Last weekend my husband and I celebrated our anniversary and we had the opportunity to visit one of our favorite places, Santa Ynez. The area is famous for its Pinot Noir, especially since the movie Side Ways, but we love it for so much more.
The hospitality in the valley is always accommodating and our favorite place to stay is the Santa Ynez Inn. The Inn went through a renovation and expansion a few years back and the rooms are quite large with jacuzzi tubs. The rates are not cheap, but reasonable especially in the winter and if you can break out mid week, even better. We had a great dinner at a relatively new place in town called the SY Kitchen just a block from the Inn.
The menu is loaded with Farm-To-Table recipes and if we hadn’t indulged on the guacamole and seven-layer dip at the Inns happy hour/super bowl party, we might of eaten more. We started with the Wood-Oven Roasted Artichoke with Mediterranean Mayo. The artichoke with cooked perfectly with a hint of smoke and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. The mayo was nice, but unnecessary – the artichoke held its own.
Our second course was the Grilled Prawn Salad with Avocado, Spinach and Almonds. I just love Prawns, especially from Santa Barbara and these were divine. The chef split them before grilling and the flavors were ocean fresh and warmed the spinach slightly.
For our entree we split the Short Rib Pappardelle. Fresh pasta, made in house, tossed in a light red sauce with soft shredded beef. The pasta was al dente and the sauce coated the noodles perfectly.
The SY Kitchen has several meat and fish entrees and an extensive specials menu, depending upon the night. The Rib Eye for two and the Kurobuta Pork Chop are next on our list! SY Kitchen is open for dinner nightly and lunch Wednesday -Saturday, definitely worth a trip.