Nautical Cowboy at the Carlton Hotel

3.8
164 Reviews
$31 to $50
Steakhouse
We specialize in Santa Maria Style BBQ - tri tip, chicken, pork ribs, beef ribs - all cooked over red oak (or slow smoked depending on the cut). Come and enjoy fantastic BBQ in a spacious environment (outdoor seating available too).

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 164 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.8based on recent ratings
3.6
food
3.8
service
4.1
ambience
3.5
value
Noise · Moderate
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M
Mendozer9
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Wonderful Thanksgiving dinner! Everyone was so friendly and the food was delicious! Great little discovery. Thank you!!

DB
DonnaB
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall4food4service4ambience5

A very comfortable atmosphere and delicious meal. Will definitely go again.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food2service4ambience4

Food wasn’t great as expected, tasted like a reheated or a day old bbq meat

DO
DavidO
Central Coast
6 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Service and food was wonderful. May have been the best prepared steak I've ever had in a restaurant. Including Harris Ranch and other well known places around the country. Nice list of appetizers and all we had were beautifully prepared. We were a bit disappointed that there was not a full liquor license in place.

TW
TracyW
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely room, food was divine!!

JS
JohnS
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall3food3service5ambience4

Service was great. Drink selection was limited for this type of restaurant. Appetizer was not as described on menu. My steak was excellent, however my wife’s mixed plate was disappointing. The ribs were overcooked and neither the chicken or tri-tip were outstanding. Both of our vegetables were overcooked and an unidentifiable pile of brown and gray.

RH
vipRandyH
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Restaurant was busy with several big groups when we arrived for our reservation. We were seated almost immediately but it took a very long time for the waitress to get to our table and even ask us if we wanted any drinks.

In all fairness I think there was only one waitress for all the tables but maybe the manager should have started helping out so customers don't feel like they were forgotten.

We ended up ordering wine, appetizers, and dinner all at the same time so we wouldn't end up spending several hours there. The food was good, and served pretty quick, considering the long wait we had in the beginning.

Although the food was really good I am not sure I would make a special effort to return to this restaurant again

KR
vipKurtR
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service!

G
Grillgiant
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Steaks and Prime rib were cooked to perfection. Oysters were deliciously fresh

JE
vipJonathanE
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience4

Seemed promising with nice ambience but service was very slow. After waiting 45 minutes after ordering we were served very “OK” food. Specifically salmon which was good over “risotto” which was completely unseasoned. BBQ plate served with Tri-tip cooked well beyond well done. Finally kids meal served with a fruit salad which consisted of 2 slices of orange and 2 slices of apple. Overall restaurant seemed to be missing a few steps.

JM
JuaMcd
Central Coast
7 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Mel was wonderful as our waitress. Was so nice of Thomas the Chef to come to our table to ask how our food was. Food was excellent!

TM
TinaM
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience3

Service and food quality was very poor. We are locals and would not come back

CK
ClaireK
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall3food4service2ambience4

The food was good, service left a bit to be desired. We had a new server... she did not clear the plates as courses progressed and had a difficult time with follow through. She admitted she was new at the job. Ambience was nice and enjoyable .

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2021
Overall3food1service3ambience3

The food was not very good. The kids beef rib was blood red undercooked, had to send it back, fried pickles were falling apart, the prime rib arrived looking like it had been microwaved cause it was brown all over them when you cut into it, it was pinkish red, and the rib eye was a bit chewy and outdated. Side veggie bowl was almost inedible. The people were nice and friendly but the food was just not good.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The recommendation came from the B&B we were staying at. Dinner was very good, the grilled artichoke was amazing! I don’t understand why bleu cheese salad dressing was ruined with herbs (not a good idea) but other than that the meal was great and the service excellent.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We celebrated a birthday. The food was excellent and so was the service.

G
Geetarman
Las Vegas
13 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

We were surprised to learn the restaurant did not have a full bar. Disappointing. Food was fine, ambiance was old and outdated feeling.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Hawaii
5 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2021
Overall1food1service4ambience5

Food was nothing to write home about. Nice atmosphere and waiter. But food was all over cooked and not too much flavorful

TO
TrudyO
1 review
Dined on June 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The steak was one of the best filet mignons that I have ever had. Perfectly cooked, and our waiter, Chris, was excellent. The presentation was excellent. Will definitely come back.

SM
SMBBQfan
Central Coast
9 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The only negative about our dinner at the Nautical Cowboy wasn't the restaurant's fault. Because of COVID-19 restrictions we had to sit outside on the sidewalk next to a fairly busy street. Not terrible, but the interior of the restaurant looked so nice, it was disappointing not to be able to eat inside.

J
Joan
1 review
Dined on October 31, 2020
Overall3food2service5ambience5

We had halibut. It was bland and a little dry. Not worth the expense.

TR
TerryR
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and presentation were outstanding, not to mention the phenomenal service. Certainly the best upscale dining in all of Atascadero!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
27 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food, which is locally sourced. A craftful chef who brings out the best in his ingredients and friendly attentive service! If you're traveling in the Central Coast make this a stop! Bon Appétit!

MS
MicheleS
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

It was a really great experience and we truly enjoyed our time together with the staff, they made it very accommodating with the restrictions of COVID 19.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful experience! Our server went above and beyond to accommodate our experience. Loved the social distancing layout making us safe.

JA
JoAnR
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful dinner. The food was scrumptious!

DT
vipDianeT
Los Angeles
14 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Chef Thomas’ newish menu is very creative, including Italian dumplings, barbecue and innovative pizzas. The service on the lovely patio is impeccable, led by Cheryl. And a big plus is it is so quiet we could hear each other.

S
Stuffimuffins
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

The rib eye and fillet steaks, artichoke dip, chicharron, coconut shrimp were amazing! Oh and the bread! So good. We also had the Korean fried chicken. The chicken was crispy and moist but not spicy at all. Drinks are meh. Order wine. The service was wonderful. The ambiance was great, I would suggest more lighting. Overall, I would definitely recommend for dinner.

CJ
vipChrisJ
Central Coast
35 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience4

The ambience was wonderful in the open courtyard. It was a little weird to go up steps through the hotel to get there. Our waitress kept disappearing and another waitress kept helping us. The food was OK, not exceptional for the price. I ordered a Mohito, but it was ok.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Dining during COVID can be frustrating but this place does it right. The courtyard patio dining is wonderful. The service was outstanding and the playlist for the music was perfect. We had one of the best nights ever. The fried chicken was perfect and there were 4 big pieces on the plate along with some mashed potatoes, veggies and gravy. Super yummy. My husband had the pork and it was cooked perfectly in a tasty sauce. Our friends had the fish and we all tasted each others dinners since they were all so good. This will become one of our must stop dinner places. It was just an excellent dinner all the way around. Spend the time to make reservations and go. You will not regret it.

SH
ScottH
1 review
Dined on July 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our favorite place to eat in Atascadero. They were able to spread out the tables well to accommodate social distancing. Our first time out in a while and we felt very safe.

N
Noneckjoe
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nice relaxing enjoyable great service quaint great food

GW
GeorgeW
Central Coast
6 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Our first dinner out in Atascadero since Covid. Met another couple there. Brought our own wine for a $20 corkage fee.
Salmon brochette was very good! I had the black cod - delish. friends had the scallops that they both really liked. Wife had the vegetable pasta which was so-so.
We will be back. The new chef seems to have some good ideas for his menu.

RT
RonT
1 review
Dined on June 25, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Much better than my last time there, which was almost a year ago

JG
JosephG
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Overall it was a nice experience, the food was good but not outstanding. Could use a bit more choices on the menu but do understand that they have just reopened. Will definitely try again after they have been open for a bit longer and things are back to near normal.

D
Dsturg
1 review
Dined on June 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Glad to see you back in business. The service and scallops were both excellent. Everyone was in masks and being as careful as possible.

GS
GeorgeS
1 review
Dined on June 17, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience3

The food was very good, nice presentation and excellent service. However, I feel that the food was grossly overpriced.

K
vipKatrina
Orange County
52 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Wow met some friends for dinner and we hadn’t gone out to dinner with them since COVID-19 started. Had a great time our waitress Jennifer was very attentive. My salmon was OK but two of our group had the halibut loved it and one had steak and she said it was pretty good. Two of our parties had the Sunday and I had the carrot cake which was different but good. Will definitely go back

JC
JimC
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love this local restaurant. The food has been consistently good, with outstanding service. We always look forward to our next visit. If you like a good ribeye, this is the place!
Jim and Pam

MH
MarkH
1 review
Dined on June 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great to see ATown up and going again. Great food and ambiance at the Nautical Cowboy. Menu a little limited but the three courses we had were great.

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from Nautical Cowboy at the Carlton Hotel using the Order Online button. Nautical Cowboy at the Carlton Hotel also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (805) 461-5100.

Nautical Cowboy at the Carlton Hotel is rated 3.8 stars by 164 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.