Montecito Wine Bistro

4.5
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368 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
With its casual setting the Montecito Wine Bistro offers a relaxed, yet elegant atmosphere. A neighborhood favorite the restaurant features 2 cozy fireplaces as well as outdoor patio seating. Friendly attentive service. Serving California Bistro cuisine the seasonal menu offers dishes prepared with the freshest ingredients. The menu is split between appetizers, salads and entrees, including vegetarian dishes and fresh fish.Wood-burning oven. Share one of the flatbreads Sausage Piperade or Rosted Potato & Marinated Anchovy. Entree high-lights include Grilled Duck Breast & Confit Duck, Seared Scallops w Lobster Sauce and Dry Aged New York Steak Frites. Desserts are a must - Salted Caramel Bittersweet Tart. The wine list offers selections from SB Winery & Lafond Winery and around the world. Wines by the glass/create your own wine flight. An intimate bar serves classic & speciality cocktails. Menu available in the bar.
What 368 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.3
service
4.3
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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AJ
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food5service1ambience4

We sat out on the patio. The food was great and the ambiance was nice. However, our server, (a 30 something guy of possibly hispanic origin with almost shaved head if management cares), has been there for a LONG time because he's waited on us many times, had a really bad demeanor and could have CARED LESS about our table. He took our order and that was about it until he brought the check. The rest of the wait staff had to cover for him. It was REALLY rude and he was rude, it was almost as if he was mad we were there. Could not even bring himself to smile, just a scowl the entire night.

RG
Central Coast
7 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Interesting venue where we sat in front of the exposed kitchen. Basically able to watch the kitchen do it’s thing. Service was good. We ordered some drinks and enjoyed their bread which was quite good. Wife had a very delicious lemon cream ravioli and I had an interesting roasted Pasilla & mushroom pizza. It had honey which was fine but I think the mushrooms or the carmelized onions made it really soggy. Still good but not a great textural experience. All in all we enjoyed the lovely experience. Love the location.

E
Central Coast
73 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience5

The restaurant has a wonderful ambience both inside and out. I had the chicken sandwich. It was tasty. A bit messy to hold. So, I won’t order it again. Our server was pretty basic. Took our order. Answered our questions. No one I could personally recommend. Felt rushed to order, eat and leave although 90% of the restaurant was empty at noon.

I
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on January 22, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience4

We loved sitting near the fireplace for dinner. The food was very good - especially the vegetable Ramen soup was very delicious. Service was fine. Wines were affordable and good.

FT
Phoenix
182 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Good food and good service and reasonable considering the location

S
Los Angeles
60 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Definitely between good and very good.

LP
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience3

Unfortunately we had a very negative dining experience. We have been dining here for many years and we were definitely caught by surprise. I had to ask for a champagne flute for my champagne (it was served in a large wine glass), the soup was watered down, cold and served in sloppy messy bowl, both halibut entrees were not properly cooked, three of the four empty dining plates were cleared while one guest was still eating, the latte didn’t taste like coffee, we were charged for two extra coffees (they were subsequently taken off of the bill) and we just didn’t have the warm, relaxing and great service experiences that we have had in the past.

OT
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall2food3service3ambience2

Disappointing. It was a cold January night and the only two cozy tables next to the fire place were already taken. The other tables near the front door had a draft so we asked for a seat in the back next to the open kitchen. This gave us a clear view of how things were being operated: friendly staff but seemed inexperienced. Kitchen had a hard time keeping up with the orders even though the restaurant was half full. I had a lovely salmon starter, the halibut entree was overcooked and dry. They did apologize and make up for it after I pointed this out. All in all not the experience I anticipated.

F
Central Coast
60 reviews
Dined on January 7, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

The dinner was really good- I had the artichoke soup which was delicious and The bolognese which was also tasty. It’s a wonderful cozy ambiance and our server was great- will def comeback!!

EA
New Mexico
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

We sat on the patio, which was very pleasant, and our server was very kind and attentive. The menu, however, is pretty uninspiring and the food was so-what: a boring Caesar salad, uninspired appetizer of squash and burrata that *should* have been great, but wasn't (and included little slimy leaves amongst the rest of bag arugula). Ravioli drowned in mediocre sauce. Fairly expensive, even for Santa Barbara, even if the food had been really good. Way overpriced for what we got.

SB
Los Angeles
14 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Impromptu Friday PM dinner when traveling - we happened to find this place online and are so glad we did!! Lovely quiet room with a fire going, delicious food and many options. Tasty glass of Pinot Gris which I don’t often find by the glass - made me very happy! Highly recommended!!

OT
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall3food3service5ambience4

Service was great. Staff is very friendly. Food is so-so.

M
Central Coast
128 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Always enjoy sitting by the fireplace and having a quiet, tasty dinner. The new chef is doing an excellent job of making the menu items even better than before.

y
Central Coast
15 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a pleasing and varied menu..the wine Bistro also has wonderful cocktails and a great wine list. There are also a great range of options for seating inside and out: under spreading oaks or next to a cozy fireplace; on a patio our at thier a social bar.
The staff is attentive and knowledgeable.
The menu is deep and varied and the food is always fabulous!

MD
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Dinner options were interesting and delicious. Service was particularly outstanding. This is a wonderful neighborhood jewel - the restaurant is an integral part of the Upper Village life of Montecito and fun to be a part of. We enjoy eating here and entertaining friends in this space. Highly recommend this restaurant to any looking for a real bistro experience.

M
San Francisco
53 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Always dependable; always pleasant.

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M
Central Coast
128 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

There is a new chef here! We had the best truffle French fries ever. Then our burgers were cooked to perfection; since we order rare, we seldom get them cooked as ordered. They also came as ordered with gruyere cheese and raw red onion. Cannot rave enough about the new chef. We always enjoy the table next to the fireplace on the patio and appreciate being able to request it when we make our reservation.

SB
Jackson Hole
35 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience4

We normally love the pizza at the wine bistro but it was not good that evening. Dry, expensive, not tasty. The caesar salad was small but good, the IPA was delicious, we love Roberto as our server, and we love the ambience. The prices have gone way up in the last few months...so the food must stay good or it will not remain our "go to" place to eat

Montecito Wine Bistro
Responded on October 22, 2019

Hi SBFoodie! Sorry to hear about your experience and thank you for the nice comments on Roberto (I will let him know). I will take a look at the items you mentioned and make sure they are corrected. One note, we've been dropping prices the last two weeks and revamping menu preparations so please know we are listening and working on the menu. Please don't hesitate to contact me next time you are thinking of coming in. Don

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DR
Los Angeles
12 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

one of my favorite local restaurants.
mondo is an amazing bartender!

SB
Central Coast
13 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall3food1service4ambience5

The food has been lousy for a couple of years! The new chef does not seem to be helping. Both soups were so salty we could not eat them. My butter lettuce salad was actually iceberg lettuce. The vegetarian special was awful! Great ambiance and location. Please fix the food. Too overpriced to have mediocre at best food!!

Montecito Wine Bistro
Responded on October 22, 2019

SBlocal, sorry to hear about your experience and yes, we are transitioning with a new Chef. I will touch base with him about your menu comments and just know we are working on it. (One note, we don't have iceberg lettuce in house and always choose more nutritious options). Thank you again for the comments, give us a chance to transition, and call me when you are thinking of coming in. Don

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M
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Everything was very lovely. The food was good, except that our filet mignon salad was mixed. Our filet mignon was excellent, but the greens were way over-dressed, to where we couldn't eat them. This was a bit disappointing. I also ordered the vegetarian French onion soup, as I adore French onion soup, and had never had it without the beef broth. I was disappointed in the broth as it had very little flavor - but the cheese and bread did not disappoint. We'll be back.

OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was a cozy birthday dinner, and they gave us the most delectable chocolate cake, to die for. My ramen was delicious, I’d have it everyday if I couldn’t bore of it. This place came highly recommended by a dear friend of mine, and I had to try anything Pierre lafond. We will be back, dreaming of that ramen! 🙃🖤✨🌙

JS
New England
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience4

Nice spot, great ambience if you get near the fireplace or outside. Wonderful service. Food has high spots but oerall is meh. Had chicken cacciatore and the sauce was lovely but meagerly apportioned, and the chicken was downright tough. "Beet" salad had a wonderful dressing but it was mostly greens with a few small beets to garnish. Mojito was bland & watery. Desert for bday celebration was rasberry / strawberry chocolate cake (don't see it on the menu) and it was out of this world.

Montecito Wine Bistro
Responded on October 22, 2019

Hi Jeff! I apologize for the delay in reading this review and responding and hope you accept my apologies now. It looks like things were less than perfect and the things you mentioned would upset me as well. A quick FYI, we have a new chef who is revamping the menu and specifically the Cacciatore sauce he has created is quite an upgrade from what we had before. I will also let Mundo know about the Mojito! Please give me a call before your next experience. Don

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M
Central Coast
128 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We always enjoy dinner here after a movie, usually. The patio or a table at the large fireplace provide a comfortable setting. We usually have the delicious truffle French fries with our cocktails and then often order the Kobe meatloaf sliders as entrees.

c
Las Vegas
60 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

There were eight of us on their covered patio and everyone loved their meal...mushroom crostini, grilled squash with burrata for apps and several bowls for dinner with the western (with steak on top of vegetables and salad) the overwhelming favorite. The chicken sandwich on focaccia was delicious. This is a don’t miss as far as we’re concerned.

TD
Central Coast
11 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely patio dining. Attentive, friendly service. Delicious entrees, especially the lemon ravioli.

JD
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall1food1service2ambience1

Not great food. Empty restaurant. Decor bland.

WT
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The attentiveness of the staff was outstanding. The menu has much to offer, and the value is good. The dining areas are varied enough to appeal to all customers.

JB
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service

AT
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love Montecito Wine Bistro. Great variety, delicious healthy food options and they always take such good care of us. We will be returning again and again.

WT
Los Angeles
10 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

We checked in at the front desk and were immediately seated on the outdoor patio right near the fireplace. I know it's summertime, but in Montecito, at 70 degrees, this was the perfect seating. We ordered a couple of appetizers along with a couple of entrees, all of which were nicely prepared. The service was attentive and the food was good.

R
Miami
1 review
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Remarkable

L
Los Angeles
20 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great spot for a glass of wine or cocktail with friends or for a delicious dinner. Always quiet enough to have conversation without shouting, which is a rarity in this day and age.

NS
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience4

We frequent the Montecito Wine Bistro and are very pleased normally with the food and service. They were lacking a little bit this time in the quality of the food. Otherwise it was great.

MT
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love the Wine Bistro. Our cousins were visiting from LA so we were 3 adults and two kids. Pasta and fries for the kids and the rest of us has dinner salads or tasty bowls! The food was great, the service spot on, and the outside seating epic.

MH
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Stopped in this charming mall for a light late lunch while traveling. The waiter was delightful and prompt, the food was good (vegetarian French onion soup—delish—and steak enchilada—-hubby enjoyed) and water. Would definitely try it again.

DR
Los Angeles
12 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall5food4service2ambience4

Service was unusually slow but food and ambiance amazing like usual!

R
Miami
68 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect service, indoor/outdoor dining with a varied menu. Happy hour had a nice selection of tasty wine and small plates. Western bowl with filet was extremely tasty. Mahi was served with fresh garden veggies. Low key vibe.

M
Central Coast
128 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2019
Overall3food4service4ambience3

We like this place for the menu and the fact that they have fireplaces and patio seating. However, the manager, Don, never reads the table requests and therefore we almost always find the table we have requested far in advance has been given away. Amazingly, even when the place is nearly empty, he will have managed to give our requested table to someone else! And when told that this is upsetting to us, he never says he is sorry...only that he has many nice tables! He needs a lesson in how to treat customers...especially regulars!

P
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

BRAVO.
a great, unexpected experience that will be one of the highlights of our two week trip to Montecito. booked on a whim, this delightful , unassuming spot delivers so far above expectations that I was almost blinded by the sheer love of the experience. as a sophisticated dinner ( NYC,LA< SF ), our experience is gong too be a "top ten". of note were the fish dishes, especially the traditional French dish of parchment preparation — you could almost taste the herbs and spices of Provencal.

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