The Bistro at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara

4.1
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283 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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American
Named “Top 100 Best Al Fresco Dining Restaurants in America” by OpenTable, The Bistro offers a casual and relaxed atmosphere to dine and enjoy sweeping views of the coastline. Local produce and sustainable seafood highlight an acclaimed menu of traditional bistro favorites, including brick oven flatbreads, seasonal salads and the signature Bistro burger. Recent upgrades to The Bistro’s patio include the addition of a cozy wood-burning fireplace, direct access to an oceanfront pool bar, and enhanced outdoor heating to enjoy breathtaking ocean vistas all year long.

Specials

Thanksgiving Dinner Special Menus & Offers

Thank you for joining us at The Bistro for such a special dinner. We will be featuring a Prix Fixe Menu hand crafted by our head chef Trevor Titus.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Christmas Eve Special Menus & Offers

Thank you for joining us at The Bistro for such a special dinner. We will be featuring a Prix Fixe Menu hand crafted by our head chef Trevor Titus.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Christmas Day Special Menus & Offers

Thank you for joining us at The Bistro for such a special dinner. We will be featuring a Prix Fixe Menu hand crafted by our head chef Trevor Titus.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Thank you for joining us at The Bistro for such a special dinner. We will be featuring a Prix Fixe Menu hand crafted by our head chef Trevor Titus.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

What 283 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.1
service
4.5
ambience
3.6
value
Noise · Moderate
75% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 2

Experience was under whelming. We were offered indoor or outdoor, outdoor had heaters, we chose outdoor. 2 heaters were brought over, both were lit, one was leaking gas and malfunctioning. The malfunctioning unit was turned off and moved away. The other unit was repositioned. The food arrived in odd order, with the dinner side arriving with the starter, salad brought out next, followed quickly by the main course. The timing was off. The scallops were cold and under cooked. We ordered dessert, skillet cookie, and asked to have the heater propane replaced because it was out, we also asked another server for new propane but it was never replaced. Dessert came and my wife had 2 bites before we left, I was shaking due to be cold because the heater was out.

J
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome place! They made my daughther’s birthday really special!

OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Early dinner after arriving at the resort. Excellent service and amazing food!

LW
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Having dined at the Angel Oak a few times (and absolutely loved!), my friends and I decided to try The Bistro to celebrate a birthday. The food was delicious, the view was terrific and the service was great. Everyone was helpful from start (valet) to finish. My next goal is the try the Wine Bar for a light meal in front of the fireplace! Love, love, love The Ritz-Carlton Bacara. I'm so glad I live close by and am able to take advantage of all that is offered at this gorgeous resort.

LP
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The setting is beautiful and you will be treated very well by the staff. I had the short ribs and polenta, which I highly recommend.

MM
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 1ambience 4

It has pretty views, but the food was the style, quality, and temperature of room service (which is, I think, the menu The Bistro serves). So very basic stuff (burger, cobb salad) and not freshly prepared. Also, the service was slow and, depending on who you encountered, could even be rude. Also, the prices were crazy. As an example, it was $18 to add 3 small shrimp to a salad. Overall, I don't think we'll return.

GG
Central Coast
6 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Relaxing spot for a Sunday lunch! We had the avocado toast, a Cobb salad and topped it off with coffee and Churros for dessert. The Bistro has a lovely setting, varied menu and nice servers. The service was slow, but we didn't mind as it was a lazy Sunday. Guests at a nearby table had a dog on a long leash. The dog kept moving around and almost tripped our waiter as he was carrying our precious churros and chocolate sauce. The waiter made a good save, but it could have been a bad fall. It would be great if the pet policy were changed so that people were not taking dogs to 5 star resorts. That and the not that attentive service is the reason I can't give more stars.

JD
Central Coast
18 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The new menu looks great, and we enjoyed the food and loved the sunset over the water. Our server was attentive and friendly, and we had a wonderful time. Prices are steep, but this is an absolutely wonderful place.

DA
Palm Springs
6 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great casual dining. Good selections and ocean views, what's not to like... Nothing.

SD
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 5

The service was not 5 star we were greeted appropriately, the waiter did not check in with us. We had to flag down help. The food selection was horrible based on passed experiences. The coffee for the brunch was cold. We usually pick this spot to have a quick family check in. Could have done that at a local restaurant and spent $100 vs $300 was not impressed and disappointed based on passed experiences. What happened? Is there a change in management or ownership?! Disappointing, we don’t mind spending money just want a 5 start experience when we do

DB
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 2

The pictures of the restaurant are not accurate. They sat us at a table the heater was broken. We asked to move to a table that was available with a better view, they were determined we were not going to sit there. Although the table sat empty the whole evening. Our server was nice, but seemed annoyed with the kitchen as well. We ordered a salad prior to a meal, never got it. The server asked if we still wanted it. The meal was already served so no. The fettuccine was so spicy, it couldn’t be eaten. The Cioppino was sparse on seafood, for the price was not worth it. The bread came out burnt, we sent it back. It was disappointing, went for a Birthday dinner, won’t be returning.

P
Los Angeles
90 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 5

We've eaten here many times over the last few years. Service has been inconsistent since the Ritz-Carlton purchase, was definitely better when it was just Bacara Resort. The patio setting is beautiful.

KB
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

The Bistro food and ambiance was outstanding but our waiter or maybe the kitchen forgot our order specifications and silverware. I mus say that the waiter was really polite and friendly.

p
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

Had dinner and lunch the next day. The seafood paella was dry, tasteless and over cooked . Waiter took apps off the bill. Lunch was much better the next day

NS
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went there for lunch. Great place with great atmosphere and ambience. Great price points and service.

OT
Central Coast
13 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Delightful setting and very good food. We had a burger w. fries and a poke bowl with avocado, rice and sauce that was exceptional. The service was really good too. The costs seem to have increased a good amount in the last several months - maybe the result of the Ritz-Carlton acquiring the former Bacara.

VI
Orange County
398 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Lovely restaurant and excellent paella. The server did not miss a beat after the earthquake. Sweet folks offering us champagne for my husbands birthday.

A
Central Coast
19 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic meal. Top notch service on a very busy 4th of July . Waiter Blake and sommelier Nannette stood out!

DF
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant is great. Every time we stay at the Bacara we eat at this restaurant and always enjoy. Great choices and drinks. The relaxing atmosphere and ocean view can't be beat.

OT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a beautiful setting! Outstanding wait service and food. Our server, Lalili, was so kind and knowledgeable.

T
Phoenix
2 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 4

Food was ok. Service was marginal.

C
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on July 1, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 2

We were there for my finances moms 80th birthday. I had made it clear in my reservation it was a special occasion. The description of the restaurant is that it has nice outdoor space with a view of the ocean. It was basically a family casual space with very poor service. We had to ask in front if the birthday women for the dessert and then waited over 15 min to get it and another 30 min to get the bill. We had breakfast at a casual beach spot that was very busy, they overheard us talking and they surprised us with a dessert with a candle and provided excellent service. I think it was reasonable for us to have expected at least decent service at the Ritz Carlton. I would not recommend going unless you are on property and don’t feel like leaving.

K
San Francisco
73 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

The best part of this restaurant is the convenient location for guests staying at the Ritz Carlton. Unfortunately, almost everything else needs work.
We were seated inside, and when we said to the hostess that we would prefer to be outside at one of several open tables, she said that other people with reservations were already waiting to be seated outside. We had a reservation, too, so I am not sure why other groups arriving after us would have priority.
The outside tables are actually warmer, because they have heat lamps. The inside tables have nonstop cold breezes from the doors, which are left open throughout the night.
Eddie introduced himself to us as our server for the night, brought water, and then we never saw him again. 25 minutes later, a different person, without explanation, introduced himself to us as our server for the night. This person was as absent as Eddie.
We made the mistake of ordering the paella, which says on the menu takes 35-40 minutes. In our case, it took one hour after ordering. It arrived to the table barely warm, and the other two entrees were also barely warm. Our server apologized, but it is a huge bummer at this price point to sit in a cold dining room eating cold food. He asked us if we would like free dessert, but we were so cold by then, 2 and 1/2 hours after we sat down, that we declined so we could get back to our hotel room and warm up.

l
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 5

The bistro is not a restaurant I would recommend. It took us 90 minutes to get our dinner from the time we ordered it. Our server was excellent and tried to keep apologizing for a kitchen issue, but the manager had a real attitude and never even apologized about the long wait. The food was very mediocre. The server told us he was going to remove from the bill our drinks and dessert in an effort to make up for the poor service. It would have been nice for the manager himself to have apologized and done something for us. This restaurant service is definitely not up to the level of the Ritz Carlton property.

C
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I enjoyed celebrating my anniversary at the Bistro. The staff made it very special!

JH
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 5

Nice staff and setting. Sub-par food. Good ceviche with stale tortilla chips. Mediocre Caesar Salad. Does anyone in the kitchen taste this stuff before they send it out?

MB
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Bistro is our go-to place for any celebration. The fish tacos were delicious. My friend loved her kale salad. Our server, Blake, treated us like royalty and made my birthday so special. Bravo to The Bistro!

R
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful waiter, Trevor. He was attentive, suggestive of foods we may like and extremely pleasant. The service provided an inlay to delicious and a well-prepared meal. We came up for the day and it was quite wonderful.

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Bistro is our favorite place for dinner. We went for my husband's birthday, and had not been to the Bistro since it changed ownership. Beautiful, elegant and every detail you might expect from a Ritz property. The food was phenomenal and the wine (and recommendations), which are my favorite part, were the best ever. I'm planning to purchase a case of the wine we had for home & client gifts! (2 Sisters Pinot Noir, 2015, Sta Rita) The restaurant is fairly quiet, moves from quiet to moderate. Enjoy!

SG
Los Angeles
9 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wow! Such great service.
I was the only one in the restaurant as was eating at a weird time mid afternoon - but was literally treated like The Queen. Food was also DELICIOUS!

RC
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was delicious, quiet ambiance and amazing views!

r
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

The natural beauty of the setting is unsurpassed. The Bacara has preserved this slice of the coast and created a peaceful enclave to enjoy the view. Impeccable service from the Lou, the food server at The Bistro!

EG
New England
15 reviews
Dined on April 17, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Food was good. Started with tomatoes salad, crispy cauliflower, octopus and scallops.

Wish they said that it was cauliflower tempura. Didn’t want the breading.

4 minutes before enter came I ordered a white wine and my wife ordered a second drink. Hers came midway through the meal, mine came after the meal was completed. So much for having wine WITH the meal.

It wasn’t crowded at all so curious why it took so long.

All in all, it was fine but a touch expensive for what it was.

ER
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great way to spend a birthday! Thank you!

MN
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We got engaged at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara earlier in the day, and celebrated at the Bistro for dinner. The staff was so lovely and helped us celebrate. Roses, champagne, and a handwritten card from our waiter made us feel so welcomed and special. Thank you to the Bistro for making a beautiful day even more beautiful!

DS
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exceptional customer service with food that exceeded our expectations. We were celebrating a birthday and they made our night extra special.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had an amazing anniversary dinner at Bistro. The staff was very thoughtful and added beautiful roses and champagne for our celebration.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

We had a request to not add salt to my father’s meal due to a heart condition and they could not accommodate that for any of the vegetable dishes and the majority of the entrees. I have never been to a restaurant that is touted as healthy and yet has been less accommodating than a fast food joint.

FL
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

The restaurant was quite cold, and there were long periods of non-service (a couple seated next to us left after not being spoken to for 20 minutes after they sat down). My daughter had an allergic reaction to a non-disclosed nut ingredient in a dish, it was difficult to find anyone to speak to about it.

The highlight of our meal was the calamari. Next time, we might do drinks and apps and have dinner elsewhere.

OT
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 4

Major issues with the menu. There is a salman dish on the dinner menu but the menu didn’t explain that it’s a raw dish and it was a big surprise when it was served. They also don’t serve any sides with some of their dinners. We got sea bass one night with nothing, not even a veggie, on the side. If you’re staying at the hotel and don’t have options then just be sure to ask how the food is prepared and if anything else is served with the meal.

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