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Montecito Wine Bistro
516 San Ysidro Rd, Montecito
Phone: (805) 969-7520

Reviews by the General Public

Really Great Dinner
Reviewer: Vanessa from Santa Barbara, CA
I haven't been to this restaurant since it was Piatti's and happened to go there on a whim with a date. I just returned from Mexico two days ago and the atmosphere was perfect... spanish tiles, beautiful art and a fireplace that was delightful to sit next to. I had the Sea Bass en Papillote, which was delicious! The vegetables were flavorful and the fish was moist... and it was hot too! My date had the Watkins Ranch RT 33 Beef Bourguignon, which was full of flavor and the beef was moist and soft. There weren't a lot of people in the restaurant either at around 8pm on a Tuesday which made the setting romantic and very relaxing... almost like being in Europe. People in Montecito are missing out on this gem and go to Pane Vino, which didn't serve a very good meal when I ate there last week. Try this place out and enjoy!

good food, good service
Reviewer: Pat from Santa Barbara, CA
My friends and I went to Montecito Wine Bistro for lunch - had wild salmon BLT, pizza and Victor's Ravioli al Limone and shared a Kahlua Teramisu for dessert. The meals were excellent and the service excellent.

Sorry Pierre, this sucks!
Reviewer: o from Santa Barbara, CA
Old Piatti failed for among other reasons, they tried to serve up 1 to 3 day old wine and charge you full price for swill!! New 18 year old wine guy tried to convince me that pinot from 24 hours ago was just fine!! Well, Pierre the owner knows that pinot quality deteriates after 4 hours and refuses to listen to local (and other) wine enthusiastics. So even though jake the new chef is very experienced, this new attempt will fail, just like Piatti and the first 3 months of Pierre's ownership. What a nice location, and incompentence!! Just go to the Ranch or Lucky's!!

Everything we hoped for and more
Reviewer: Barnaby from Santa Barbara, CA
Shocked at the previous reviews but those pre-date the new chef who is turning out awesome dishes that are truly farm to table. Atmosphere is very comfortable. Service is attentive and friendly without hovering. Definitely worth going.

Bad Lunch
Reviewer: Werner from Camarillo, CA
I had lunch at the Wine Bistro a few days ago. It was one of the more memorable experiences I have had in a long time. The food was just terrible. I ordered a Turkey burger, sounds simple enough, right? Wrong, this one has the turkey patty, with turkey bacon, cheese, and some secret sauce on an English muffin. It was soggy and just didn’t taste good as demonstrated by my only eating half. I will Not be back.

Reviewer: Diane from Santa Barbara, CA
My Husband and I dined here months ago and it was ok but what have you done? This was nothing less than orgasmic. Whatever you are doing please more more more."I"ll have what she's having". We had the wild salmon ( The server told us it was copper river salmon only available a few weeks out of the year) I just want to relive these few weeks if it is. It was cooked perfectly over a cloud of potato puree that had some kind of celery flavor I guess?? And the olive oil brought me back to Italy. Everything on this plate danced in our mouths and to finish the chef came out and brought us dessert. It is about time Montecito has this type of restaurant. We have been back three times since and it just gets better and better. Thank You for this. We have been waiting for someone to open a place we call home.

Never again
Reviewer: Susan Gantz from Santa Barbara, CA
First visit. Liked the offering of wine flights from decent wineries. Delicious whole grain bread and butter brought to table after being seated. Ordered entrees only. One hour later, wine glasses empty and starting to get really hungry. Asked waiter about our dinner. Reply was the computer lost the order. Entrees finally served one hour and twenty minutes after ordering. Sea Bass was so underdone as to be raw in places. And the wrong vegetable side orders. Sent back. The pulled-apart pieces of raw fish now cooked through and unceremoniously replated on same dirty plate, vegetable sides still wrong. Finally brought correct sides. Chicken pot-pie entrée mediocre and brought to mind frozen Swanson’s from my youth, but with puff pastry on top. Waiter offered a free glass of wine or dessert. We wanted neither more wine nor dessert, thank you. Bartender came to table and offered to comp the entrees. Paid for the wine flights which we feel also should have been comped due to a thoroughly botched dinner on a Friday night out. Will never go here again.

Disappointing Dinner
Reviewer: Bradley from Santa Barbara, CA
The menu looked promising, but the preparation fell far short of our expectations. The crab & artichoke dip was only okay, served with dry/stale flatbread. The corn & shrimp fritters were also dry and flavorless. All six of us ordered different entrees, but only one of us was satisfied -- my brother said he liked his NY Steak Frites ($38). The rest of us felt our entrees were overcooked, dry, and flavorless. For example, the lobster tail I ordered was so overcooked, the meat was nearly impossible to remove from the shell! Our wine was served in warm glasses, apparently straight from the dishwasher. Clearly, the cooking and serving staff need better training.

$37 for 3 scallops !!!
Reviewer: Allison from Santa Barbara, CA
That's way overpriced even for Montecito standards. The service was great but the food was hardly better than average for the prices they are charging. Thought we might get a decent restaurant in Montecito that serves something besides Italian, guess not. It's another overpriced, mediocre food offering from Pierre La Fond et al..

Nearly Inedible
Reviewer: SB Michael from Santa Barbara, CA
Three of went. My seared salmon was dry, dry, dry. And so salty as to be nearly inedible. The duck as also too, too salty. The lamb shanks were overcooked, lacked flavor and again, too salty. Our group wanted seating to see the fireplace. Someone parked a stroller in front of the fireplace. The breeze from the front door was such that we asked to be moved. The busboy brought our half filled water glasses to the new table! I will not go back, but if I do and the food is not satisfactory, Back to the Kitchen! The service is a bit aggressive. They did not even have the Sperlari Polaris Caramella mints at the maitre d' podium.

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