Santa Barbara > Restaurants > Bella Vista at the Biltmore
Neighbor Tims BBQ

Bella Vista at the Biltmore
1260 Channel Dr, Montecito
Phone: (805) 969-2261

Reviews by the General Public

Gorgeous Santa Barbara experience, 6/21/2018
Reviewer: jinelle from Santa Barbara, CA
Where does one go to have the most special truly Santa Barbara deluxe experience now? The Bella Vista hits all the right notes. Casual, elegant setting, lovely tables indoors and out and each item was prepared with special care to offer complex flavors, interests while leaving you wanting more. Yes, all of this come with high prices, this is a special occasion treat for dinner, lunch prices more accessible. But if you want to be reminded what Santa Barbara is all about in a richly historic setting with gracious service and ambiance, this is the place. Loved our appetizers - bison carpaccio and the kampache - loved the table side pasta -special Grana cheese "bowl" used for preparation along with fragrant peppercorns made this a rich, deeply satisfying main course. Desserts were fresh and flavorful. Portion size is small, but we intentionally wanted to eat light. Even if you just go for the special table side pasta, you will feel amply rewarded by this unusual culinary delight. Service was both friendly and professional .We have a treasure in our backyard. Enjoy it.

Sit outside to get your money's worth!
Reviewer: Sophia from Santa Barbara, CA
The patio area, at night, with heat lamps and the sound of breaking waves, helps the food here to transcend from ok to excellent. However, inside the space still echos despite the remodeled ceiling (with drapes to create a more intimate vibe) and there aren't many cosy spots available. Expect great service and don't miss the Monday night Italian buffet. Yes, I resent paying nearly $40 for the pasta bar, but the appetizers, hot dishes (amazing risotto) and deserts make for a fun weeknight out.

An Expensive Disappointment
Reviewer: Pablo from Santa Barbara, CA
Birthday dinner. The service was slow but we weren't in a hurry either. The wine list is limited and expensive. Had a $17 martini. Really. Two of us ordered the duck. It came barely warm. One in the party ordered ribeye steak rare and it came well done. We sent the food back. It was returned corrected but still very mediocre. Mushroom soup was some mushrooms floating in beef broth. Instead of butter with the bread they served ricotta cheese! Had to ask twice for a glass of wine to be served. The waiter apologized. But when you pay those kind of prices the food and service should be flawless. We will not be going back.

Bird Poop Everywhere
Reviewer: Tina from Los Angeles, CA
For this to be a Four Seasons, I was very disappointed. The food was average. The wait staff was excellent and one of the hostess was great. The other hostess had a slight attitude. The thing that really turned my stomach was the bird poop everywhere. It's a shame because we had such a beautiful view but our chairs had bird poop, the lamp next to us had bird pood. It was very disgusting.

Lunch at the Biltmore
Reviewer: terry luttrell from Corona del Mar California
I was just up in Santa Barbara with my 89 year old mother and my sister. WE live in Newport Beach which has many great restaurants. We love the Biltmore. We went to lunch there. The food was so good.. I loved my seafood salad. The service was excellent and the grounds were beautiful we walked around the hotel It had a really good feel. We didn't want to leave.

Disappointing except for the view
Reviewer: Mary from Santa Barbara, CA
View wonderful. Service attentive. Lunch overpriced and ordinary. Flank steak sandwich was tough. How about using tenderloin? I can think of many deli establishments in town that do a better job. We hardly frequent this place, we came with an out of town guest.

Fantastic new chef
Reviewer: Alex from Santa Barbara, CA
The service was absolutly fantastic. Our server was so attentive and caring to all of our needs it made the evening very special. And words can not describe the food. The new chef has really developed into a fanstatic culinary artisit who's beautiful work is fully displayed.

Chef Martin We Miss You
Reviewer: Jane from Santa Barbara, CA
Dinner at Bella Vista was very disappointing, We've been regulars at the hotel and all their restaurants for many years and we were surprised at the poor service and at best, mediocre food. When we arrived I told the hostess we were meeting friends and after looking up the reservation she simply told us where to find the table, as opposed to showing us where they had seated our dinner partners. Typically at a restaurant of this caliber, and size, one would expect the hostess to escort you to the table. The below average service continued through the evening only to be compounded by disappointing food. We started with a Buratta and tomato salad, the tomatoes were mealy as if they had been refridgerated for several days, the bread that was served had to have been day old at best. As entrees arrived, the pasta lacked luster and flavor the ribeye was chewy, but there were some high points to the meal, the appetizer risotto was very good, as were both fish entrees our friends ordered. Needless to say, we're hoping the debut menu of the new chef is not a sign of what's to come!

Just awesome
Reviewer: Ashleigh Carracino from Santa Barbara, CA
As two busy workaholics, some of the only quality time my boyfriend and I get is at brunches on the weekends. He chose the Biltmore brunch buffet today. I gave him a panicked look when I heard the price, but we went for it. It was great. They seated us (two schmucks in strange outfits, I was dressed to go to work after, and with no reservation!) at this great table right by a window, nice bench/couch seat... happy medium between indoor and outdoor seating. I am addicted to oysters and caviar and had my fill. The desserts were GORGEOUS and delicious and plentiful. The orange juice was great too. Service was attentive but not intrusive AT ALL. DEFINITELY coming back some time we can be less rushed.

Wonderful experience
Reviewer: John from Ventura, CA
My wife and I stayed at the resort and enjoyed dinner at Bella Vista on our final night. We were promptly seated and the service was absolutely exceptional. Our drinks were never empty, the waiter explained the various menu items clearly and he was extremely professional. The food was wonderful! I ordered a steak with truffle whipped potatoes and a savory cheese/cauliflower souffle, and it was simply great. My wife's salmon and vegetables were equally as delicious. The staff added a classy touch at the end of our night. About an hour before our meal, we made a reservation with the hostess and mentioned, in passing, that we were celebrating the upcoming birth of our first child. Later that night, as we were finishing our decadent desserts, the waiter brought out a glass platter with an assortment of chocolates, and the word "Congratulations" written in chocolate. It is this personal touch that sets the Bella Vista apart. Don't miss this place!

dinner for two
Reviewer: alisha nicole lucas from Santa Barbara, CA
the location is really cool with the ocean right next to you if you sit outdoors which i recommend over sitting inside. the food was exceptionally good and worth the price. the service wasn't at the same level but still alright. the atmosphere was perfect for a dinner date and it was my first time there but i am sure i will return soon.

Beautiful Sunday buffet 7/19/09
Reviewer: Leonard from Santa Barbara, CA
Although I have been to the Biltmore in the past, I was a little leary about going back after reading such negative reviews on this site. But here we go. I'm not into eating at 'buffets'....maybe because there are way too many choices of food and one tends to eat too much..., but we had out of town guests and thought the location at the Biltmore would be ideal. It's a beautiful setting, and we had a great table. And, of course, with 6 people and costing over $500.00, you would expect something special....and we weren't disappointed. The service was very nice, not rushed and friendly. And the food was really excellent.....wonderful choices of salads, seafoods, meats, etc....and of very high quality....rack of lamb, cavier, etc. Our guests were impressed and actually, so were we. Would certainly return for a special, relaxed occassion.

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