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Mattei's Tavern
Mattei's Tavern

Mattei's Tavern Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.MatteisTavern.com
  • Email: EmailUs@MatteisTavern.com
  • Phone: (805) 688-3550
  • Hours of Operation: 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
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.
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
  • "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
  • "This is my fifth time back since new ownership and it is evolving and getting better each time. Very impressive wine list that has a large number of accessible price points also and has been incorporating local selections more of late. Fanastic food during the last two times visited - improving which each visit - interesting selection and a wide variety - a really great meal. Excellent skate wing, tri tip, grilled avocado with fresh wasabi. The dessert selection has also become much more interesting. A great special occassion place but now catering more to locals and day to day dining. Service is excellent - friendly and knowledgeable without being overly formal."
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "Really, really, really good! We love this place. Grilled avocado & skate wing = best meal ever in Santa Barbara County."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "My wife & I have been in the restaurant business together for nearly 20-years. In all of my travels, Mattei's Tavern ranks up there with the best experience EVER. First of all, we travel to the Santa Ynez Valley often & what a surprise it was to come across such inspired & delicious cuisine. One thing I must say: dining in the Valley until this point has been dismal at best. The Brothers that. Cooked here before, kept us away with their circa 1984-style cuisine. This version of Mattei's Tacern is among the very best restaurants anywhere. If you like to eat chef-driven food this is your place. It's really ahead of its time. A friendly staff. Amazing wine list. We cannot wait to return."
    Dined on 1/30/2014
  • "The place was empty and the service was fair. Sorry."
    Dined on 1/26/2014
  • "I first dined a this restaurant in 1975, but it has changed, and the changes are not all good. We had a very rude and unfriendly man with a Danish accent, serve us wine. We were charged $16.00 for what was supposed to be a six ounce glass of local wine, but it could not have been more than 2-3 ounces, because I spoke to him about not giving us what we had paid for. The next glass of wine (six ounces) was more than twice as much in volume as the first glass. A very expensive meal, not worth the price. The restaurant does not have the same atmosphere it had years ago."
    Dined on 1/16/2014
  • "We had not been to Mattei's Tavern since the ownership change. We sat at a corner table by a big fireplace (in the bar area). Incredibly cozy and welcoming. We had some wonderful food - pork rillettes, grilled avocado with ponzu/wasabe, short rib beef pot roast and an amazing rotisserie chicken. Beignets for dessert! It was just a wonderful night out!"
    Dined on 1/12/2014
  • "We live in Santa Ynez and have tried Mattei's a few times since the new operators have taken over. The restaurant looks great and everyone is trying very hard, but frankly the whole package isn't there. The menu is too heavy and really not right for the locale. The price point has also put many local people off. The chef is from Nashville and the food definitely feels like it comes from a different region. My suggestion: Listen to your customers and rethink the menu."
    Dined on 12/13/2013
  • "What a special little place in Lis Olivos. Stellar food, service, and wine. A really handsome looking space as well. We love this place! Best restaurant in Santa Barbara County-----hands down."
    Dined on 1/5/2014
  • "the place is beautiful, however the fireplace backed up into the building and it was very smokey. the food was excellently prepared, however the menu was extremely limited - 8 entree selections. For the portions and ingredients in the selections, the entrees were over priced. There was plenty of staff, probably too much. For a one time visit it was great, but I will not return."
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "Such an amazing little spot. I wish that Santa Barbara had a restaurant half this good. The food was incredible! We will be returning often. No place else like it! Anywhere!"
    Dined on 1/2/2014
  • "Although Mattei's Tavern retains its original ambience as a dining experience, the quality of the food has diminished significantly. A simple chicken dish tasted entirely of salt, and the trout neither looked and tasted fresh (or like trout). The decision to offer dishes a la carte leaves the presentation of a mediocre piece of fish even worse. The service was fine and the wine excellent but since diners go for the food, there are better choices in the Valley."
    Dined on 1/1/2014
  • "This IS a restaurant amongst the very best in California. The flavors, presentations, & attention to details are second to none. Try the grilled avocado, beef tartar, and skate wing schnitzel. Perhaps the very best kale dish that I ever tasted! Thank heavens for an a la carte menu! Cannot wait to return."
    Dined on 12/26/2013
  • "We shared the 32 ounce Beef for two. Excellent. Matteis salad with Pears. The Cream Corn Bruele was an interesting side."
    Dined on 12/20/2013
  • "The skate was prepared absolutely fantastic: melted in our mouths! Corn dish exciting! Sundae so much fun! Still smelling and tasting the fresh, fresh brewed coffee!"
    Dined on 12/18/2013
  • "Once again, my wife and I had a wonderful time! Some reviews say its a bit pricey and while that may be true, you get what you pay for! And eager staff, great attitudes, and outstanding food! That ladies and gentlemen, is why I'm happy to pay a little more! Thank you matties for yet another memorable evening!"
    Dined on 12/13/2013
  • "Our first trip back in more than 2 years, since last ownership, The Brother's creations turned us away. This newest version is above and beyond anything this area has ever seen. The grilled avocado? Seriously? I want one now! My octopus dish was the most flavorful octopus that I've ever eaten! And don't forget the Skate Wing -- OMG!! My husband and I are still raving. He had the pot roast w/ ramen broth an seemed to think he's never had anything better. So much attention to detail. Handsome servers & a really handsome Chef! They couldn't have been any nicer too. Oh Mattei's Tavern, why can't you relocate to Thousand Oaks? We need you!"
    Dined on 12/11/2013
  • "I appreciate good food having lived in San Francisco for many year - so I wished Mattei's would have focused on the food and less on the fuss. It was fair but not great especially given the prices. I would love to support this local place and hope they will continue to work on the menu making it food centered and connect with this community and our many visitors."
    Dined on 11/29/2013
  • "Stumbled upon this little gem heading to LA & would venture to say one of CA.'s best restaurants. From the insane flavors, presentations, & wine list, Mattei's is a force to be reckoned with among the top restaurants. I dined here a few years ago & was reluctant to return, based on The Brother's Restaurant, but I'm glad I did nonetheless. You must try the Cote du Beouf, a real bargain for the price & the grilled avocado is a perfect dish. I would rank it in the top 5 dishes in all of CA. The wine list is arranged by obv. someone that knows a lot about wine--it's extensive! Plus, Santa Ynez wines are fine, but sometimes you want to taste something else. So THANK YOU MATTEI'S TAVERN!!!"
    Dined on 11/27/2013
  • "have eaten there twice and enjoyed both meals. the second one was better than the first, always a nice surprise. food is very thoughtful and interesting. probably challenging for true meat and potatoes eaters."
    Dined on 11/24/2013
  • "4 star food, 5 star service, and 2 star value equals 3 stars overall"
    Dined on 11/17/2013
  • "Unexpected & fantastic!!! Who knew this could be pulled off in Los Olivos, CA. Word-class flavors, without the hefty price tag that usually follows. Maybe the best or most creative presentations that I've ever seen. Can't wait to drive back and experience this place again. Will be highly recommending Mattei's Tavern to all my friends back in Santa Monica."
    Dined on 11/14/2013