Bella Vista at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara

4.4
901 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Californian
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.
What 901 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Quiet
78% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was great!

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OT
Dallas
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I are in town celebrating our anniversary, and Sunday Brunch being one of my favorite indulgences, we were not disappointed!

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NH
New York Area
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

Beautiful setting and great service.

The salmon tartar was drenched in sauce. Both my husband and I tasted it and didn't detect any flavor or freshness other than the bland creme-fraiche it was covered in. We didn't eat it, told the waiter is wasn't good - he removed the plate and then we were charged $18 for it anyway. I would expect better reciprocation from a Four Seasons restaurant.

The rest of the food was okay, but not memorable. I would definitely go back again for drinks, the setting and the service, but unfortunately not for the food.

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SR
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 4

Worst food and worst restaurant in Santa Barbara. I live just three or four blocks from Bella Vista at the Four Seasons Santa Barbara. Growing up during the 1980s and early 1990s, this was one of my family’s favorite restaurants, particularly to celebrate special occasions. However, for the past 10 or 15 years, this has been the worst restaurant in Santa Barbara, particularly because of the poor food quality, poor service, and poor value. There is no doubt that Bella Vista has one of the most beautiful views in the world. On the other hand, poor food quality and even worse management make this one of the least popular restaurants in Santa Barbara. When all of the other restaurants in town are booked on Friday night and Saturday night, Bellavista is almost completely empty. My children and I dine out four or five days per week, and we never think about dining at Bella Vista because the food quality is so poor and the prices are so high. I am willing to pay for great quality food, service, and ambience, but I am not willing to pay extra for poor quality food and poor service. When we arrived at the restaurant, my daughter and I could not find any food on the menu that interested us. It seems that the chef is more concerned about demonstrating his culinary abilities to combine unusual foods at the expense of guest satisfaction and flavor. I can understand having a few gourmet items on the menu that taste terrific, but there should be some balance, particularly when the menu is limited to about five entrées. My teenage daughter could not find anything she liked on the regular menu and ordered off of the children’s menu, and her macaroni and cheese, french fries, and peas were totally inedible. I ordered the $50 spaghetti, and the noodles were served cold. Management does not seem to want to operate a successful restaurant.

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C
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a very pleasurable experience at the Bella Vista . Outstanding service , from the hostess to the wait staff as well as delicious food and well crafted drinks . I will be looking forward to my next visit.

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C
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was impeccable from the time we walked in the door. What a beautiful dining experience!

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KD
Los Angeles
36 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful view and outstanding food wish we stayed for the brunch!

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OT
London
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The food was decent. The outside view is outstanding!

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MP
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My reservation for 4 turned into a party of 10 just before we were seated. The wait staff was gracious and accommodating. We especially enjoyed the lamb and salmon. Chef Kevin greeted our group to describe how he prepared the lamb.
We were seated inside by the large fireplace which was perfect on a chilly evening.

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BH
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

From beginning to end the service here was impeccable. All staff members were professional & paid close attention to service details. We already have plans to eat here again while at the Four Seasons.

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PD
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 2

The place is cold and noisy . Food is good, service is good

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p
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

Went for Restaurant Week. No choice for the courses and main dish was spaghetti in a cream sauce. No veggies, nothing with it. Tiny portion. Came home hungry. Service slow and confusion with the bill. Other restaurants where l ate for restaurant week offered 3 choices for each of three courses. Spaghetti served called the same as the $42 spaghetti on their dinner menu. However what we were served was tasteless and unattractive. Do not go to the 4 Seasons expecting a nice dinner during Restaurant Week.

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BL
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

True “wow” factor for visitors. Avocado toast was excellent. Top notch food and service.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was amazing

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O
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We sat on the patio with a beautiful ocean view. We tried the restaurant week menu. Salad, pasta and dessert were all wonderful. The server offered to let us taste a wine after I asked for a recommendation. This was our second time here and very enjoyable.

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d
Central Coast
12 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

While we enjoyed lunch here b4, dinner was a great disappontment, especially for our anniversary. The dinner menu offerings are very limited, didn't really offer sides to an expensive and small main dish. It was not crowded, but service was slow. Other guest came and went b4 we got served, and long b4 we go dessert, which i eventually got to go, as we had already been there for hours. At that point didn't even care. Also, took quite some to get answers about the menu and sometimes answers were incorrect, including whether fish was wild or not. Young waiter not sufficiently trained

The lobster pasta had limited lobster, and did not smell fresh. The parmesan pasta main was very small (less than 1 c. ) and a bit dry. I had to ask for more sauce, which came later. It felt like poor service and like being held hostage till the bill came.

They did offer a lovely complimentary small slice of pie on anniversay decorated plate. Very kind. They also kindly comped 2 glasses of wine for our table, when they asked us to wait even longer for dessert to arrive, at almost 8:30 @ night too late for 3 of us in our 70s, (reservation was for about 6pm) and we insisted we had to leave.

So, lunch yes, dinner no. I expect more from a 4 seasons hotel restaurant. I don't recall ever leaving a bad review for a restaurant. And ive dined at plenty as a travel consultant. But this experience was inexcusable.

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MY
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

The deal is a good value. The restaurant is beautiful as well as the location. The wait staff was also good and very attentive. The downside, the food. Very plain tasting and my steak was tough, ordered medium rare. last thing, we waited a long time for our food. We ordered an appetizer but Almost an hour I would guess for our main entrees to arrive.

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MM
Los Angeles
17 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and fabulous food!

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was incredible, service was top notch. Our table had an amazing ocean view. Price for dinner for 2 on Valentine's day was a bit much.

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T
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The 4 Seasons Biltmore is our favorite hotel and we always enjoy our visit. This was our first Sunday buffet and it was good but not incredible. The Bloody Mary was too spicy and the shrimp were soggy.

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YG
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Creamery mozzarella salaš ok
Sea bass was just ok
Pasta with lobister was awfull lobster was definitly old
Only sine was great

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DB
Central Coast
6 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Fantastic service ~ waiter was amazing. Ambiance a bit on the cold side ~ too much stonework? Could do with warming up a bit/get an interior decorator in there....??

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DL
Orange County
52 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Bella Vista needs a menu wake-up call.
It seems they try to be crafty but totally miss the mark. If it wasn’t for business I would not eat there. I never feel satisfied with anything I have had. I’ve had far better healthy inventive food at Marriott restaurants!
I am a huge foodie & personal chef, so this is such a disappointment eating here.

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c
Orange County
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best brunch we've ever had! The deviled eggs were to die for! What a selection. Sea food, omelets, fruit, asian cuisine, italian, you name it! And absolutely every single thing was outstanding. Prime rib, ham, was cooked to perfection! And the service was beyond! I wish we lived closer - we'd come here every Sunday! And to top it all off, we sat outside with a gorgeous view of the ocean. It was brisk outside, but they had the heat lamps on. The waiters were exceptional, attending to our every need. Everyone should come here at least once!

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OT
San Francisco
69 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Had breakfast, lunch and dinner at the resort. Amazingly beautiful place, very friendly and helpful staff wanting to please the guest. Well chosen wines. The food was really good but not mind blowing or super amazing but still super solid. It is expensive but you are getting top quality ingredients served by well trained staff in a beautiful setting.

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J
Denver
8 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The buffet was extremely expensive. Food was bountiful and quality was excellent, but get a bank loan to pay the bill.

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SS
Central Coast
10 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

We ha ve dined countless times for both dinners and lunch and this was a shocking disappointment. The lamb entree was extremely small, leaving my husband still hungry. I enjoyed my scallops but so missed the lavash and other bread items from the past. Please suggest the Exec. Chef review the items for quality and quantity.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 5

Ordered special of the day, it took forever to get it. When it finally arrived it was missing the foie gras that was the center piece of the meal...

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GS
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 5

The hotel was beautifully decked out for the holiday; no doubt about it. We had good service from attentive staff once they were beckoned to the table. In fairness, it was Christmas and they were busy. That said, there is no excuse for such poor food. Mushy vegetables, soggy salads, dried out entrees...... less is more would have been a better plan I think. Please most of the people most of the time. Fewer, well-curated offerings. Repeat the tables and improve the quality of the finished product. Do you really need 15 different not very distinctive desserts? The rolls were cold and hard and we had to request butter to the table. We've lived in the neighborhood for 30 years and always thought of the Biltmore as the "go-to" special occasion destination. This was our first visit since the mud-flow last January. We won't be back.

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SL
Central Coast
23 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Service excellent .... food, excellent!

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F
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great setting, good California food and very good and friendly service. FL

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k
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outdoor dining with heat lamps allowed us to enjoy the night lights and the sound of the surf while we enjoyed the finest meal in a relaxed atmosphere with superb service.

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OT
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

The food service was very slow. It took over two hours to have two courses served. We had to ask twice for bread. My husband’s appetizer and entree were tepid. My Jerusalem artichoke soup was excellent. My pasta dish was average.

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P
Denver
3 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was fabulous, ambiance is glorious, and service perfection!

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OT
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 2

Disappointing for a 4 Seasons.

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AR
1 review
Dined on December 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had my boyfriends birthday breakfast here and it was wonderful!

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W
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was my first time at Bella Vista. A friend and I dined at their Sunday Brunch. It was the a great experience! The service, food, and ambience were all amazing. I definitely plan to go back next time I'm in the area.

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OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

It was a little too cool and we were sitting by the fire place

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OT
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Fantastic waiter

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RS
Los Angeles
56 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

The Sunday Brunch at the Bella Vista at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara is well worth the drive up from Los Angeles. The setting, particularly the outdoor patio is a magnificent place to spend several hours eating good food, drinking mimosas, and enjoying the view of the beach. The buffet is among the best we have experienced and includes caviar and home made blinis in addition to all of the regular brunch standards.

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