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Stonehouse Restaurant
900 San Ysidro Ln, Montecito
Phone: (805) 565-1724

Reviews by the General Public

Stonehouse Raves
Reviewer: Meridith Moore from Santa Barbara, CA
Last night's dining experience at the Stonehouse Restaurant was so wonderful, it feels like a dream. The setting in the San Ysidro Ranch cannot be topped, the service was impeccable but not cloying. The food as good as it gets... my trout had been caught that morning and rested atop baby vegetables and lobster bits... The amber lighting and furnishings put me at ease immediately so as to be able to enjoy every minute there. I cannot recommend it enough.

Once was great.....
Reviewer: Cindy from Santa Barbara, CA
Stonehouse has been my favorite restaurant since moving to Santa Barbara in 2002. This last week my husband and I chose Stonehouse for our 33rd anniversary dinner. We requested a table inside by a window, away from the fireplace when making the reservation. When we arrived, the valet immediately began giving us directions to Plow and Angel. We were dressed appropriately for a more formal setting. The hostess tried seating us at a table right next to the fireplace on the inside wall. Exactly two things we asked to avoid. There were only two other people in the entire room with our 6 pm reservation so there was no reason for not fulfilling our request. We were moved when my husband mentioned our reservation request. Our waitress was not like any other we have experienced at Stonehouse. Her voice was very loud. She offered us cocktails and when I ordered a Belvedere neat she asked if I wanted fruit, then asked if I wanted olives, then asked if I wanted it chilled. At this point it's clear she is not familiar with the term "neat" and I hope the bartender is. The room was exceptionally dark. Darker than ever before. All the wall art lighting was pointed directly at the upper frame rather than the center of the piece adding to the darkness. The flameless candles on the table really are entirely useless and tacky. The room is gracious and deserves an actual votive. We had to ask for the bread / lavosh serving. The house salad was delicious and fresh. Thirty minutes between salad and entree. The asparagus (6 pieces) was barely off raw. Our entrees were just OK in terms of taste and room temperature. A $48 piece of salmon (ordered cooked through) should be delivered very warm or nice and hot, not room temperature. A side note, $28 for a glass of chardonnay is ridiculous. Our recent dinner at Harbor House on Stearns Wharf proved far superior on all levels. I have RAVED about the Stonehouse for 10 years so it gives me no pleasure to write this review. When we left there were only 4 tables of 2 (including us) inside yet all three waiters (including ours) were tending to a table of 6 on the patio. This could explain room temperature entrees. Food and service used to measure up to your price point. It's a real shame your prices have gone up while food prep and service have gone down.

Disappointing dinner at a favorite restaurant
Reviewer: Don from Montecito, CA
The Stonehouse is our favorite restaurant for celebrations, but the dinner for our 50th anniversary was a disappointment. The spring roll turned out to be more like a fried taco, than the light, fresh roll we expected. The flavoring of the risotto was too heavy to pair well with the lobster, and my wife thought the seasoning of the sauce for her pasta a bit overwhelming. The cheese cake preparation for desert was delicious. The entire service experience was excellent. A bottle of sparkling rose and tip brought the dinner to over $400 for the two of us. For the first time, we were disappointed by this restaurant, and the value received was not commensurate with the price.

A Disappointing Special Meal At The Stonehouse
Reviewer: Robert Silvy from Kansas City, MO
I was in Santa Barbara to treat my wife to a wonderful Motherís Day weekend and for her to meet my cousin and her husband for the first time. I booked a reservation at the Stonehouse Restaurant via OpenTable, where I stressed this was a special occasion, how we are foodies and would appreciate outstanding service. We were served seated promptly for our 6:30pm reservation on May 7 inside the restaurant, as outside seating was filled. What surprised us was the inconsistency of service. When a restaurant has entrees with $50+ price points, I expect nothing less than perfect service. The service lapses began after we finished our starter. Our server, Brendan, came out twice to explain our meal would be forthcoming and then it still didnít come out. Ultimately 30+ minutes passed before the entrees were served. Nearly 25 minutes passed between the time we finished eating and the plates were finally removed. By then, we had been in the restaurant for over two hours and lost any enthusiasm for finishing the evening with desert or coffee. I would expect a restaurant of the caliber of Stonehouse to have procedures that when a lengthy delay occurs, a manager would intercede proactively to address and resolve the issue. Offering complimentary dessert, some after-dinner drinks or adjusting the final check, might have eliminated the need for me to write this note. Iím hopeful the management of the Stonehouse Restaurant will appreciate this constructive feedback and resolve our lingering disappointment. They can find my contact information via OpenTable.

Didn't meet the expectations
Reviewer: Meagan from Santa Barbara, CA
We recently visited The Stonehouse with high expectations. Having made the reservation months in advance for a special occasion/large party we expected our specific requests to be accommodated as they had been confirmed, but they were not upon arrival. Half of our guests sat in the blazing sun and they only brought out one additional umbrella. Over all service was decent, bussers and runners were the best, polite and professional but our main server kept making inappropriate server jokes, only showed up a few times, and forgot about drinks his attitude was too casual for that quality of dining. Also, the preset menu had the price printed on it, tacky for that kind of restaurant. Not to be a complete downer the food was amazing, just being in the restaurant business I noticed quite a few missed details and it was disappointing since the Stonehouse has such a high reputation.

A wonderful experience
Reviewer: Isis and Bryan from Santa Barbara, CA
Last night was fabulous. I was astonished at how reasonably priced dinner was. The quality of food and service was superb. We recommend the tuna tar tar, the Dianne steak and a good bottle of Spanish wine for under $40. Romantic it is, a delightful spot to relax. The decor is lovely, old school charm, the service was great. I look forward to going back for lunch very soon...The menu is the perfect length with the just the right amount to choose from...See you soon! Thank you Stonehouse crew...Isis and Bryan

I Wanted to Like It But Couldn't
Reviewer: Jim from Montecito. CA.
There is no doubt this is the most romantic, lovely place to eat in Montecito. It is also one of the more expensive with $100 a person about average for dinner. For that everything should go great. It wasn't. We arrived and were seated in the back of the deck which although nice is obscured by at least 3-5 tables to the view which is toward the water or the mountains. The two biggest issues were the lack of originality in the dishes available that evening and the prep. I must admit I am a bit of a foodie so when the appetizers are, Beet and Pear salad, ranch greens, a crab cake, and Caviar at an exhorbitant price I was unimpressed. This is standard good restaurant at half the price food. The mains were equally so what, lobster in risotto, salmon on a plank, diver scallops, roast rack of lamb. We had 4 different dishes - the lamb was a very nice size and over sauced, the salmon was no different than every restaurant in Seattle serves and panned seared scallops were only differentiated by the sauce it is a standard SB dish. By the way everyone sent their vegetables back as being uncooked - I mean vegetables with a sauce that were essentialy raw and hurt the older persons teeth. They took off the corkage, I brought a nice 76 Cab and the glass of wine for my mom but really. If you are going to set yourself up as the premier restaurant and chef around get a little originality and for gods sake please taste what you send out. Take a look at any of Gordon Ramsays Menus in London and that is what top of the line looks like or try Root 246 closer to home for the same menu at half the price. I was sadly dissapointed and wish I hadn't been. I live in this town and it gets harder to find great food.

Excellent food, great setting, attentive service
Reviewer: David Ellison from Portland, OR
Was in Santa Barbara on business and was taken here without preconceived notions. The setting was fabulous. The food was too. A watermelon gazpacho was an outstanding cool bright yellow soup with both sweet and salty hints, with a clear taste of cucumber. Small red melon balls floated in it, and set off the soup wonderfully. The lobster entree was very flavorful, cut in the shell, easy to remove, but not rubbery or synthetic tasting. It was on a bed of beans and other vegetables, which gave a distinct texture contrast. The mint gelato was a revelation, exhibiting the strongest and most appealing mint flavor. All in all, a great dinner.

Best Wine List In Santa Barbara
Reviewer: Bill Peardon from Santa Barbara, CA
Food is amazing, I'm a big fan of the crab cake (not cake-ish at all, just perfect crab). And as good as the food is, the wine list is even better, and although pricey, the list is the best by far in Santa Barbara. Kudos to whoever buys the wine for the Stonehouse/Plough & Angel! Making a reservation now for my wife's birthday on Saturday.

Forty Ninth Wedding Anniversary
Reviewer: Rita from Lodi, CA
Our son took us here for dinner for our 49th Wedding Anniversary. The grounds were beautiful. We sat outside and the evening was gorgeous. Our meal was excellent and the service was great. The only thing I can't figure out is why did the Second Anniversary couple get free champagne and port while we didn't get anything for 49 Years....Oh, well, we might try again on our 50th....

One Year Wedding Anniversary
Reviewer: Christian from Oxnard, CA
This place was ridiculous! The hostess was very nice and welcoming, but our server did not have a sense of humor. I inquired about scallop appetizers for my wife and I, and she informed us that there was only ONE SCALLOP which was $50! My wife and I could'nt stop laughing. What made our experience over the top was that right behind me, was a couple video taping each other tasting their ONE SCALLOP. The woman video taping sat literally a foot and a half away from her date's face. LOL It was insane! We wanted to laugh out loud but couldnt due to the quiet ambiance. After contemplating these things we decided to go somewhere where we wouldnt have to pay $100 for duck. Dont get us wrong, it was a beatiful location and property, but way too boujie. I guess maybe one day well reach that point of maturity. Thanks for the memorable evening.

Stonehouse Restaurant writes: Christian, I am terribly sorry to hear you did not get a chance to enjoy a meal with us. I will do my best to find out why you were told the scallop was $50 since it is actually priced at $18. Please allow me to recommend our Plow & Angel restaurant which is a more casual dining experience. If you wish to contact me please feel free to give me call. Chris Vigilante. Director of Restaurants. 805-565-1724
Best Service, I wish I could give them 10 Stars!
Reviewer: Nicole from Santa Barbara, CA
I celebrated my two year anniversary there last night and it was amazing. I had very high expectations and the Stonehouse managed to exceed even that! Our server, Eric, was amazing. When I made reservations I had mentioned it was our two year anniversary he congratulated us upon arriving. We placed our orders, got some drinks (really good blood orange margarita and prickley pear mojito) and then enjoyed the beauty of the outdoor seating and got to watch the sky change from day to night. After our appetizers (scallop and pork, I'd get the pork again, it was great, but the scallop was par) Eric gave us free glasses of champagne for our anniversary. Then our delciious main courses (lamb - to die for! and yummy halibut), dessert was a trio plate on which they wrote in chocolate "Happy 2nd Anniversary". We ended the night with free glasses of port. On the way out the valet congratulated us on our 2nd anniversary and pulled the car around for us right away. The restaurant director, Chris, helped me in my decision in picking this restaurant to dine at, he went out of his way to stop by my table and congratulate us. The whole night was wildly indulgent, they treat everyone like a star, the seating outside is breath takingly beautiful and the food is the best fine dining around. Wine Cask was the only one who could even dream of competing with them. This place is simply the best.

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