MATTEI’S TAVERN UPDATE

Reader Gabrielle let me know that the restaurant at Mattei’s Tavern in Los Olivos (formerly Brothers Restaurant) is scheduled to open in July under the supervision of chef Robbie Wilson. Wilson’s wife Emily, who is a managing partner of the new restaurant, reportedly has said that the look of the establishment won’t undergo any major changes.

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21 Responses to MATTEI’S TAVERN UPDATE

  1. Pete Durand says:

    That’s great to know! I hope they will do very well…. Will they be serving just dinner, or are they going after the Lunch business in town too?

  2. ahs says:

    I will be waiting for The Brothers to open in The Red Barn. I can’t imagine going to a new Mattei’s!

  3. christine! says:

    Photos are circulating on Facebook of the new look inside the restaurant and locals for the most part, are vowing never to go in….some of the same are upset at the changes being made at the Red Barn.

    I am suspicious myself, but withhold judgment until seeing the completed project and how they treat the history of the building & location. While change is good and needed- remembering the past is equally as useful a tool, and worth mentioning that out of town guests don’t keep a business thriving….

    Good Luck!

  4. Teri says:

    Just checked out the ‘new’ Mattei’s Tavern last night! It’s
    stunning inside! Still maintains the traditional Mattei’s charm but
    with some much needed upgrades (bathrooms). Dinner was very good
    but with most ‘new’ restaurants, opening night usually comes with a
    few chinks and this was no exception. I have so many compliments
    several complaints too but I’ll just touch on a few things. Of our
    4 dinners, we returned 1 (fish special, $28), 1 received a ‘hmmm,
    it’s ok’ (halibut), my pork dish was very good and the winner by a
    landslide was the rotisserie chicken dinner. It was beyond words…
    The creamed corn side ($14 for a sm. side dish) was also
    outstanding and the brussel sprouts side was very good too. We
    ordered 3 of the 4 salads offered on the menu and the mixed green
    with cashews & grapes was outstanding, one with a big chunk
    of undercooked bacon & fruit was not so good… The salumi
    (yes, salumi) & greens salad was pretty good but… Our
    appetizer of misc. deep fried seafood was a hit and the dipping
    sauce was to die for! Beignets were our desert and well… I
    wondered if they’d been friend in the same oil as the fish.
    Slightly odd in flavor… As for the extensive wine list, I am not
    familiar enough with ‘French’ wines to judge. I knew very few wines
    on their list and I do not think any were under $50 a bottle. The
    least expensive Chardonnay by the glass was $13 and it was average
    in my opinion and happens to be owned by the same owners of
    Mattei’s. It goes without saying that you get a large glass with
    what appears to be hardly a shot of wine in the glass. I really,
    really hate that. It’s just not eye appealing to me. I feel like
    I’m being cheated. My last complaint… Why hire a staff of all
    children with no experience? Yes, we all have to learn but it would
    sure be nice if there had been a seasoned wait staff in light of
    the fact that this is a very upscale place. Overall, I give it 4 of
    5 stars and am very hopeful that in a few more months they’ll have
    all the kinks worked out and I’ll be able to up the stars!

  5. Charlotte says:

    $14 for a small side of creamed corn? $13 for a crappy pour of local wine? Mediocre food, staff not trained…Oh how I loved the old place.

    • Harvey says:

      Charlotte…….you probably wouldn’t, nor couldn’t understand their concept anyway. Yes, the history of Mattei’s is legendary, but the old food…..was, let’s say was old. My valley deserves a place like this. Your unexperienced & toxic opinions should be focused on real issues in the world. This is simply food.

      • Charlotte says:

        Your valley? Inexperienced and toxic? And I thought writing our opinions of food was the objective here. I wasn’t bashing the place, just a few critiques. And, yes I liked the old place and the old food…my opinion, like it or not.

        • Harvey says:

          “Old…old…old.” I agree. Like the “old” days: women couldn’t vote, people of color sat in the back of the bus, etc.. Thanks to people like you, we could have our own little Deliverance, CA.. Girl, try and be nice. Have some class & show some respect. It’s just a restaurant. Perhaps you would be ok with the community commenting on how ugly your children are?

  6. Pete Durand says:

    Oh now we see the new age paid internet character assassinatetors, who are coming out to put a bad light on a great and historic location. There saying bad things just because their some new kids on the bock who have dug into their pockets so they can reopen a restaurant that should have never closed. One would think that small towns and communities are very cruel and thought less, but in reality in today’s world there are still those that wish to crush a business before it even gets started. They think that is the way you handle potential competition. It’s not, and it only breeds more business for the new guy. You see it’s kinda like what my grandfather told me once long ago. He said your know Pete, people are going to talk about you. some are going to say good things and some are going to say bad things, but when they all stop talking about you, all together, that’s when you have yourself a real problem! I think that people who open restaurants want to and will do there very best to serve good high quality food. That’s what restaurant people do! Why I’ll never know, money motivates for sure, but people who dish up food have the need for you to like what they serve. Give the folks serving food at Matties a break, everyone has growing and start up pains. My wish to the good people now running Mattie’s that they will will grow and prosper, offering us wonderful food, from it’s truly historic location. I personally have a lot to gain if they do. I drive a dinner ride cab and I know where all the good yummy places are.

  7. Joel says:

    Went to Mattei’s Tavern last Saturday with a couple friends and I really have to disagree about the remark about them hiring “children with no experience”, our server was knowledgeable with every dish on the menu as well as all the wines by the glass which was a surprise to us because usually the staff can take a while to learn the menu with a newly opened establishment… I understand that because you see a server in their mid 20′s you may mistake that for inexperience but the staff that I encountered was not only hospitable but answered every question we had in beautiful detail (we like to try and quiz the waitstaff to really see if they know what they are talking about). I did notice the wine pours seemed a little lower than I expected but the wine glasses are quite large which can make it seem like less (I never understand why people buy wines b/t glass when you can just share a bottle between the table anyway). We did both the ice cream sunday & beingets after dinner and it was damn tasty, even though it took the kitchen a little while to get them out to us, however we expected some hiccups since it was the first weekend open. Highly recommend either the hamachi or crunchy sea creatures to start and skirt steak with peppers for dinner (get the creme corn brulee as a side)…you will not be disappointed. Great addition to the Santa Barbara cuisine scene, and look forward to seeing what else they come up with in the future!

    • Teri says:

      Joel, My comment on the wait staff had nothing to do with ‘seeing a server in their mid 20′s you may mistake that for inexperience’… In fact, my experience was based upon lack of knowledge of menu, how food was prepared, knowledge of wine, staff standing around, conduct, etc…(it was the 1st night & I expected kinks – that’s normal & ok). I am thrilled that you had the opposite experience as I really want this place to flourish & grow in our Valley. I am confident that these folks care enough to continue to grow & develop as one of our premier restaurants and I am very much looking forward to going back.

      I must agree, the crème corn brulee is SO good as are the crunchy sea creatures… (drooling).

      I think I will be trying the skirt steak next time if I can manager to pass by the rotisserie chicken which was off the charts!

      • Glenn says:

        I think that’s why us “reviewers” who pretend to be professionals(I’m not but still review things for fun) should probably wait for a week? a month? to write a review for a place to go through its growing pains as its really a moot review until they figure things out and like others have said give them a chance, even if it is tempting to want a review a place the day it opens.

  8. Margo Kenney says:

    We just drove up to Los Olivos yesterday to get Mr.
    Dittmar’s Fuji apples before they are all gone. After seeing the
    mobs of people at Los Olivos Cafe and Sides, we went over to
    Mattei’s Tavern to see what the new owners had done with it. We’d
    heard the hoopla about their redoing it and trying ( and
    succeeding) to redo some of the old cabins as hotel rooms. It was
    more upscale than we had imagined, but it was all beautiful.
    Luckily they were serving lunch and would let us sit outside with
    our dog. They’ve done a wonderful job with the grounds and
    restaurant. Needed new bathrooms. Very nice. They didn’t mess too
    much with the ancient bar, just fixed it up. What a relief. It’s
    been there so long and has such great history. The wine and beer
    were good and served in interesting glassware, just as the cutlery
    and plates. The servers removed and replaced everything with each
    course, making the pricesx seem more warranted. Knowledgable
    waitress who knew what she was doing. The lunch menu had items from
    the dinner menu (at the same price!). Excellent presentation,
    interesting twists on flavors and ingredients. The salmon was very
    good, with manybchivrscsbd ginger strips painstakingly applied on
    top. Grilled artichoke was delicious, but most outer leaves (my
    favorite part) were removed. The bitter greens and smoked baby
    turnips were good, too, but disappointingly, the bitter greens were
    Swiss chard. The waitress explained that this was what the supplier
    had substituted. That’s a shame, but expected when ingredients are
    local, fresh, and limited. It’s wonderful to see new menus that
    empacize fresh vegetables well-prepared in interesting ways. All in
    all, we hope the new Mattei’s Tavern survives and thrives.

  9. Charlotte says:

    I can’t wait to go out there and check it out. I am so over Los Olivos cafe and Sides is ok. But overpriced but good. What got me was the 4 oz. $14. Glass of local Rose that came out of the wall, (which I appreciate) but pass a little of your savings to consumer and give a generous pour. I hate that.

  10. christine! says:

    Margo- it was a Stagecoach stop- so yes its ancient. There is no hotel yet- the side houses are just that, houses.

    I am waiting for a Chef who believes enough in the place to LIVE HERE.

    Local purveyors do have bitter greens, so whoever is supplying them, isn’t from the Santa Ynez Valley/Santa Barbara County….

    • Lily says:

      I wouldn’t automatically assume they aren’t getting their produce from local purveyors. Restaurants like these receive orders every day. It is possible that there were only limited quantities or happened to be not have any for that particular day.

    • Harvey says:

      Christine! – you are obviously a complete moron. Do you have any idea what you are talking about? My neighbor’s daughter actually works at Mattei’s & the Chef & his wife DO live there(in a small cottage on the property). In fact, it is being remodeled so I’m not sure where they reside currently until it’s completed. Keep your Mayberry backwoods attitude in check. We are lucky to have them in our valley. I’m sure their restaurant is beyond your comprehension anyway!

    • ITA#1 says:

      Chrisitne! – I am a local chef here in Santa Ynez. I have
      also eaten at Mattei’s x 2 times. I am not sure where you get your
      info from, but swiss chard is considered “bitter greens.” So are
      mustard greens, dandelion greens, etc.. As a professional, I am in
      awe of their project, not to mention educated enough to understand
      what they mean. Even better, about 80% of their produce is grown by
      a local farmer, because I buy some of the same ingredients as well.
      Think before you attempt to judge. Lay off the Ted Cruz
      please.

  11. christine! says:

    Lily- I was going off the comment Margo made about the “local” produce. When the Chef won’t live here- I assume he isn’t as interested in making sure the details are covered…..

    ” That’s a shame, but expected when ingredients are
    local, fresh, and limited.”

  12. Jen says:

    I went to Mattei’s yesterday for an event and had both lunch and dinner there… Both were delicious and among the best meals I’ve ever had in the Santa Barbara area. Lunch was outside in their beautiful garden, with pizzas from their wood fire pizza oven… Their “bee sting”pizza may have been the best pizza I’ve ever had. Dinner was in the restaurant, everything we had was amazing… The cote de boeuf was one of the best steak dishes I’ve ever had. I was told they’re not doing the pizzas yet on a regular basis, but as soon as they are… I’ll be heading back up there…. It’s more than worth the drive from SB.

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