Belmond El Encanto Dining Room

4.3
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863 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
Enjoy California coastal cuisine with a side of stunning ocean views.

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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Private Dining

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What 863 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.4
service
4.6
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Quiet
78% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
London
8 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything about our brunch was outstanding. The service, food, drinks and the incredible view made for such a great day. This was our first time here and we’ll be back for sure.

MS
Central Coast
7 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic, romantic, elegant, premium dining. One of the best we’ve been to in Santa Barbara.

ZS
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I had the best birthday dinner it was amazing! Food was delicious and service was excellent. I love the beautiful view very cozy and romantic. It was a beautiful experience celebrating my birthday at El Encanto.

OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful dinner and evening. Excellent service

M
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

I felt there could have been a slight better choice for Valentines Day....But, the salad was delicious! The Vegan choice was also very good!

DO
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious breakfast on Valentines Day. Sat outside and it was a gorgeous morning. The omelette were a good deal and very tasty. Service was outstanding.

DR
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience5

My problem with this restaurant is that it is likely the most expensive in Santa Barbara yet it doesn't rise to excellence. It does have the best view.

A
Los Angeles
25 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience3

Expensive, good food, view only good if on the patio

b
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience5

Its a beautiful spot with views of the water. I called in advance to let them know it was a birthday lunch. Nothing done. Food was good.

OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall3food4service4ambience4

Beautiful location and excellent food!

DK
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience5

We love the ambience and the views from the deck at El Encanto. It was perhaps just a little too cool to eat out there on the deck on Sat. Feb. 8th (high temp was only in the 60's). We still had a wonderful time - and the views of the water remain outstanding whenever the weather is clear (it did clear off in time for our Noon reservation). I think the last time we went, not only was the weather warmer (which made for a generally more pleasant experience outdoors), but we also like the Sunday Brunch Menu more than the Saturday Lunch Menu. That said, in the greater scheme of things, we still had a lovely time with some very good friends of ours. And it is still one of our favorite "destinations" in Santa Barbara for a truly memorable outing. Keep up the good work. And we hope to see you again later this year when the weather is a bit warmer !

C
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely view on the terrace wit nearly a full moon

Good food and wine with excellent service. Very nice evening.

C
Palm Springs
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2020
Overall3food2service5ambience5

Great ambience. Excellent service. Very unremarkable food.

GU
Los Angeles
17 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall1food1service3ambience4

After more than a dozen visits the restaurant has gone from FIRST TO LAST . So sorry because we loved it . Tonight we spent $ 760.00 , but will not come back for nine months. The food was really BAD !! Why ??

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely outstanding and creative dishes w the best presentation I’ve ever seen. Mauricio was the most attentive and fun waiter and even people who weren’t waiting on our table were super sweet to us! As well as all the staff. Beautiful grounds of course and the view from the patio of the restaurant is that of the whole city of Santa Barbara and the ocean. 🌟

JW
Central Coast
5 reviews
Dined on January 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect lunch

h
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2020
Overall5food4service4ambience5

The view is great. The signature dessert looks good but doesn't taste that good.

VV
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great server. Very accommodating. Pleasantly surprised.

VM
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall4food3service3ambience5

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.

G
Central Coast
4 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall3food4service4ambience5

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.

OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall2food1service4ambience1

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

OT
Nashville
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall1food5service1ambience3

Service was atrocious. Christmas Day dinner, and they failed at all service levels.

M
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

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.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

View, quiet setting

DV
Orange County
10 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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.

PN
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 11, 2019
Overall1food2service2ambience1

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.

NR
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall2food1service3ambience4

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.

N
New York Area
88 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall4food3service3ambience5

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.

JA
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience3

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!!!

SM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

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!

NM
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall3food2service2ambience4

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.

m
San Diego
15 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Restaurant is as enchanting as hotel. Service was impeccable, food was very good, unusual flavors and beautiful presentation. It was truly a special meal.

1
Central Coast
19 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This restaurant is stellar in every way! They deserve 10 stars!!We sat at sunset and were promptly greatest by Kristen who made us feel so welcome and appreciated. Lisa our server was amazing! She made great suggestions for wine and food and our meal couldn’t have been better. The Goleta lemon dessert was amazing. All in all on a scale from 1 to 10 I’d give Belmond El Encanto Dining Room a 20. Cant wait to go back!

CS
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

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!!

JB
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience3

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.

AM
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lisa was an amazing server and really took care of us - Incredible dining experience all round!

c
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

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.

SB
San Francisco
52 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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).

D
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Its always perfection, even on an un-eventful Monday night like this!
The food, the service, the ambience all amazing.

OT
Detroit
9 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful spot and wonderful menu!

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