Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Cafe
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Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Cafe Restaurant Review: Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Café is a popular stop for visitors who've been hitting the many surrounding tasting rooms, but locals call this home, too. Settle into the wisteria-shaded patio that runs along the town's quaint main drag; indoor seating is comfortable as well. The dining room is anchored by a large open bar that also links the café to the Wine Merchant, possibly the most comprehensive wine shop in the Santa Ynez Valley. That translates into a lengthy and varied wine list at the café, heavy on local vintages, including the proprietor's own Bernat label. The seasonal cuisine emphasizes artisan cheeses, salads, pizza and meat dishes. We like the blend of flavors in a lunch entrée of Roasted Roots, featuring potatoes, beets, carrots, parsnips and onions, baked together and topped with crumbled Gorgonzola. We also enjoy the Mediterranean flair of the dinner menu's short ribs, braised with red wine and topped with asparagus and pea shoots. The kitchen makes flourless chocolate cake and ice cream in-house, serving the classic dessert combo with velvety caramel sauce. The café offers picnics packed to order.