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Mattei's Tavern

4.2
195 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Top Tags:
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic

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About

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.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
American, Contemporary American
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Hours of operation
Dinner
Wednesday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Sunday: 5:00pm - 9pm
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Phone number
(805) 688-3550
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Robbie Wilson
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Nojoqui Avenue
Additional
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
What 195 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.2  based on all time ratings
4.2
food
4.3
service
4.3
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
82% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
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vipjorlowski (Oklahoma City)
5.0  Dined on January 3, 2016

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!

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Phillygirl (Portland)
5.0  Dined on December 31, 2015

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.

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HopefulDiner (Orange County)
1.0  Dined on December 30, 2015

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.

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JCad (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined on December 27, 2015

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.

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viplocaldiner (New England)
4.0  Dined on December 18, 2015

very creative menu. the appetizers are particularly tasty (entrees were good but not as good as appetizers). our server James made great recommendations. location is nice and quiet if you want an enjoyable meal.

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OpenTable Diner (Denver)
3.0  Dined on December 4, 2015

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.

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Scrubjay (Central Coast)
2.0  Dined on November 20, 2015

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.

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vipBlueMoon (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on October 28, 2015

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.

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vipOnlyMe (New York Area)
4.0  Dined on October 17, 2015

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!

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trash (Central Coast)
1.0  Dined on October 3, 2015

i thought thd food was horrible both meals we got were bad would never go back again they try to make every thing to fancy . was very disappointed they talked up food like somthing special but was trash.

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OpenTable Diner (Central Coast)
4.0  Dined on September 19, 2015

Adam was our server. He did a fantastic job. We met some friends here who we hadn't been able to see for awhile. We may have been a little noisy and obnoxious, but Adam was patience and attentive.

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vipFBRK (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on September 12, 2015

This place was a hidden find. We went with friend each dish was amazing! Attention to detail incredible. Wait staff fabulous, Rick our waiter nailed the wine choice. Can't say enough good about this place. A must go!

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Steinerbrewer (New York Area)
2.0  Dined on September 9, 2015

Hugely overpriced food and hugely over-attentive service. $28 or so for a single salmon steak, no side, no extra. The same for two bits of (suspiciously pink-looking) rotisserie chicken. Yikes.

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vipMrsPop (Los Angeles)
4.0  Dined on September 6, 2015

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!

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OpenTable Diner (Central Coast)
2.0  Dined on September 4, 2015

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.

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29thanniverarycouple (Central Coast)
5.0  Dined on August 23, 2015

Delicious meal served by a most charming staff. We very much enjoyed celebrating our wedding anniversary under your roof.

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MrsELM (Central Coast)
4.0  Dined on July 31, 2015

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.

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Justacustomer (Central Coast)
1.0  Dined on July 18, 2015

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

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vipbuzzo (Orange County)
3.0  Dined on July 18, 2015

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.

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vipOpenTable Diner (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined on July 17, 2015

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.

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