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About Mattei's Tavern
Located at an old railway stop, Mattei's Tavern has been a gathering spot for those looking to receive great food, friendly service and a comfortable room to sleep. With its lavish and home-like accommodations, multiple dining areas and breathtaking outdoor gardens, Mattei's Tavern is sure to please and serves as an ideal spot for weddings, romantic getaways and much more.
The dining areas include a lounge room with a warm fireplace, a full bar, a library room and an outdoor patio surrounded by green lawns and shadowed by large trees. The menu at Mattei's Tavern features favorites like the seasoned cabana steak and the chicken platter. Plenty of vegetarian options are available as well.
Los Olivos, CA 93441
American, Contemporary American
Hours of Operation:
Wednesday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Sunday: 5:00pm - 9pm
$30 and under
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Mattei's Tavern - Permanently Closed Ratings and Reviews
This was my second visit to Mattei's. Was here last year about this time on business. This time I was in Los Olivos on a vacation and brought my wife here to celebrate our anniversary. The meal, beginning with the grilled avocado appetizer (a must have) was excellent. Service was over the top good as we enjoyed dinner at the chef's bar. Would highly recommend and we will be back!
We received a warm greeting and prompt seating (a reserved table) with consideration paid to our needs in regard to the dining room's lighting and temperature. Our server was well-informed and attentive, helpful with suggestions or recommendations. Every selection we ordered from the menu was uniquely prepared, delightful to the taste buds. From the dry-aged beef tartar and arugula salad to our entrees, each bite did not disappoint. The piece de resistance was the beignet dessert. Look out Cafe Du Monde! Such a perfect ending to a perfect meal. (Oh, how we wish the restaurant could remain open during renovation.) The historical importance of Mattei's alongside the ambiance may be a reason to make an initial stop, but the food is the draw that solicits a return trip. It was the perfect way to ring out the old year and ring in the new.
We have been to Mattei's many times over the years and it has always been a fine dining experience. This year the menu has changed to many very different odd options that didn't make much sense. Everything had a hint of BBQ sauce on it and the food was not very good. I personally had a fried chicken dish that was dripping in whatever it was fried in. For the prices on this menu it was very very disappointing. I loved this place but what it has evolved into was not good. The menu was overly creative trying way to hard to be upscale without the quality.
We had an excellent meal with an attentive waiter in a wonderful ambience. The head chef, Drew, came out to chat a bit and after the meal gave us a lengthy and very passionate tour of the kitchen and various new dishes he was planning. Overall, a truly great night for all 4 of us.
Took our grandson and friends there. sat in bar as it is me casual and it was perfect for them. The food was not good. The boys were looking forward to the fried chicken as they love it at Sides but they just picked at it. Didn't even look like fried chicken. My husband had the steak --grisly. I had the rotisserie chicken which was so tough I could hardly cut it. I would try restaurant again but it was a $180 dinneer we didn't like so probably won"t.
I was unable to have my first choice of reservation time. I thought it was because they were very busy. But in reality, there were only 2 dinning tables being served. From the ordering of the meal until we got up to find the wait person to ask when we would actually get our dinner it was one solid hour. The wait person then got snippy at us because we were feeling unhappy about the long wait. She gave us a bit of a lecture instead of an apology. During our dinner we were rarely checked on, no water refill. The food was good, though minimal and over priced considering the experience. I missed the old Mattei's class and professionalism.
After getting past all the pretension of the menu and the server, and thinking surely it would all add up to a great meal--well, not so much! The salads were fine but nothing special; the halibut was mushy and only room temp, whereas the olives that garnished it were warmer and had far more flavor (the fish really had none); the cocktails were weak; and, why would Brussels sprouts need an egg over them? And even they weren't well-roasted. The check was far too pricey for what we received.
Went here for our anniversary thinking it would be some great food in the Santa Ynez valley. The service was great, especially the waiter's assistant who was a kind older gentleman. Gave much better attention than the server and actually made some nice recommendations from the menu. The starters were great, we had the arugula salad, grilled avocado and the bread. All were amazing. For the entrees we chose the Halibut and a Steak. The Halibut was served rare, which was not very appetizing, created a slimy and chewy experience. The steak was ordered medium rare and was also served rare. While normally that would be fine with me, the texture of the steak was such that made it very tough and chewy. Not what you want out of a fine piece of beef! For the sides we ordered the brussel sprouts and the steak fries. Both were under cooked to our liking. Flavors were good, but could have been better had they been cooked more thoroughly. The desserts were fabulous. We had the bourbon ice cream and the ice box pie. Both were delicious. The coffee was great as well - a local roast from Handlebar Roasters served in a cool chemists Chemex contraption :-). I highly recommend the dessert and coffee!
My husband and I made a reservation here on a Sunday evening; we were seated promptly and everyone we encountered was very friendly. We enjoyed our cocktails, too. My husband loved the soft shell crab and the salmon, and the I had the oyster mushrooms (with a fantastic steak sauce vinaigrette that I could eat all the time) and the ahi tuna. We ended with the lemon icebox pie, which was perfect. Overall, we really enjoyed our dinner and recommend this to anyone looking for a special night out in Los Olivos!
Although the restaurant was lovely, overall I was disappointed. I felt almost "too" catered to! The staff was attentive and made us feel like they cared about us, however I felt like they were hovering over us. The waiter was so detailed in his explanations to not only us, but everyone seated around us that is became annoying. I had his "spiel" sp? memorized by the time I heard it 3 other times. My husband and I actually thought that he must be a part time chef because he went into a crazy amount of detail over EVERY single item on the plate and how it was prepared, using an extraordinary amount of adjectives in his description. It was like, "Ok, we get it, now can we just get on with the meal?"
The last straw was that the man who was there to assist - he poured water, cleared plates etc - misunderstood that my husband DID indeed want his remaining cabana steak to be put in a to-go box. Instead he only boxed my chicken up, and did not bring back the steak. I wanted to point this out to our waiter, but my husband didn't want the guy to get in trouble. It was an honest mistake - miscommunication for sure - but nevertheless, after driving down from Orcutt because I'd always wanted to go to Mattei's -and then paying the $27 for that particular steak - it was disappointing to not be able to enjoy the rest of it - to say the least.
So again, I appreciated the attention to detail, but I'm not the type of diner who wants a play by play of EVERYTHING - and I mean EVERYTHING on my plate - described to me. It becomes overbearing and annoying.
Although I rated this "kid-friendly" it's not quite that. We dined here for our anniversary and brought our 4yr old. They had a fun children's menu (view finder) but nothing else. She ended up ordering the soft-shell crab.
Food for the most part was delicious. We ordered the bread with seaweed butter, surprisingly delicious! For dinner we had the cabana steak and the snacking pork "pibil" style and the Brussels sprouts for a side. The cabana steak was SUPERB. Great seasoning and flavor. The snacking pork was a bit of disappointment. Although the texture was perfect (fell apart easily) it was very under seasoned, needed some salt.
Dessert was my fave. We had the s'mores and icebox pie. Both very delicious and perfect portions.
I'd definitely venture out to this place and try they're different dishes such as their masa waffle with chorizo appetizer and fried chicken dinner which were the other items I was eyeing.
Overall the experience was nice nothing negative to say here. Service was great. Our server was attentive but not hoovering over our table which I greatly appreciated. We were sat in the stage room off the foyer. It was very quaint and rustic.
I ordered the Cubana steak. If your mouth waters at the prospect of a 1/4" fatty steak covered with green onions, peppers and salty potatoes the size of grapes, you won't be disappointed. My date ordered the fried chicken. It looked like a starved Cornish game hen dipped in tempura. The arugula salad was delicious. The bread was also tasty. The entrees were both amazingly mediocre-and that is being kind. $105 out the door with dessert, a beer and a Pepsi with a $15 tip
Our waiter did a good job.
However, it took 20 minutes to get a tap beer from the bar tender that stood just 15 feet from our bar table. He was chatting with the people sitting at the bar totally oblivious of his orders to fill for the waiters.
Albondigas, pork meatballs, and the burger were good.
Some of the dishes were unique and good, for example grilled avocado and the pulled pork lettuce wrap Kit and the mothers Mattie cocktail. However the cost was more than the matetials and creativity and I felt like I was paying for the not so recent renovations.
My friend who is a foodie from L.A. now lives in SY. He recommended two places for dinner for my trip, Sides and Mattei's, assuring me that the latter had new ownership and chef since the last time I had been there. Mattei's was very good, but not as good as Sides. The two are completely different in atmosphere, Sides being more casual and lively, but they take their menu and service very seriously. Mattei's is a bit more formal, upholstered leather chairs, tablecloths, that kind of thing, though not at all stuffy. We shared an unbelievable arugula salad at Mattei's. You would never dream a salad could be so delicious. Perfect ingredients and perfectly dressed. Heaven. After that, the rest of the meal didn't quite live up. Just my opinion. I would go back, but not unless I had two nights and could go to Sides first.
Staff is exceedingly friendly. Menu is sparse. Not much selection. Food is of a different nature. Not my style. Far too pricey. Wine cost is absurd. Hard to recommend. Logan, Rick, Sam and Nick made it worthwhile. Didn't meet the Chef. Bring back meat and potatoes, before it's too late.
We made a reservation a few days before our trip and when we arrived to dinner, the owner came to our table and told us our meal was on the house. They had been slammed earlier, so didn't have the full menu available, but that didn't bother us! What we did have was amazing and the service was excellent. Highly recommend.
Came back because a few days ago We had such a great dinner! This time, friends of ours were visiting from NYC so we decided to take them to one of the best restaurants in California,,,,Mattei's Tavern. In fact, one of our NYC friends said that "you can't eat anything like this at this level in NY. If this place was in The City, you wouldn't be able to get a seat." Mattei's Tavern is that good! I'm a proud fan of this place.
Friend ordered champagne- it was dark and had oxidized- sent back and waiter courteously replaced- should never have left the bar.
ahi was no what we expected; brussell sprouts not even aldente and tasteless.
Corn appetizer and waiter service was all I felt positive about.
Sorry, feel overall food not good, it is overpriced, and pretentious. We have eaten there several times years ago and had thoroughly enjoyed it.
The staff of this restaurant obviously value the high standards of hospitality and honor their craft with passion and vigor. We were immediately acknowledged and welcomed warmly as we got our reservation in order. (Thank you OpenTable!) They were ready to seat us, but the plush couches by the stone-face fireplace were too tempting. We saw (and heard) a hearty group of people enjoying decadent looking cocktails at the bar and decided we would try the wares ourselves. The Bartender made me a perfect (and I mean perfect) rye manhattan served up, and my wife enjoyed a sazerac. The care and process that the bartender went through made all the difference, and I could tell he was very experienced and intent on the calculated delicacy of both drinks. When I commented on this, he said simply, "It's not 'mixology,' it's just good bartending." I'm glad we stopped for drinks. We were sat by the open kitchen, which served for great excitement and entertainment. We watched as the gentleman working the grill prepared our Grilled Avocado, a must have, as we ordered an amazing bottle of sparkling Rose from France. We figured we'd be tasting local wines for the next three days, so we were glad to see that Mattei's has something different. My wife enjoyed the tuna, while I scarfed a Bone-in ribeye. My eyes were bigger than my stomach but I couldn’t resist after seeing the dish prepared right in front of me on the grill! (It is encouraged to split the 32oz beast between two people) The fish was obviously ‘that-day’ fresh, and the local citrus burst with bright acids against the crème fraiche. The celery root was a unique treat; it’s refreshing to be offered something other than mashed potatoes as a side for such expertly creative mains. Fresh pour-over coffee with beingets for dessert sealed the deal. We Will be returning to Mattei's Tavern to make more memories. It set a high standard for the rest of our wine tasting escape.
Wow. What an experience this place was. We decided to start our wine tasting weekend with dinner at this masterfully constructed landmark. The white facade was sparklingly illuminated by a trim of small bulbs, and before walking in my wife and I had to take a moment just to enjoy the structure itself. The interior does absolute justice to the handsome aura of the property.
Great bar scene; deep whiskey list that isn't same old same old, and the bartender wasn't blowing smoke as we discussed some of the labels I didn't know...fun to be educated on something I'll buy at the store while I'm knocking a few back. Cool cocktails but also a very current & ranging beer menu. I am a beer snob and loved to see that they carried both domestic and european choices between their bottles and taps. Guacamole, Black rice waffle, and fried chicken were highlights. Great tavern eats to go with the (probably too much) booze that I drank, luckily we were staying in town with friends!
We were a bit concerned when Brothers Restaurant moved out of their location at Mattei's Tavern. This was always our favorite spot to celebrate a birthday or anniversary when visiting Los Olivos, so we were pleasantly surprised to find the current restaurant there more than up to the task. Our dinner of Cote de Beouf for 2 was wonderfully tasty, accompanied by a unique side dish of creamed corn creme bulee. Yes, you read that correctly. The pre-dinner offering of free mini popovers was our first sign that this was going to be a memorable meal. It was!!
By the grace of God Mattei's Tavern is a culinary find in the middle of a Vegetarian's dining wasteland.
That's right.....I'm a vegetarian & Mattei's Tavern has so many original & tasty options that are hard-to-find to meet my needs. My last visit, I had the grilled avocado, brussel sprouts, creme corn brûlée, & roasted celery root. Each item was flawless in it's preparation & ample in portion. In fact, there were probably3-4 other delicious options for me that I had to choose from. More often than not, most restaurants will have 1 big lame bowl of pasta or some dish of grains for vegetarians, but at Mattei's, they offer so many local vegetable preparations that I could eat here a couple of times a week. If I were only so lucky!!! Mattei's Tavern is my new favorite restaurant not only in the Santa Ynez Valley, but from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
We have been fans of this gem since the new ownership took it over and we absolutely love it. It appeals to my wife (a health-conscious pescetarian) because the menu is creative and delicious, but also features organic and local items. I am pure carnivore, so I typically get the Steak Frites or, if I'm really hungry, the incredible Cote de Boeuf. The wine list is fantastic (the most extensive we've found in the Valley) and the service is warm and consistent.
This is truly one of Santa Barbara County's--if not California's--best. So go, and enjoy!
My wife and I had a lovely afternoon wine tasting at Demetria and Mattei’s Tavern came highly recommended by the owners. Then we visited the Carhartt tasting room, and once again we heard from the staff how great it was, so we decided to give it a shot! I can honestly say it definitely lives up to it's reputation for excellent, warm service, exquisitely prepared and plated dishes, and a wonderful setting and ambience. The food was masterfully prepared and the wine suggestions were perfect. Service could not have been better; our server Kelly was so attentive and aware, without being stuffy. The manager Logan stopped by our table to say hi and was gracious enough to give us a tour of the beautiful property after our meal. What an absolute dream of an evening! This is now our regular stop when visiting Santa Ynez!
The food was fabulous! Every dish! No qualms there… The main detraction is that the energy of the place is very scattered. There seems to be no continuity to it from room to room. So there is no sense of cohesiveness of the space or ambiance. Also the service does not feel like it works as a warm coordinated team that's supportive of one another, to create an integrated dining experience. Very knowledgeable, and talented individuals, but I felt a bit of a pretentious attitude, with each individual wanting to stand out as noteworthy in their own right, rather than a sense of warmth and working together. Overall a fabulous place for a special meal, but not a place that has an atmosphere that I would want to frequent as a place to dine out.
didnt care for the food or menu choices. my boyfriend chowed down but i didnt care for anything. i had the bone marrow soup..i never knew rice could be so crispy. wont be going back there on our next trip to Solvang or Los Olives. We also waited about 30 mins for the check, that was oddly strange. the staff were friendly but wont be going back or recommending this place for anyone else.
I took my husband here for his birthday and was so surprised that it wasn't more packed! The food was incredible, and the space is so beautifully done. You could sit outside or in and have a wonderful experience. I highly recommend it to anyone who is passing through town!
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