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  5. Montecito
Lilac Montecito, Santa Barbara, CA

Lilac Montecito

4.6
4.6
54 Reviews
$50 and over
Contemporary European
A new gluten-free fine dining experience.

Now open!

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 9 times today

Additional information

  • Dining style
    Casual Elegant
  • Price
    $50 and over
  • Cuisines
    Contemporary European, Contemporary American, Californian
  • Hours of operation
    Tue–Thu, Sun 5:00 pm–9:00 pm Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–10:00 pm
  • Phone number
    (805) 845-2457
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Dress code
    Business Casual
  • Owned/operated by
    Latinx or Hispanic, Women
  • Executive chef
    Piersimone D'Anna
  • Neighborhood
    Montecito
  • Cross street
    Middle Road
  • Parking details
    Street Parking
  • Public transit
    MTD Line 14 - Montecito
  • Additional
    Beer, Dog Friendly, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 54 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.6
4.6 based on recent ratings
  • 4.6Food
  • 4.8Service
  • 4.5Ambience
  • 4.2Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • California Central Coast

    Healthy

  • Santa Barbara

    Best Service

  • Santa Barbara

    Innovative

  • Santa Barbara

    Healthy

54 Reviews
  1. Steve

    San Francisco

    8 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined 1 day ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Immediately felt welcome. The ENTIRE staff seemed really happy and friendly. Loved our server, Nicole. Super service! Food was also excellent! Kitchen made a requested accommodation without hesitation. A must try new spot in downtown Montecito!

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  2. KAS1

    Central Coast

    499 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    499 reviews

    Dined 2 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Our first experience here. We wanted to taste what gluten free tastes like. It was excellent. Terrific food. Terrific service. Beautifully done decor and environment. First class operation and a very welcome addition to Coast Village Road.

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  3. Paul

    Central Coast

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    While the service and setting are fine, the food does not justify the price. There really isn't anything special about it.

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  4. HappyDiner

    Central Coast

    130 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    130 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We have now enjoyed Lilac Montecito several times. In addition to the excellent menu they have offering gluten free but gourmet food, and the delicious dishes they consistently produce, the service is outstanding and the ambiance is very comfortable. For those of us who remember the Coffee Bean + Tea Leaf it is nice to feel like you're dining in a proper restaurant with the mosaic tile, while linens, and floral arrangements while a jazzy musical arrangement plays overhead. A few of the standout dishes include their crudo, the new salmon tartar dish, the new veal Milanese, duck breast (possibly off the menu now), very popular chicken marsala, awesome mashed potatoes (a la Joel Robuchon), and their seasonal soups. For dessert the chocolate lava is highly recommended.

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  5. OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on April 5, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    An absolutely amazing dining experience! Gorgeous food, amazing staff, and beautiful ambiance!! Bonus: Dedicated gluten free and very good with food allergies!

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  6. PeggyP

    Central Coast

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on March 29, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We had a wonderful dinner at Lilac Montecito! Our server, Nicole, was welcoming and attentive. The food was fresh, inventive (the lasagna special was a delight!) and delicious. We will be back - highly recommend!

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  7. OpenTable Diner

    Dallas

    5 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on March 22, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Absolutely amazing experience. The food is both delicious and imaginative - and it is wonderfully fresh! I have seen in previous reviews that it is “tasteless” and “dry” or it’s not for those who aren’t “gluten-free”… well I’d say this is all wrong! If you have a refined pallet and are accustomed to different dining experiences you will enjoy Lilac very much. The dishes are anything but flavorless - you just have to have a taste for more than over-seasoned, salty, low-quality Amercan food. Because that is NOT what you will find at Lilac. As far as portions are concerned, we had one appetizer each and could not finish our meals; the portion sizes are just perfect. This is not the Cheesecake Factory - one entreé is not intended to feed the family.

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  8. foodforthought

    Central Coast

    148 reviews

    2.0

    148 reviews

    Dined on March 20, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 3
    Good for gluten free folks, but not us. Nice buildout, small 2 top tables. Good server but no sight of owners checking with their new guests. Rosemary rolls were so dry we couldn't finish and lackluster butter didn't help. Burrata salad had low quality burrata, tasteless. Crudo seemed fresh but coconut milk didn't add any pizzazz. Kabocha raviola was good whereas swordfish lacked flavor and was dry. Frites were basic-boring, why not offer double fried duck fat or beef tallow? Layer cake was glutenless dry with little taste, lemon tart filling was good but pastry too hard to cut. Wine by the glass selection was fine. Over-all, food was gluten-free boring. Would be better if at least their was a choice. We like gluten!!

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  9. Pescatarian

    Central Coast

    67 reviews

    5.0

    67 reviews

    Dined on March 17, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Excellent service with delicious well prepared gourmet style food. Lovely food presentation with unique flavor components. We will dine at Lilac in Montecito again!

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  10. OpenTable Diner

    Orlando

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 16, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    The service and ambience is great. The food is flavorless. We had the yellowtail crudo, juanes frites, salmon, and the ribeye… none of it was good, and the salmon was awful. If you go, sneak in some salt packets.

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  11. tasteisgood

    New York City

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on March 15, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    In a day when louder, bigger and more always get far too much acclaim, Lilac was the epitome of subtlety. The flavors were there in just the right proportion, delivered well.

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  12. Hockeyvop

    Orange County

    17 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    17 reviews

    Dined on March 9, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    We were really looking forward to dining at Lilac Montecito while visiting the area, the restaurant did not disappoint. The food was delicious and the chef was very accommodating. Our server was friendly and attentive. I had the salmon and my husband had the rib eye steak and we finished our meal with a marvelous piece of cheesecake. We look forward to another visit.

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  13. SteveP

    Los Angeles

    3 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on March 8, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Outstanding new restaurant for Montecito. The Italian influence takes u to some of the best restaurants in Italy. The risotto is extraordinary. Maybe the best restaurant in Santa Barbara.

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  14. TeriS

    Los Angeles

    27 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    27 reviews

    Dined on March 8, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    A great addition to Montecito! Everything is delicious here! Great selection of wines and attentive staff. Love the gluten free rolls and deserts!! Incredible gelato!

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  15. JimP

    Los Angeles

    8 reviews

    4.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on March 6, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Fairly limited menu, good food but in small portions. Had our favorite wine at very fair price. Server had a wonderful disposition!

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  16. Darla

    San Diego

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on February 28, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Everything was near perfect with the exception of the noise level. Wonder if there is a way to reduce that.

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  17. OpenTable Diner

    Vancouver

    1 review

    vip
    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 27, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Food was okay, service was good, portions tiny, price very high

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  18. richard

    London

    12 reviews

    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on February 27, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Great food & wonderful staff. Our first time there, we will definitely be back

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  19. CeliacDiner

    Yosemite

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 26, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    We had high hopes! We wholeheartedly appreciate having a dedicated gluten free restaurant available at the dinner hour, given three in our family have Celiac Disease. The three of us who have Celiac all ordered pasta--and were all underwhelmed. The flavors just weren't there and the fettuccini was overcooked. We know how tough it is to get GF pasta right, but for $25-30 per pasta dish, it really SHOULD be perfect (we know it can be, we've cooked it at home--even from scratch-- and eaten perfect gf pastas in Los Angeles, Italy, etc.). The crudo was nice but Arigato's hamachi outperforms this, and The Lark's brussels are far better. One of us had the cauliflower, considered to be the star dish of the night (but who actually goes to a restaurant for the cauliflower?). We have eaten all over the globe at hundreds of restaurants, including many with Michelin stars. Rarely have we spent $500 for a meal that was "just fine," which is what this was--totally Celiac safe but unimpressive food. I just can't stomach the price for the flavor. At this point in its development, I would rather take risks of cross contact at other restaurants which have more delicious food and prices which are not excessive relative to the level of quality. We are absolutely hoping that Lilac Montecito succeeds and that it's flavors improve significantly. We wish everyone on the team well and hope that this feedback serves to inspire growth. Thank you.

    1 person found this helpful

  20. Robert

    Los Angeles

    61 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    61 reviews

    Dined on February 23, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 3
    Service very slow. Kitchen needs to be more efficient

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  21. KipL

    Hawaii

    7 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on February 23, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Our party of six had a nice night on the town with fine food options and wines. Everyone enjoyed their meals. One heads up, the servings are pretty small, but we supplemented with shared appetizers.

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  22. NYCLA

    New York City

    19 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    19 reviews

    Dined on February 22, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We had such a great evening and experience! Nicole our server was fun , knowledgeable and made it such a delicious and great night. The staff is first class . Front of the house professional and welcoming. My standards for Italian are high as I am from an Italian family and spend a great deal of time in NYC . First of all the olive rosemary bread was unbelievable. How could this be gluten free!!!The arincino was delicious - my husband and I split. The Fettucine Alfredo was incredible and not heavy , as it was not made with cream . The Chicken Marsala was delicious. Great wine list. We enjoyed an amazing bottle of Liquid Farm Chardonnay. We are so happy to have this amazing new restaurant in Montecito. Congratulations to Head Chef, Simone and General Manager , Romi ! We can hardly wait to return.

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  23. OpenTable Diner

    Central Coast

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 21, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Wonderful food and beautiful presentation. Great service!

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  24. TobyW

    Central Coast

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 20, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We had the best meals and the service was incredible. The presentation wad amazing and the chef came out at the end to talk to us.

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  25. MarcyS

    Central Coast

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 19, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    There were three of us dining, and we all order different things from the menu. Two appetizers, three main dishes, one dessert. The food was the best we have had maybe ever. Everything was really extraordinary and very creative. It was a bit pricey, but worth it for sure. We will be back.

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  26. DCJT

    Jackson Hole

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on February 18, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Food is exciting and beautifully presented. Wonderful wine list. Great music. Great to meet the chef during dinner. All in all, great experience!

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  27. Delicious

    Denver

    20 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    20 reviews

    Dined on February 16, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    Excellent service, very friendly the swordfish was a little overcooked, the burrata salad was beautiful and tasty, the ravioli was ok and the roll were delicious.

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  28. OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Went for their Valentine’s Day prefix dinner and it was just lovely! They even had a vegan prefix for me. It was high class service and everyone was so nice! I was even given a rose when I walked in. Highly recommend as the food was amazing and as someone who has celiac, I actually got to have bread on the table! So amazing!

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  29. SantaBarbara25

    Berlin

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 2
    My partner and I came for Valentine’s Day. It was a pre-fixed menu for $100 (pre tax) per person. Let me start by saying that the service was exceptionally nice. We were greeted at the door by a very nice lady who handed us roses, and were then walked to our table. Then we met our waitress for the night who was an absolute sunshine: positive, sweet. The first course was fine, I picked the yellowtail, and it didn’t blow my mind, but also wasn’t bad. My partner had the salad, it was fine. The second course, the Ravioli, were fine as well. Nothing outstanding. We waited quite some time for the third course, a different waitress then came and offered champagne for the wait. We accepted. The third course, the dessert, then finally arrived. It was advertised as “Lava Chocolate Cake”, unfortunately it wasn’t a lava cake at all and came totally over cooked and dry. I told our waitress who said she would go back and check. 10 minutes passed, and she didn’t come back to update us, so again, I had to ask her “hey, just asking again about the lava cake?” The table next to us had the exact same problem with their lava cake and were complaining as well. Then our waitress proceeded to admit that the kitchen made a couple of mistakes and all lava cakes were over cooked. I was really mad at this point because we are looking at a $300 dinner after tax and tip, and the whole evening didn’t live up to that price at all. We asked for the check. Afterwards, they bring us a new lava cake but honestly, offering a third cake was not what I would’ve expected from great service. They should have lowered the bill. It is absolutely crazy to demand that amount of money for the quality of food we experienced. Meanwhile, I want to emphasize again, that our waitresses were very sweet, but the chef and management really handled the evening poorly. I am willing to pay good money for good food, but this wasn’t it.

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  30. frieda

    Chicago

    13 reviews

    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Service and food were excellent, especially since it was Valentines Day and restaurant had only been open 3 weeks

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  31. MartinT

    Central Coast

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Loved the food, service and ambience ... will definitely return.

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  32. SusanS

    San Francisco

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We enjoyed a wonderful dinner at lilac on Valentine’s Day! The food was outstanding! The service impeccable and the ambiance wonderful! A terrific treat!!

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  33. Local

    Hawaii

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 13, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 3
    Pretty much average food at inflated prices. Defiinitely nothing special.

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  34. JollyGreenGiant

    Central Coast

    7 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on February 13, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Quality, quality and quality. All pastas are handmade in-house at the Lilac Montecito restaurant. This restaurant has an Italian in the kitchen creating the dishes unlike all the fake Italian restaurants in Montecito. Lilac Montecito is a "Breath Of Fresh Air," to Ca Dario steps away. Thank you Lilac Montecito for bringing quality to Coast Village Road, Montecito. Enjoy!

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  35. DaryaB

    Central Coast

    3 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on February 12, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Love the food, enjoy the atmosphere and the service is exceptional!

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  36. filbot

    Central Coast

    3 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on February 10, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Great to have this new restaurant choice in Montecito.

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  37. Ronaldo

    San Francisco

    27 reviews

    5.0

    27 reviews

    Dined on February 10, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    MENY ECLECTIC OPTIONS ECELLENT FOOD PREPARATIONS WONDERFUL WINE LIST

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  38. RamonaH

    Central Coast

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 9, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    great food! really enjoyed the space, the atmosphere

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  39. Brad

    Los Angeles

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on February 9, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Incredible food that also happens to be gluten free. My wife is GF, I am not and I loved it just as much as she did. We will be back!

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  40. OpenTable Diner

    Milwaukee

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 4, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Outstanding service, food, and atmosphere. Elegant but cozy restaurant.

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FAQs

Lilac Montecito is rated 4.6 stars by 54 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 9 times today
Google Map for Lilac Montecito

1209 Coast Village Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93108-2718

Additional information

  • Cross street
    Middle Road
  • Neighborhood
    Montecito
  • Hours of operation
    Tue–Thu, Sun 5:00 pm–9:00 pm Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–10:00 pm
  • Price
    $50 and over
  • Cuisines
    Contemporary European, Contemporary American, Californian
  • Dining style
    Casual Elegant
  • Dress code
    Business Casual
  • Parking details
    Street Parking
  • Public transit
    MTD Line 14 - Montecito
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Owned/operated by
    Latinx or Hispanic, Women
  • Executive chef
    Piersimone D'Anna
  • Additional
    Beer, Dog Friendly, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Wheelchair Access, Wine
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