is coming soon....can't wait!"
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "I was a bit reluctant to give Mattei's another try as I was one of those locals who had been somewhat put off when it first re-opened after the Brothers left. I am happy to say that the recent changes have made the experience well worth taking a new look. The main elements that pleased me where the introduction of the new Locals Menu and the emphasis on family sharing of dishes. I'll be back."
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "The NEW Mattei's is far and away better than the old & THE REAL DEAL. We have dined here twice in the last 4 months & I will say that it's probably the very best food that we've ever eaten, anywhere. The OLD Mattei's Tavern was, let's just say.....gross. Heavy & boring, this new version will be rated among California's very best. We both said the other nigh that right now, Mattei's is the best restaurant in Santa Barbara County and maybe all the way to SF. One warning: this is well-thought food & design. Not for the Chilies crowd, but my husband's Cheeseburger was his favorite in a very long time. And he's been around for a very long time. Can't say enough about how delicious this place is. It's a must for any traveler or local."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "My boyfriend and I have been to Mattei’s Tavern for dinner a number of times since the recent opening and really have enjoyed each visit. The restaurant is always fun, fresh and the service is great! The menu is presented beautifully with an option to choose items you would find here from 1886 as well as items with a more updated twist. My favorite this last visit was the grilled avocado and short rib pot roast. We split a side of brussels sprouts and cream corn brulee. Everything we had was amazing! I am glad our server went over the menu with us and recommended sharing the sides. It was a perfect amount to share and could have easily be split with another person. They have done an amazing job! We will be back very soon!"
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "We should have done more research before coming here to celebrate our 10th anniversary! No one even noticed that we left at least half our food when they cleared our plates, not good! We've eaten all over the world, and we did not care for the food or the menu. The wait staff was very nice, but spent most of their time trying to convince you that they will try to make the menu work for you, we soon found out why. It's a shame that our special occasion was not very special!"
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "We first went to the restaurant a few weeks ago and the server remembered us and the bottle of wine we had previously ordered. I wish I could remember her name but two servers helped us and they were both passionate and proud of the quality of the restaurant. Fantastic employees! I will definitely be coming back with my family in the near future. It's also a fun adventure to drive our new Tesla up to Mattei's from Santa Barbara as there is a nearby Supercharger station and it costs nothing to drive and recharge the battery. See you again soon."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "Lively place on a Thursday night. Good food, great service. Enjoyed the ambiance."
    Dined on 2/27/2014
  • "Love the decor! Love the service! Love the food, especially the grilled avocado, beef tartar, & skate wing schnitzel. My husband and I both said that this is our favorite restaurant in Santa Barbara County and one of the very best that we have ever been. Can't wait to return."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "What an incredible night! Thank you to everyone at Mattei's. From the grilled avocado to the beef tartar(the BEST I had since my last vacation in France!) to the schnitzel of skate and the pot roast. I mean this is by far the best place. Cannot wait to be back..."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "we heard that the restaurant had opened under new ownership. We had always enjoyed the restaurant in past years so we decided to give it a try. Ambiance and service was great. I ordered steak frites which was very good. My wife and I each had salads which were also very good. My wife unfortunately ordered the vegetable platter entree which was absolutely inedible and overpriced in any event. The restaurant did not charge us for that entree and gave us a free dessert so they did the right thing. I'd go back back after a couple of months to allow for growing pains."
    Dined on 2/20/2014
  • "Great bar scene separated from the main dining areas. Fairly small menu but interesting creations and option to get half sized sides make it ideal to try different dishes. The popovers were a very unique and delicious start to the meal. Would definitely try again and will monitor their menu to see how it changes thru the seasons."
    Dined on 2/16/2014
  • "Excellent red salmon - simple but fine sauces. Tasty salad. Mattei's Tavern is the spot for historic tradition of the SYV."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Has it all, Food, ambiance, wine list, just an awesome place."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Great food and service, still missing the energy and personality that ties it all together."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "We absolutely love this relatively new spot, and find ourselves going at least twice a week now, sometimes more. They began serving wood-fired pizza in the bar area on Thursdays--it's thin (not limp--hate that!) with delicious crust. We also love popping in for the burger (my favorite in SB). Then, when we feel like an amazing meal and slightly more upscale experience (yet still not fussy), we sit in the breathtaking Red Room, order a bottle of wine, and enjoy several of our favorites off the dinner menu (cote de boeuf, creamed corn brûlée, red trout, beef tartar). Amazing. The staff is warm and welcoming; we love when the Chef (one of the new owners) visits our table to say hello. If you haven't tried it yet, you must GO!"
    Dined on 2/12/2014