Bella Vista at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara
Bella Vista Restaurant is Santa Barbara’s most beautiful premier al fresco oceanfront dining experience. With panoramic ocean and island views across Montecito’s Butterfly Beach, guests will enjoy a contemporary Italian menu showcasing fresh California ingredients inspired by Executive Chef Marco Fossati. The expansive terrace features Italian marble, indoor fireplaces, an outdoor fire pit and a retractable glass roof further create the indoor–outdoor dining experience.
Bella Vista has the distinction of being one of only 12 restaurants in California (the only one in Santa Barbara) licensed to cure its own meats, and the shared charcuterie plate is the most popular appetizer on the menu. Bella Vista also boasts an expansive wine list and has been recognized for earning Wine Spectator’s 2017 Award of Excellence.
Sunday Breakfast: 7:00am - 9:00am;
Breakfast Buffet: Monday - Saturday: 7:00am - 11:00am,
Sunday Brunch: 9:00am - 1:30pm;
Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 3:00pm,
Sunday Lunch: 1:45pm - 3:00pm;
Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
Friday - Sunday : 5:00pm - 9:30pm
Available Monday evenings
I have been eating at the Four Seasons Biltmore since the 70's. I have missed the La Marina room but always enjoyed the patio Bella Vista restaurant, for lunch, for dinner and their amazing Sunday brunch. I have hosted many gatherings including wedding celebrations there. Tonight my wife and I took our very dear friends to the Biltmore as we all love it and have been eating here together since the 1980's. Our friend's favorite dish is the chocolate souffle dessert, which we were immediately informed was not available due to the post mudslide kitchen remodel not having been completed. From the minute we sat down it was not the same. The menu was very short on choices and nothing particularly exciting. They were not crowded but it took forever for someone to take our drink orders. We asked for bread twice, remembering the wonderful basket we would get with Parmesan crisps, etc. Instead we were given four slices of bland tasting bread and had to ask for olive oil, which was a bottle of oil and vinegar also with no taste. Two of us ordered the Jidori chicken dish which we both hated. The chicken was slimy and tasteless. the vegetables that came with it were a poor excuse for mush, again with no flavor. Our friend ordered the risotto which was described as having fennel and orange flavors. Instead it was bland risotto with pieces of orange and chopped pieces of fennel thrown on top, which she nearly choked on. All in all we were terribly disappointed, grossed out by our meals, the vegetarian dish the other member of our group ordered was some black rice and big hunks of broccoli. I'm not sure if this a temporary post mudslide state of their kitchen and an interim chef or this is the new norm at Bella Vista, but whatever it is there are many other places that you can spend $32 on better chicken and less than $17 on a better salad than the one we were served. Very sad, very disappointing and forty plus years of memories subsumed by bad food at ridiculous prices tonight.
Sat outside on the patio and our server was Richard. GREAT service. GREAT location and view. Food was VERY good. I had the Pasta Experience, which was amazing although the person running it was simply going through their presentation and seemed to have no desire to do it. Overall, GREAT experience.
As a part of the Four Seasons resort group, we went to the Bella Vista, expecting a very elegant location with experienced staff, a superb menu; truly fine dining.
What we found was quite surprising and we thought deserved a review, (something that my wife and I don't do enough of).
The location is nothing short of superb, dinner outside on the patio with a view of the ocean in the background, and beautiful gardens and architecture surrounding you.
Our dinner was on a Sunday night, and the patio seating was full, but surprisingly, the interior dining rooms were completely empty. Dozens of tables without a soul there.
We took a glance at the wine menu, thinking that our food choices would be fairly light, (it is July and the weather is plenty warm, so heavy food just isn't what we wanted). Two Chardonnay choices seemed like a good idea, so we asked our server about them. She demurred, saying that she could ask the "wine expert" and get back to us. As it turned out, the expert was the bartender, and his response was, "Both are good wines, it would be like choosing between a Mercedes and a BMW". Huh?
We were quite a bit more interested in whether they were buttery/oaky, or fermented in steel with a more crisp finish, etc. The server then sent over the general manager of the restaurant, who was charming, but also not very knowledgeable about the wines. She let us know that the sommellier had quit, and had not been replaced yet. (Surprising).
Luckily, it being the Four Seasons, they just opened both bottles and had us try them to see which one we liked better! Odd, but effective.
Our experience with the food was similarly "interesting". The Kampachi Crudo was quite fishy, and we sent it back. The Insalata de Mercato was delicious, with a wonderful popped Amaranth giving it a great crunch. The Sea Scallops cooled off way too quickly, and the "Pasta Cart" spaghetti was almost like something you would serve a child. Pasta and cheese. Odd.
Go for the location.
Overall we had a good time.
A few things to note:
Service was slow, bread and water took awhile to make it to our table.
We had to ask twice for a heater and had to wait for that too.
We ordered the oyster platter. For the most part the seafood tasted fresh but two of the oysters were questionable.
The waitress was extremely busy and didn’t really check with us to see if we were doing well.
Lastly a mouse was traveling by the roof line and it made us a bit nervous.
The Sunday Brunch is expensive but the experience is worth it. The setting is gorgeous, the service very attentive and the food excellent. My only smallish critique is that the dishes are hyper classic and only the pastry offers some degree of surprise.
Attentive service as expected from a Four Seasons property. Great tasting food but portions are too small for the price (3 scallops for $41...). The $170 bottle of Champagne was uncorked at room temperature and had to sit in the ice bucket for 30 minutes before it was chilled enough to drink. I expected more for a $300 meal.
We have been at this restaurant many times and have been very satisfied. Our last visit was on July 7th and we were very disappointed with the food, quality, quantity and prices. We sat outside and the ambiance was very nice. We were not served the amuse bouche which we have gotten in the past which is a nice touch. I ordered the scallops which were priced at $41 and received 3 small scallops with some seasoning and sauce (which looked lost on the plate) and with nothing else. My wife had the Jidori chicken which we both have ordered before and were very satisfied. This time my wife said the chicken was tough and not well cooked and did not have the same accompaniments as in the past. Overall we were not impressed.
Oh my god, this experience was so awful. First, you pay a hell of a lot of $ for a "buffet" experience with barely any service. They brought us -- a party of 7 -- one drinks menu and one wine menu and seemed miffed when we expressed dismay that we could not have more menus, and then brought us -- wait for it -- one more menu. They did not clear our plates between the main course and dessert. The entire restaurant was loud and boisterous and the crowd occasionally loutish (sure, it was 4th of July) and when most of the families left, the staff tried to rush us out. The food was actually quite good and the cocktails were superb, but the service and ambiance were grade F. We have spent four 4th of Julys here, and we will never return.
4th of July
We had to wait 25ish minutes pass our reservation because we wanted outside seating. Not a big deal we waited at the lounge next door it was really nice. Once our table was ready we had front view of the beach. It was amazing! Our server and food was absolutely perfect! Definitely recommend the pasta experience, so good (especially for cheese lovers) I don’t care for cheese but wow! Delicious!
Excellent food, excellent service, beautiful and charming ambience
Crispin and Christian were our servers and they made it the most enjoyable evening. They are both proud to be serving the Four Seasons which says a lot about the company. When employees are happy everyone benefits. Thank you for a wonderful experience!
We had been anticipating the reopening of Bella Vista because it was one of our favorite restaurants.
The style and prices have changed, and not in a good way!
1 bottle Rombaur Chardonnay
4 entrees (very small - meat only - no accompaniments)
Fantastic again! The food, service and ambience here are always superb.
Food was perfect. Had the octopus and bursts. Setting is beautiful. Service was perfect. Very pricey but not unexpected at the Four Seasons.
While staying at the Four Seasons resort, we chose to have dinner here too. My wife and I eat out frequently. We have a real good level of understanding what service and food should look like at an upscale establishment. I'm sorry but you guys really left us looking for more. I ordered the tortellini. I received 6 pieces. Average plated dinner of this calibre should be 3 times this amount. Both me and my wallet left feeling empty.
C'mon guys, pasta is cheap. Put some on the dinner plate.
Last year we celebrated Father's day at this restaurant and had marvelous experience and outstanding food. So we decide to do the same this year. To our disappointment quality of food was not up to part to expectations. For upscale and pricing chef preparing meals must go back to school.
Btw service was also shabby.
VERY DISAPPOINTING EXPERIENCE.
Father’s Day brunch was fabulous!! Less crowded than the past Mother’s Day brunches we’ve been to and the food choice/selection was vast, and extremely tasty!!
Location of the Bella Vista restaurant is the best you can find in California with gorgeous view of the ocean. Hotel is beautiful old style. Menu is very limited with few options to choose from. Food is just an average. Serivce was good. Chef sent a complimentary dessert for our special guest.
On vacation from Texas, based on the creativity shown in the menu, this was the restaurant chosen to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. The evening, and the meal we enjoyed here, were all we could have hoped for. Wife had pasta prepared table side and seabass, while I had tuna puttanesca, saffron risotto and the NY steak. Advance request for outside table was accommodated. The weather was California great, beautiful sunset, surf in the background, couldn’t have been better. Fabulous evening, no regrets.
Simply wonderful. I love the atmosphere, decor, service, food.
I am so sad to downgrade my rating of Bella Vista. For years my wife and I have enjoyed their Sunday brunch buffet. Even at $85 per person it was a good value because of the quality of the food, the wide variety of choices on the buffet and the inclusion of a caviar bar. Frankly it was the cavair bar that kept us coming back. That was my wife's favorite (I don't care for caviar but it was so special for her it was a pleasure to keep going back all these years.)
The local area was hit with severe mudslides a while back. For safety reasons the restaurant was temporarily closed. During the closure they made some changes in the buffet that have resulted in my lowered rating. Gone is the caviar bar. Gone are some of the favorite dishes they used to have. Gone is the large variety of items as the various stations. And frankly IMO the carving station just does not seem up to the quality of its former incarnation. It is clear that in order to cope with rising costs they had to economize. I can't fault them for that. The end result is it doesn't have the attraction for us the drive 80 miles one way for this diminished brunch. There are so many other brunches close to us for leas than $85 per person it just doessn't seem worth the time or fuel expense to travel to Santa Barbara any more.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention that there is one bright spot that has not changed. The staff remains among the best, the most friendly and helpful anywhere.
Service, food and wine selections were all excellent. The ambiance was also special for our anniversary. Having been there many times before the only disappointment was that the chocolate soufflé we normally order was not available.
We are very happy to have the Biltmore open again after six months of closure due to fire and mud events. The Biltmore is a mainstay in Santa Barbara, and we missed it while it was closed.
The meal, though pricey, was perfectly proportioned for quality over quantity. Everything was so flavorful and memorable. Service was amazing and the decor was simply lovely with the view and Moroccan lighting. Perfect dinner:)
Just reopened after the Santa Barbara/Montecito fire and flood and, it's better than ever. Very attentive service, upgraded brunch menu, beautiful location and the staff is making an extra effort to welcome back guests. Fabulous!
The ambiance was wonderful.. The staff was extremely caring and attentive... Excellent all around!
The four season does not disappoint in their restaurant staff. They have been through much via the mudslides and we wanted to support on their first day opening!
So. Worth. It.
Sooo very good to have the Biltmore back! Attentive professional service and the kitchen is turning out fabulous food. Salmon tartare is a real treat and the homemade pasta not to be missed, especially the pasta with seafood. Strawberry shortcake a great finish. Perfect
Beautiful setting overlooking the ocean. Service was attentive, professional & pleasant. 11/21/17
We celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary with a braid Tim di
Amazing food, great service and gorgeous view, will be going again!
The cuisine and atmosphere were excellent as always. There is no more beautiful backdrop for a lovely brunch than the Pacific Ocean. The Chateau St. Michelle champagne: all that one wishes to enjoy, is lovely. The highlight for me is rack of lamb. I found no potato until almost the conclusion of my meal, at which point delicious mashed potatoes were brought to the buffet. I would have liked more than the few pieces of pineapple and strawberries that were available. The service was mediocre this time, not what one would expect for an expenditure of $80 per person plus tax and gratuity.
Very nice view of ocean
Great location away from maddening crowd
Combine excellent food, a tranquil setting outside and an ocean sparkling like jewels and you have the perfect place to spend an afternoon.
The ambiance is so beautiful, service good. Too bad the food is a constant disappointmentment.
The Flalafel mushroom burger was so mushy & tastless, I could not eat it. The kale side salad with dressing only that was also tasteless.
Our waiter could not tell us about the food. He said it was a new menu but had no idea if a food item was a sandwich or salad? Food was average for. Four Seasons restaurant.
I enjoy a spa appt every month, my husband & I meet after & have dinner at Bella Vista....
it is always a special occasion... We have been coming here for 55 years... Very special for us!!