This is a great restaurant for a group outing after a long day of wine tasting. The service has always been just so-so, but the pastas and meats are very good and most importantly, its a great way to either:
- finish off the day with nice wine and good comfort food,
- or alternatively get the night started with a full belly of food and stumble next door to the fun-filled local spot, Maverick's Saloon!
Yes, Yes this restaurant is famous from the Movie Sideways where Miles and his buddies enjoyed tasty meals while discussing the fine nuances of wine. But for good reason! This place offers a delectable menu of Californian-Mediterranean cuisine ranging from a butternut squash salad to salmon. If you are in the area, you must stop at this place for at least appetizers and wine. This is an amazing romantic destination for those who are looking to escape the thunderous traffic and daily life of Los Angeles. Come for an afternoon and end up staying the weekend!
Favorite Dish: Torta Rustica with turkey, smoked ham, spinach, roasted peppers and fontina baked in brioche is a great lunch suggestion.
In the evening, my go to is the Lamb Shank braised in red wine, tomato, sweet onion, and herbs, served with cous cous, market vegetables and natural jus, for a memorable dinner.
I was referred to this place by the guys who started VirtualTourist and my girlfriend and I loved it! Situated in the heart of Santa Barbara wine country - there was a 'small-town' feel to the area. The atmosphere was comforting and quaint. The food was delicious, savory and flavorful in every bite. Needless to say, the wine list featured some of the regions great bottles. The staff was attentive and extremely knowledgeable of the menu as well as the wine list. This place is a must if you will be dining in the area.
Favorite Dish: The special beet (red & golden) spinach salad with goat cheese, poached cherries and whole wheat honey mustard vinaigrette was sumptuous. I enjoyed the rack of lamb and the combination of spices together with is subtle sauce made it divine!
Yeah, yeah, this is the restaurant where the Merlot argument takes place in the movie “Side ways.” I can tell you that I actually don’t even remember what I had for dinner – it could have had something to do with the fact that I had been wine tasting all day, but I also think it was because the meal really wasn’t very memorable. I do remember the dessert being really good.
The cool thing about the café is that it’s in downtown Los Olivos, and it has a really nice patio with heat lamps if you want to sit outside. The wine store next door is owned by the same people, so if you buy a wine at the store, I think they only charge you $5.00 corkage if you drink it at the restaurant. We actually brought our own wine (Insignia 1997, and a Caymus 1997), and they charged us $20.00 a bottle. The service was very good, and the ambience was nice. This place gets crowded, so make your reservations early. They will take walk-ins around 5:00 if you’re done tasting, you can go straight to dinner and have a chance of getting a table. Plus, you’ll be in a food induced coma by 8:00 PM, so you’ll have that going for you…which is nice.
Favorite Dish: I think the Kobe beef is supposed to be good, though I don't really remember tasting mine. I do know that my table was very happy with the desserts.
My wife and I spent our first night in Sideways country having dinner at Patricks. Let me just start out by saying the food was great. A complimentary bread basket is brought to the table along with a nice mystery spread that tuned out to be a delicious white bean dip. For appetizers, Lobster Bisque teeming with sweet lobster and butter, some butter, and maybe a little butter and a house salad I could not finish. My wife had a calamari steak the size of a frisbee and I had some wonderful (although slightly undercooked) pork medallions with a sherry and mustard sauce. Yummy. I asked our waitress for a recommendation of a local white wine and she masterfully suggested a Rusack Sauvignon Blanc. Very crisp with aromas of grapefruit and other citrus. Perfect for the calamari.
The place is very quaint. Looks like it may have been an old general store with a porch out front a veranda upstairs, quirky art on the walls (for sale) and an open kitchen. Great wine list, lots of local wines.
Patrick is a colorful character not afraid to speak his mind. He is known to, and did on our visit, grab a glass of wine and spend time with people at the tables, some of whom seemed to be locals. He also claims (and made good on) that the restaurant is pet friendly. About half way through our meal, a local Husky made his way to the restaurant. Patrick invited him in and he met all the patrons including us. Didn't even try to mooch food from us.....much. ;)
If I have any issues it is this. Language and "adult" conversation. As mentioned before Patrick is a colorful individual and this extends to his vocabulary. Not constant, but there were occasional mentions of "casual" conversation and an instance of "adult" joking around. 'nuff said. I would bet things would be different should kiddos be around.
Overall a nice dinner with some interesting people in a quaint location. I recommend Patrick's highly.
I had the displeasure of stopping by the Side Street Cafe this past Saturday evening, 21 May 2006. My girlfriend and I were simply checking out the music and Patrick, the chef/owner was rude and obnoxious. He asked us if we had reservations and when we said, "no, we just heard the music," he went into a condescending "buh-bye, no really, buh bye." Thinking he was kidding we continued to watch the band. He then proceeds to tell us to move off to the side because we were blocking the view of a table behind us. I told my girlfriend the guy was terribly rude. Apparently, Patrick is a great eavesdropper because he then says to me, "Simmer down Bubba." I certainly hope the food is good. Even if it is, his manners are inexcusable. Other restaurants exist that treat people well and serve great food. Side Street Cafe is not one of them. Join me in boycotting this restaurant.
This is a beautiful stop for lunch on the patio or an inviting place for dinner. Los Olivos in general is getting more crowded on the weekends so you might have a wait if you go at noon or dinner time. If you visit mid-week the crowds are minimal - mostly locals, and the wait is much shorter if any. Their menu is always changing but always fabulous. It has gained recent fame from being featured as the restaurant used for the double date in 'Sideways' which adds to the wait sometimes.
I find this restaurant the most enjoyable in the small town of Los Olivos. (You only have so many options.)
I listed the price per person as $11 to $20 but it is really more like $15 to $30 depending on what you order. Two could get out easily for under $45 including tip or over $100 if you like wine.
Favorite Dish: Their pizzas are fantastic. The pot roast is exactly what you would want in a pot roast. Their food preparation is unique and artistic. Their wine list is very extensive.
This is a new little restaurant, i think its only been open for 6 months or so (March of 2003)
The chef (Patrick Rand) owns and operates the restaurant. He's quite chatty. We didn't talk to him but we heard him talking ot many of his patrons. He prides himself that his restaurant is "chef operated" and I have to say it was refeshing to see a sole proprietor, who is also the chef, running a restaurant. It seems like everywhere you turn these days, there is some large corporate owned chain. The Side Street Cafe is a definite exception to the current trend and delicious as well.
Also, all the salads are grown out back in the chef's own garden. I'm not sure how he's going to keep that up as his business grows, but for now it's awesome.
Favorite Dish: I had the Meateater... it was a great prime rib sandwich. I'd compare it to the prime rib sandwich from Houston's and if you've ever had that... you know how good this sandwich is.
Everything looked great.
The owner Patrick - Rude
The atmosphere - Tense
The food - Ok, not memorable
The Staff - unskilled
No value for your buck here. Many other choices in town to enjoy and choose from.