Belmond El Encanto Dining Room
Belmond El Encanto Dining Room features comfortable indoor seating and al fresco indulging on The Terrace. The Wine Room is the perfect venue for your private gatherings.
Light dining, sunset hour cocktails, extensive California wines by the glass and Afternoon Tea happen at The Lounge.
The Bar is your place for handcrafted cocktails complemented by live entertainment.
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The view is great. The signature dessert looks good but doesn't taste that good.
Great server. Very accommodating. Pleasantly surprised.
We made our reservation in September and were assured that we would be in the dining room. We arrived early and waited in the lounge for the first seating. The hostess tried to seat us at the interior patio dining area but eventually found a very ice table for us in the dining room. We enjoyed every aspect of our dining experience until the entree. We waited far to long for our New York steaks (as did another table near us). When we received them the steaks were very tough and difficult to cut with the knife provided. Certainly not prime! We heard similar comments from the table near us. We ended up leaving half our steaks on the plate.
The overall service was very good, as is to be expected at a restaurant with your reputation. However, during the 45 to 50 minute delay in receiving our entree, our waitress was seldom around. She had been "shooed" (her words) out of the kitchen and seemed embarrassed by the delay. It was apparent to everyone that there was a break down in the kitchen.
The table of four, to our left, had their order taken after us and yet finished their meal and departed 30 minutes before us. None ordered the steak. The dining room was perhaps half full when we were seated. We were next to last to leave. The table of six near us, who also waited for their steaks, were getting ready to depart. All the other tables around us had been cleared and reset for the next seating. One could easily have felt rushed. Not so with us.
I will continue to recommend you to friends , but with reservations. Any time but New Year's Eve.
I would recommend, but with reservations. Speaking of which; I reserved an inside table for two at 7:30, three week in advance, the day before New Year's Eve, attempting to ensure that we had a great experience without the New Year's Eve crush. When we got there we were told that they were VERY sorry, but there were no tables available inside, even though they could see that we had a reservation. We were asked if we would mind waiting in the lounge, having a couple of drinks, so that they could find us a table. REALLY? What is the point in having a reservation at all??? We did wait, and the promised 15 to 20 minutes became 35 minutes. No table for two, but inside. I had a glass of Prosecco, and was charged for it (thank you very much). When we got to our table it took a half hour just to get bread. The staff are lovely, but seemed scattered. I ordered the grilled artichoke as a starter and my husband got the fish tartar. Mind you these were very good, as was my wonderful scallops main course. My husband ordered a vegetarian pasta dish as his main course. Basically that dish was olive oil, cheese and pepper, for a ridiculous price of $34. I love the atmosphere, and we are locals, so having fine dining near us is great. Unfortunately this experience was a little off. I don't know if we will go again.
Mediocre food quality at prices bordering on obscene. Decor is bistro quality — didn’t even bother with tablecloths — though the menu pretends to be luxe. Wine list markups offensive. Service was gracious and friendly, however. The only redeeming quality. Will not return
Service was atrocious. Christmas Day dinner, and they failed at all service levels.
This was by far the worst and most absurd dining experience of my life. When we arrived we were informed that they were running about an hour behind schedule. After battling to obtain a seat in the overcrowded lounge it took about 20 minutes for a waiter to approach and another 20 before our cocktails arrived. We were finally seated on the terrace in about an hour, however there was a rainstorm in progress and, since two of the three sides of the area were left open to the elements, we were subjected to strong chilling gusts of wind bearing down upon us throughout the meal. Amazingly, management totally ignored what was happening and made no attempt to correct the situation. It was difficult to watch many of the waitstaff, who were carrying on as if nothing was awry, enduring the low temperatures and serving in clothes completely soaked by rain. Several diners put on their coats (some with hoods up) and still nothing was done by management to acknowledge or remediate the situation. Continuing on from there, our first course never arrived, bread wasn't provided until just before the entree was presented, entree was undercooked...stopping here as you likely get the picture. Our party was so uncomfortable with the extreme wind and cold, the disorganization, and general disregard bordering on negligence that by mid-meal we were compelled to request that the remaining courses be packed up "to go", settle our bill, and walk out - never to return. My advice: dine elsewhere.
View, quiet setting
We went there for our anniversary. The service was excellent, including their wine suggestions. I tasted everything my husband ate as well as what I ate. All I can say is that I wish I had a bigger stomach because I would have liked to try other things on the menu because all was delicious. The strawberry cheesecake sunday is HUGE (as well as delicious and impressive). If you plan on getting that make sure you leave room for dessert.
Having lived in SB over 35 years and frequented the El Encanto many times over the years to include having stayed there over a month, I am very familiar with the El Encanto. As of late, El Encanto under staffs and under trains wait staff. This particular lunch booking included the specific request for the outdoor patio corner table (where we typically prefer) as we were entertaining out of town guests. Upon arrival, the hostess, who appeared to be completely disinterested in her position, informed us the patio was closed and plastic had been 'nailed down' on the covered porch edge. Options were to sit next to thick plastic or go into the empty and stuffy dining room. The patio was in complete disarray with furniture heat lamps and serving carts left in random places. Once the views and lovely outdoors are removed, food is okay and not worth the cost or time.
The Belmond el Encanto is a five start hotel experience. Our experience of dinner in the dining room was, unfortunately, one star. As it is a dining room in a classic, high end hotel, we expected a similar high-class dining experience. What we encountered, however, was a mix of California nouveau and Japanese fusion not done very well. The seared black cod was cooked well and tasted like is was served on a bed of miso soup. That was surprising. We sent the purple sweet potato with fish flakes back - not a tasty combination to say the least. The meal ended with lukewarm, burnt coffee, which seemed par for the course. The staff was very courteous and apologetic, but with a $$$ price tag we expected a quality dining experience, not mediocre and apologetic.
The restaurant at the El Encanto is one of our go-to restaurants. However, the Thanksgiving meal was not up to the same level. I'm a vegetarian so it is not rare for the vegetarian options not to be as good as the others but the pasta served that night was terrible. I could have had better pasta if I had bought frozen at the supermarket. And the desserts were horrible. The pumpkin pie was bland and tasteless. The angel food cake was so hard it could be used to build a foundation for a small house. Any angel food cake at any supermarket would be better. I'll still go to El Encanto but never again for a holiday meal.
Food was nothing special and was not seasoned properly...Our waiter served my turkey with gravy on it, rather than on the side like I requested. The meals were served to wrong person at table for appetizer, main course and dessert. Very poor service for $550!!! I would never go back and would never recommend it to anyone!!!
We were on the patio. The view was lovely, although the breeze was a little too cool for our liking. We moved to a table in the sun. Much better!
Very slow service, kitchen to blame. Overcooked steak (was removed from the bill!) but other glitches too. Sat at 7pm, finished at 9:30pm without a dessert or coffee course.
Restaurant is as enchanting as hotel. Service was impeccable, food was very good, unusual flavors and beautiful presentation. It was truly a special meal.
Waitress sneezed in/on the wine bottle, lucky after she poured our glass... other folks were real loud during the first half of dinner... not seated, but watching sunset in doorway... music was great, and waiter staff very attentive!!
The service was very good and, of course the setting pretty much unsurpassed. We were surprised that the entire dining room was booked by a corporate meeting event and, despite the unseasonal 92+ temps were able to be accommodated on your patio under the shady overhang. This was lucky since we had booked an early lunch time when otherwise, without any precaution, would have had to be on a hot patio which would not have been pleasant for a special birthday lunch that we had planned for some time.
Our server was exceptional however and our experience toward the elegant side so the afternoon was very pleasant and an experience my wife did enjoy.
I am writing a slightly less that optimum review since your prices are high, offset by the quality of the service. We would rarely afford a $130 lunch so this was pretty rare. Best regards.
Lisa was an amazing server and really took care of us - Incredible dining experience all round!
Mediocre and expensive.
Special birthday for myself and a friend. Lovely sunset time. Beautiful ambiance.
Ordered a several course meal.
The medium rare filet mignon we ordered came medium/medium well. The pasta side that came with the meat was drippy and watery and flavorless. When asked of this was how the pasta was meant to come the waiter said yes. Literally dripping. It was like soupy pasta that hadn’t been drained with watery sauce. Almost like flavorless pasta soup. It was meant to be a garlic onion tomato sauce, but was so watery I was honestly aghast when told that was how it was intended by the chef to be served. I thought it must be a mistake.
Stated that it was for a birthday on the Open Table app. When I asked for two candles in the dessert we ordered, the serving assistant was surprised that we had a birthday and then we got TWO desserts — the one we ordered and the gratis one from the restaurant which had ONE candle (again — celebrating two birthdays; asked for two candles). Had we known we were getting gratis cake from the restaurant we would not have ordered extra cake. It seemed like a combo of poor communication between the front of the house and wait staff and sadly, a way to charge us for extra dessert.
I don’t believe I would have been so disappointed with this dinner had it not been soooo expensive. I’m very happy to pay for an elegant, multi course meal. For the price, this was sub par from service to food execution.
This restaurant has such a beautiful patio. But the service and food has been so hit or miss for years that I rarely venture. This last, expensive, venture proved to be the more disappointing.
I think this restaurant is best reserved for a sunset drink rather than the whole dinner.
Views and quality of food speak loudly. They do not over-try and there isn't a hint of snotty behavior from the staff. Food quality is really excellent. Outstanding wine menu but both bottles we ordered came out not quite cold enough (bubbles and chard).
Its always perfection, even on an un-eventful Monday night like this!
The food, the service, the ambience all amazing.
Beautiful spot and wonderful menu!
We have stayed at the Belmond many times, both at this locations and in Italy. The Dining Room service on previous stays have always been superb. However our dinner on Thursday, Oct. 10, was not what we had expected from our stay at he Belmond. The waiter was not kind and did not acknowledge my husbands birthday even though I wrote it when making our reservation. Breakfast the next morning was equally disappointing and not what we had experienced on prior stays. We seemed forced into ordering our breakfast, when we wanted to have our coffee and chat for awhile before ordering. When the breakfast did come the oatmeal was cold. Service in the Dining Room needs to be seriously rethought.
We went back to the Dining Room at El Encanto where we had our wedding last year. The team couldn’t have looked after us better. A truly wonderful evening.
Nice place very elegant. The food was good but expensive for the amount of food they serve. Could be a lot better. Other than that it was nice
What a lovely, yummy anniversary dinner! I recommend El Encanto for any celebration. The food , the service and view were stunning. We couldn't have been more pleased. Thank you El Encanto for a beautiful memory of our 60th wedding anniversary.
We loved the octopus and Alaskan Halibut! We had excellent service and enjoyed the view from the patio.
Fabulous. Best dinner we've had in Santa Barbara ever. We've been several times but Saturday's meal was the best yet. Sitting out on the patio with its great view of Santa Barbara is a treat in itself. The food was outstanding as was the service. If you haven't gone recently, go.
We came for a celebration of our youngest daughter becoming a woman. The people at the surrounding tables received complimentary drinks for their anniversary. Our daughter was excited to see how the restaurant would celebrate her. She did not receive any mention other than when we first arrived. Our waitress asked what was the celebration and we told her why. Nothing more was mentioned. Our daughter tried to cover her disappointment but it was palpable. I think if the restaurant asks if it is a special occasion then treat all guests equally about special occasions.
We love it so much that we decided to make this a tradition
We have dined at El Encanto a dozen times, each time our servers have been awesome. Jelly did not let us down, she was beyond awesome. Thank you to the entire El Encanto Team for another wonderful dinning experience.
Beautiful setting outdoors overlooking Santa Barbara. The service was slow. I ordered my steak medium and it was raw in the middle. The waiter didn't check back to see how meal was. I wanted to send it back to be cooked some more and request a steak knife, but we waited so long for the food to arrive that I was starving and ate it anyway. Luckily it was tender and I was able to cut it with the table knife. The potatoes were lukewarm. The salads were OK, nothing special. We didn't order desert because we figured it would be another 30 minutes to be served. I don't feel the meal was worth the money and we will choose a different restaurant next time.
Beautiful venue and attentive service.
Great meal and attentive service… and a beautiful view!
Dining is quite good at this resort. The setting can't be beat on outdoor patio. Service is very friendly and good. Not generally crowded.
A wonderful stay in every way. I was on a special eating plan and they accommodated my every wish. I loved my room quiet and lovely. I look forward to next year.
A Santa Barbara classic! One of a kind views, excellent food and service.
Exceptional brunch...fresh ingredients, no skimping on quality or portions. Lovely atmosphere with acoustic guitar and vocalist. Service was perfect—not to mention a gorgeous view from the patio. We all had different meals and everything was delicious. Would highly recommend.
Ambience, service, food....everything wonderful! Went for my 34th wedding anniversary and the staff was so sweet. It's a beautiful place.