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Stella Mare's
50 Los Patos Way, Montecito
Phone: (805) 969-6705

  • Category: Californian, French
  • Hours: Tue-Fri Lunch 11:30am-2:30pm, Dinner 5pm-9pm, Sat-Sun Brunch: 10am-2:30pm, Dinner 5pm-9pm
  • Chef: Gael Lecolley - Daniel Orozco
  • Price: $20+
  • Serving: Lunch & Dinner
  • Reservations: No
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Reviews by the General Public

C'est nes pas terrible
Reviewer: Charlotte from Goleta
Charming restaurant, lovely service, terrible food. I'll start by saying that the bread basket was the highlight of the meal. The crepe resembled a freaking burrito! Sloppy overstuffed..obnoxious mess. The Hanger steak( $24 lunch price!) had an off putting flavor and mealy texture. the Maître d'hôtel butter was a weird, green,tasting of lawn trimmings. Herbs and garlic should be chopped not blitzed. Garlic mashed potatoes were way over salted, over garlic (inedible). Returned the slimy, bruised field greens. Croque Monseur was not grilled, sandwich bread!??? The Sauce Morney was more of a tasteless wallpaper paste a far cry from a velvety cheese/vin Blanc sauce. I felt insulted during the entire meal, being underestimated and overcharged.

Stella Mare
Reviewer: Sally Spork from Santa Barbara, CA
Atmosphere: Stella Mare is located by the bird sanctuary in historic landmark house on the Bird Refuge. It is a classy shabby chic style. Stylish rooms without being stuffy. We made a reservation and we arrived early and wanted to have a drink in their bar area; but found instead of bar stools there are two or three overstuffed chairs by a fireplace. There was another couple eating and it felt a bit like we would be intruding so we decided to wait for our table. Service: Seated quickly by friendly maitre' de. Waitress knowledgeable and friendly. Great recommendation for wine with my Porc Osso Bucco (Cote a Rhone). Thumbs up for her. She was present but not obtrusive. Food/drink: Stella Mare is French County cuisine. We ordered the crab cakes which were tasty and came with a sort of tarragon pesto. Tarragon: meh! I’m not fond off. Rats. I ordered Porc Osso Bucco: succulent ‘meat candy’ is what I call it. Sam ordered . Hot bread out of the oven was served: great with meat. The entrees are large portions. I think next time I would share an entrée next time and order a salad to share. We had the most delicious lemon dessert: a cross between a custard and cake with coffee which was perfect: strong and piping hot. We both felt the meal would be more complete with a ‘starch’ such as potatoes or pasta. Summary: Stella Mare is a hidden gem and jewel of SB. I've come here for years: from brunch to lunch to dinner. A great place to bring out of town guests: the food and atmosphere and service always satisfying. I’ll be back.

Amazing Waiter
Reviewer: Chase from Santa Barbara, CA
My waiter, Lucas, was absolutely amazing. He served us very quickly and efficiently. He kept us entertained through out dinner. I would go back just to have him wait on me.

Great food & Service! Good for company parties
Reviewer: Rachel from Santa Barbara, CA
I planned my company Holiday Party this past year and had a wonderful experience. They were very helpful along the way, and the party turned out amazing. The food was all delicious and the service was even better! Everyone loved the ambiance in the green room and the decorations looked very nice. Definitely recommend for a regular meal or planned party!

Where's the crab?
Reviewer: Marie from Santa Barbara, CA
My mother and I went for lunch. I ordered the crabcake trio. All three cakes were very uniform - as if they had been pressed out of a die. The consistency was that of mush; no lumps of crabmeat. No accompanying sauce which, in my opinion, made for a dry dish. I asked for a side of the aioli they make (epic!!!) and that assisted in getting them down. I will say this: We have been here many times and the food and service is typically very good. I kinda feel bad about not writing good reviews and I will start to do so going forward. I just wanted to put in my opinion about the crabcakes.

Come on, Ixchelle.
Reviewer: Richard Lambert from Santa Barbara, CA
So you went in with an open mind? If you are determined to find fault, you certainly can. I've always enjoyed the meals I've had at Stella Mare's, but then I guess I expected to.

Disappointing, overrated, and stale
Reviewer: Ixchelle from Santa Barbara, CA
I finally decided to try this place after hearing about it for so long. My husband and I made dinner reservations for Valentine's Day but I decided to try it first a few days earlier with my dad. I was immediately disappointed to see how close the restaurant was to the train tracks. Only a few dozen yards separated us from the roar on the Union Pacific. Not really the experience I was hoping for. The first evening we sat in the greenhouse and I must say I immediately noticed the cobwebs among the glass ceiling shining in the setting sun. For a place that charges $35 for entrees and $12 for cocktails I expect a cobweb free environment. As for the decor, "country french", the consensus was you either love it or hate it. To me it felt old, stuffy, and stale. The crowd here was a mostly "very mature" bunch. So I figure this is who the restaurant is catering to. As for the food I really expected to be blown away given the prices. I've had some amazing culinary experiences and this just wasn't amazing. The portions varied from adequate to very small. My entrée showed up with two tiny pieces of fish and a few green beans. Offensively, the fish was overcooked. Seriously for $30 at least give me a moist piece of fish. The crabcakes were decent but again I've had much better. My dad had the escargot and again the conclusion, "I've had much better". Notably, the service was very good. I came home and warned my hubby that we should cancel our reservations for Valentine's Day but he wanted to decide for himself. So again I went. This time, and with a new server, the service was just ok. I could see our server light up at his other more mature customers, and just give us the bare minimum. It was very obvious. I suspect we were judged and determined to not be worth the extra effort. Insulting and disappointing. The shrimp appetizer was tasteless. The crab cakes were both burned (black) and the burned side was placed on the bottom so we wouldn’t notice. The spinach salad was decent. The sea bass was a bigger portion, had a nice crust, but again was overcooked. The lemon cake was super lemony, inedible to anyone who doesn't adore a very sour lemon flavor. The "ding-dong" -stupid name by the way- was a dense chocolate cake with chocolate ganache, again way too much chocolate and nothing to cut it with. A bit of whipped cream or ice cream would have helped but was it was just too rich. Overall the service was biased, the food mediocre, the ambiance was sleepy, and the experience was disappointing.

Reviewer: Sarah from Santa Barbara, CA
I went to Stella Mare's this past weekend with my family for the first time and we were pretty disappointed with the food and the service. The atmosphere and decor of the restaurant are great and it has a lot of potential. I ordered the steak au poivre which is a classic French dish so I had high expectations for a $30 dinner. I ordered it medium rare and it was well done. It was pre-sliced and served over asparagus with a few potato chips stuck between the meat slices and a few roasted onions on the plate. The sauce was really good but the steak was way too salty and I didn't see any sign of a pepper crust on the steak. I'm not sure why my dinner made it to the table since I specifically ordered it medium rare and the steak was sliced in the kitchen so they knew that it was way over cooked. Every one else's food was also very salty and mediocre. Our waitress would disappear for long periods of time and it took a very long time to get our bill. The drinks were great but I won't be returning to this restaurant. Dommage!

Absolutely Incredible!
Reviewer: Lyndsi from Santa Barbara, CA
Stella Mare's was an absolutely incredible dining experience! We aren't from the area and have never experienced fine french dining before. Mercedes was our server and did an exceptional job; everything was prompt and executed to the tee with a wonderful attitude. Never having escargot before, it was amazing; buttery and almost like a pesto flavor. The presentation of the food was gorgeous. I would insist that anyone I know, has to experience french dining at Stella Mare's. You won't know Santa Barbara until after eating at Stella Mare's.

Stella Mares for lunch
Reviewer: anonymous from Santa Barbara, CA
Last week a few of us went to Stella Mares in Montecito for a > special birthday celebration lunch. > The service was slow and the waiter was disinterested. It would help if he looks or acts friendlier. The food was ok. I don't think we will go back soon because of the service there.

Great food and service
Reviewer: Roby Price from Atlanta GA
This was our best dining experience in SB because of the wonderful ambience. The restaurant is in an old house and is very tastefully done. By design it was not at all noisy, as most restaurants are and this made the experience very pleasant. Our waiter was excellent - a true professional (not college age). A very good experience.

delicious french bistro..
Reviewer: Ryan from Los Angeles
Great food, professional servers. We had a lovely dinner, per our server we tried the artichoke and the mussels then the scallops and coq au vin. We didn't order desserts but we were invited to sit by the fireplace to enjoy our coffee. A very nice place.

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