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Pierre Lafond Wine Bistro
516 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 962-1455

  • Category: American
  • Hours: Mon-Sun 7am-10pm
  • Chef: Nathan Heil
  • Price: < $10
  • Serving: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner
  • Reservations: No
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Reviews by the General Public

Reviewer: Jennifer from Santa Barbara, CA
Do NOT eat here! I had a late lunch yesterday (6/15/2012) the ham, turkey & goat cheese panini with salad. The salad was 1/3 old, rotten lettuce (which I did not eat) and the sandwich was not worth eating. Staff service is poor as well, due to it being slow, even though there were only a few tables with customers. Our waitress brought me lemonade with no ice - ridiculous. The staff needs to be trained in proper food handling - that's all I can say due to the restrictions of posting on this site.

a good weekend that ended bad.
Reviewer: Amar from Los Angeles CA
My girlfriend and I were visiting in Santa Barbara to top off a weekend getaway. Being LA locals, we have become use to higher priced bistros. At first Pierre Lafond's seemed like suitable choice. But we are sadly disappointed. My lady ordered the steak entree and i ordered blackened chicken salad. The food portions were small which we somewhat expected from a french bistro. But after taking a few bites the steak which was ordered a medium was definitely rare and was almost cold in the center. The quality of meat was fatty and tough which was surprising being that it was one of the higher priced items on the menu. My salad seemed more like a curried chicken than a blackened chicken and it was so over powered by the feta cheese that it became too much to bare by the end of the dish. Both meals seemed thrown together in a fashion in which care and quality were completely abandoned. Our server seemed more interested in impressing ladies at the bar. To the point that we were pawned off on other servers and had to wait a quite bit of time to receive the check. In short, over priced, small portions, bad quality cuts of meat, poor preparation and lack of attention to detail. Don't eat here if you are looking for a memorable experience in dining unless it's a bad memory your looking for.

Pierre Lafond: Please do not call yourself a wine bar
Reviewer: sally from Santa Barbara, CA
Review of Pierre Lafond by a SB local: I was wanting a class of wine on a holiday, every restaurant was closed EXCEPT this one. I'm a local and should know better to succumb to desperation, but I did. They offer two brands of wine: their own label (BLAH!) and Santa Barbara Winery (double BLAH!). As a rule I don't eat/drink on lower State st. as this is for tourists and the quality is poor and prices high.

Reviewer: edward from Santa Barbara, CA
brunch: eggs and sausage and coffee very good, soggy potatoes - re-heated - I hate soggy potatoes - a restaurant of this class should know better service good , but was not interested in criticism of poatatoes

Espresso Drinks are WORST in SB
Reviewer: SB Native and Downtown Local from Santa Barbara, CA
Good food and nice servers BUT... the espresso coffee drinks are the WORST (weakest) in SB. They used to be pretty good a year or so ago, but as a SB native and downtown resident and business owner I love to head out for coffee mid-morn or mid-afternoon I avoid this place and even prefer Starbuck's to it. Some of us locals joke about it, but its not that funny as Pierre's is one of the few old-time local SB businesses remaining on State Street. Management/owners would do well to get a decent NON-auto espresso machine and actually TRAIN staff on the proper preparation of espresso drinks and how to froth the milk properly. Sure hope they fix this aspect.

Most Enjoyable
Reviewer: Sandra & Grant from Santa Barbara, CA
First time in Santa Barbara, walking down State Street and we stopped in the Wine Bistro at the start of Happy Hour... the best thing that could happen on a friday afternoon! Our server, Aaron was most pleasant and our wines... OMG and the cheese plate... OMG! We just might jump on Amtrak from Naperville, IL and visit SB again... on a lazy train ride instead of busy flights!

Bad outweights Good - A Lot!
Reviewer: Steven from Santa Barbara, CA
My wife and I have been here a few times before, and love the large windows and shaded terrace, but we've also come away thinking that this would be our last time. But this last visit is definitely our last time. First the good. We were seated promptly, brought waters and a basket of two types of warm bread, along with soft butter and dipping oil. The server seemed nice, and promptly returned with our cold draft beers (although $7 drafts seem pricey). When we were having trouble with entree selection, she placed our order for two bowls of French onion soup. The soup itself was dark, rich and full of flavor, but the gruyere cheese did not cover the full circumference of the bowl. My wife ordered the Greek shrimp salad, which was a heavily dressed, chopped romaine mess; still, despite too many bottled roasted red peppers, it was edible. By contrast, the seared salmon I ordered was so coated with a horrible tangerine ketchup sauce, that I decided to order something else after two small bites. The disappointing salmon was only made worse by the pile of undressed watercress and the simply weird quinoa/cucumber molded tower. Yuck. Now, when I placed the alternate order, the server was very kind to say that the first entree would be comped, but then the service changed altogether. A man (the manager?) came to the table to see what I wanted to order, and I requested the blackened chicken salad. After 20 minutes or so, I asked about the status of the order, and the guy said it was up next in the queue (I grumbled that they could have knocked out a salad in five minutes). When it did arrive about 10 minutes later, my wife had mostly finished, so I was left to eat alone. This salad was also heavily dressed, and the scattering of red peppers and black beans seemed haphazard. The chicken itself was nicely cut on the bias, but was dry and coated with bitter paprika. No one came by to see how things were, and I suppose they were glad when we left.

Continues to be Excellent
Reviewer: Krista and Tony from Goleta
This was our fourth time dining at the PL Wine Bistro. Luckily we made it during happy hour 4:30-6:30 and found that they do have a fantastic one. $5 SB winery wines by the glass (including their Pinot Noir) and some of their great flatbreads as app. specials. They've also got a small but good selection of tap beers. My wife and I had the excellent smoked chicken and roasted pepper flatbread to start, wonderful flavors and a very decent sized portion. I had planned on ordering the double-cut pork chop which I know is excellent but ended up just getting the Italian meat panini, which featured salami, prosciutto and spicy soppressata. Excellent. I'd definitely order it again. My wife had the spinach salad which featured pears, bleu cheese and roasted pumpkin seeds. We definitely didn't order any thing particularly sophisticated but both meals were prepared well and tasted great. Pierre Lafond has a great wine list which is (not surprisingly) heavy on their own brands (La Fond and SB Winery). Luckily those labels are generally quite good and there are definitely other options by the bottle or glass if you like. My only complaint here is that non happy-hour wine prices have gotten a bit steep. They may have just raised them to capitalize on summer tourists but $15, $16 and $17+ glasses of wine are getting a bit out of hand (IMO). After all were not talking about SQN, Caymus or LaTour here, these are local wines that RETAIL for $15-$25. FWIW their online menu doesn't reflect the current "summer" prices as of this writing. OK enough wanking about that though, I really like this place, they've got a great little patio and a lot of indoor seating as well. Indoors its really nice and light during the day owing to the high ceiling and huge wrap-around front windows which also make it intimately dark but not claustrophobic at night. We've always had good to great service here and the only knock is that occasionally our servers don't have complete knowledge of the items on the menu. We tend to ask a lot of questions about dishes and it can be difficult if you don't know what a particular ingredient is and neither does the staff. Thats minor though and in all other aspects, service has been wonderful.

Reviewer: karen smith from Santa Barbara, CA
Had breakfast here this morning. I love this place for lunch, dinner and just a glass of wine. Disappointed in my choice of the strata...I would probably have described it as a monte cristo.

Reviewer: Anna from Santa Barbara, CA
We came here for an early morning weekday breakfast and were suprised by the fact that no one else entered the restaurant while we were there. We had the cheese blintzes and french toast and they were served hot and full of flavor. Also the heaping cup of coffee was great too. The waitor made sure our cups were always full and that we did not have to ask for anything. I will defintely go back for their evening menu as I liked the atmosphere and food.

Totally enjoyable
Reviewer: karen smith from Santa Barbara, CA
Had a great evening here. The flatbreads are to die for..we had the mushroom and brie.

Fantastic Happy Hour
Reviewer: CAP from Santa Barbara, CA
Terrific time at happy hour. Great wines by the glass for $5.00. Cheese plate was delicious with generous portions. Jenna was our server. She was attentive and professional. Definitely my new favorite place!!

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