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Root 246
420 Alisal Rd, Solvang
Phone: (805) 686-8681

Reviews by the General Public

Caution - prix fixe needs fixing
Reviewer: jinelle from Santa Barbara, CA
It may not be fair to review a New Years prix fixe menu with three fixed seatings as a proper survey of this restaurant during normal operations but over all impression was once was enough.

Because this was a fixed dinner seating we did not send back inferior items but it started right out with the very first two items (while artuflly presented) tasted seriously of being left in a refrigerator too long, and one of them was the table water! The other was a novel foie gras production that looked like a chocolate bon bon covering an interior filling of huckle berry jam - the foie gras outer coating was overly-harded and cold which absorbed the very faint but distinct refrigerator taste and only barely a hint of the underlying goose liver.

Next was an indifferent shrimp lentil combo where the whole was not more than the sum of its parts. What was called an "osso bucco" had nothing to do with the original and while high on the sensory ratings of salty, creamy, crunchy with a way too small tart counterpoint of the mere hint of a gremolata, it was not really food of any discernible nature or taste but merely a mouth appeal creation.

That left the main course which was triple-seared sirloin and an overly rich "tower" of thinly layered potato and carrots with probably a heavy cream based binder. The triple searing was from miso, soy and uni exterior smearings and again of no discernible flavor addition but was a nice piece of tender meat seared nicely while retaining a very pleasant interior pinkness. However after the first few and very rich high fat content prior courses there was little appetite to finish this.

Dessert was anticipated because it was described as a papaya souffle (or something) so its fruity lightness would have been welcomed at this point, but again it came out as some sort of overly rich frozen thing with only a hint of a papaya syrup along with some rich cookies and other side bits of again overly-rich dessert items.

So the whole effect of this New Years prix fixe ($200 total) was (for us) high fat, overkill menu with less attention than appropriate to its actual production and not a fine balanced dining experience. We will not be rooting for Root 246. Julienne and Downey's in SB remain our high-end special occasion dining choices.

Perfect dinner!
Reviewer: Mary Brockmeyer from Arcadia, CA
We had one of those memorable meals - the kind you remember forever. Celebrating our 20th anniversary by driving up to the Santa Ynez wine country, we went to Root 246 for our Friday night dinner. First of all, this is a great looking place. Our server, Dana, was not only darling, but knew the menu well, helped with our choices and made the whole night a great success. We shared the Maytag Bleu cheese souffle for a starter - it was tremendous. My husband had the Pork chop with sausages in a bacon vinaigrette, and I ordered the Fried Chicken with mashed potatoes and Fuji apple shreds. Dessert was lovely butterscotch pudding...Wow, wow, wow... GO!

Tuesday night specials
Reviewer: Rick from Solvang, CA
Have to share with everyone the special oyster night on Tuesday. $1.00 for great tasting, very fresh oysters. Have made a little Tuesday night visit several weeks in a row. Patio seating is perfect. We have oysters, some wine, usually their calamari and rock shrimp, and we like to try one other appetizer off the bar menu. Have never been dissapointed. Several times Chef Ogden has been there, and has even invited us back to see their kitchen. Amazing! Great for a mid week visit!

Hands down one of the best meals and best service in the Co
Reviewer: Liana from Santa Barbara, CA
Had dinner Saturday night, it was truly one of the best meals ever. Service was excellent, i have never had a steak seared so perfectly! Save room for desert because it is not to be missed. I will definately be back. The fresh squeezed lemonade was also a plus.

one of the best in SB County
Reviewer: Arthur from Santa Barbara, CA
Root 246 is amazing in nearly every category - quality of food, healthy choices, freshness, amazing variety of flavors, price - value it's one of the best of the best in the County. I've eaten there with two different groups of people, once for Sunday brunch and another time for dinner. The service needs a little more work but overall I give this very high marks. My residence is in Cito and it's worth the drive.

Truly the best restaurant in the area
Reviewer: Laurie from Santa Barbara, CA
Last night had dinner here - my second time, hubby's first. Everything about our experience was perfect - from the invitation to come into the kitchen when I was showing hubby around to the terrific service (Jennifer), wondrous food, and outstanding wine suggestions from Mel. My veal stew was such an inventive and delicious combinations of flavors and textures- veal short ribs (heavenly) with crispy sweetbreads and crunchy root vegetables. My husband had a smile on his face the entire meal, from the blue cheese souffle to the lamb shank. I wish we lived closer but worth staying next door just to be able to indulge in their food. Thank you Root 246 team!

Best dinner in SB!
Reviewer: Jocelyn from Santa Barbara, CA
Last night four of us went to Root 246 for the first time. The food and service far exceeded our expectations. The menu gives a variety of seasonal and interesting choices, and every dish and cocktail were perfectly prepared. Our server, Jennifer, was so friendly, personable, and attentive. Santa Barbara claims to have fine dining, but Root 246 is the only location that actually delivers on that promise.

The New Best Restaurant in Santa Barbara County
Reviewer: Jim Melillo from Santa Barbara, CA
I am a tough reviewer, just look at what I have written about Cava, Breakwater and Giovannis. I love Downeys and Olio and Bouchon. This is just better. First they have the money to build a kitchen that is beyond belief. Second we ate in the kitchen at the Chef's table (although here it is called the kitchen table) which is always fantastic. We were lucky Bradley ogden the Signature chef was there. He has put together a group of people in his kitchen and from observations 1/2 of them could run their own restaurant. We had a wonderful Risotto with white truffles and the white truffles were the biggest I have ever seen. The artisan cheese plate was a bit light and I would pass on it in the future instead going with another appetizer. The salads were excellent as they blended not only different combinations but also had a little extra in each one making it special. I had the Iowa Pork loin chop with creamed corn. This was not your mother's pork chop. It was very moist and tender, they have their own grill chef. In addition the creamed corn was made with fresh corn and cream and it exploded with taste. The chop was not glazed but was accompanied by balsamic glazed cabbage which when you combined was an amazing combination from something so simple. The other entrees were equally as great. I have read some reviews that were so so and I am sure this happens. But for the 6 of us it was one of the best dinners I have had in this entire county. Enjoy

Great Food and Good Service
Reviewer: Glenn from Buellton
Went at 5:30 when they opened and hostesses were a little disorganized on seating. Once the host came by and we "rechecked" in every was fine. The food here is some of the BEST I have had in my life, a fine addition to SY Valley. They apparently don't do anything out of the blue for you for special occasions like a Palace Grill does like a dessert or something(do they have dessert here? Maybe you ask for a dessert menu?) so that was a small letdown. Hit Rocky Mountain chocolate down the street(open until 8) for some goodies if they don't have dessert. The decor is really nice, the tables are not as intimate as they could be. Definitely a place to try, it can get a little pricey(about $100 for two with drinks & appetizers) but its worth it. We had the Shake/Bake Chicken(don't let name throw you, really good!) and the ribeye steak which was cooked perfectly to order. Pick up some Garden type salads off the starters menu also. They bring by small samplings out of the kitchen sometime as you wait for your food too! The bar(in the middle of the dining area) can attract some drunks unfortunately but it was not too bad. Other nit they need to work on is their small waiting for table area queue which had a cold winter wind blast through it when a door was opened. They do have both indoor and outdoor seating.

Itsy's amazing birthday dinner!
Reviewer: Barb from Santa Barbara, CA
Jen is the best server!! She knows her food and treated us amazingly. The food is fresh, tasty and beautiful! This place is sexy!! It is the Best place to eat in solvang!! Have the pork belly, chicken or steak! I love the wine list but for our party of 13 bringing our wine was the way to go!! This place has floated to the top of my list and in the top 3 including all of Santa Barbara! We were treated like royalty and I love that! Thanks to the manager jens and jen and mr. Ogden!!

Great Food!! Great Service!!!
Reviewer: Alan & Patricia from Santa Barbara, CA
We took a 24 hour mini vacation last week just so we could try Root 246 and we were not disappointed. The food was fabulous and the service was just as good. Our server, Jen, was attentive and informed and Chef Odgen was a gracious host. After dinner Jen gave us a tour of the impressive kitchen, no freezers, everything fresh and mostly locally sourced. Our only complaint is that it is an hour drive from our home.

what a (bad) joke
Reviewer: Jack from Santa Barbara, CA
first the positive- decor/atmosphere is very nice and lively- a great spot for drinks/apps. We had the flatbread and the fig/goat cheese with proscuitto and both were very nice and proportioned well. For main, we both had the rack of lamb- what an embarrassment to serve! a piece of lamb sausage and ONE rack that was cut off bone and sliced into three paper thin pieces with small pieces of goat cheese and grape tomatoes- THAT"S IT. Also, the lamb was cold as in not even warm. It was basically a salad without lettuce. I ate mine in minutes after tired of waiting for waitress to come back to send it away. My wife sent hers back and the actually charged us for a third one! i did get a free salad ( whoopie). The waitress was not accommodating and we did not even try to argue. She was rambling about it and i finally said- I DID NOT ASK YOU FOR A FREE MEAL< JUST BRING IT AND GO AWAY. I felt bad but 2 minutes of telling me how I was wrong was enough of enough. DO NOT GO! if you must, load up on apps and skip entree and save the frustration.

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