Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Cafe
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Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Cafe Restaurant Review: In the heart of Santa Barbara's wine country, Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Café is a popular stop for visitors who've been hitting the many surrounding tasting rooms. For a good place to settle down for a while, we recommend the wisteria-shaded patio that runs along the town's quaint main drag; but indoor seating is comfortable, too. 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 cuisine emphasizes artisan cheeses, salads 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 lamb shank, braised with red wine and sweet onions and served with couscous. The house-made pizzas are good appetizers to share; and the kitchen also makes flourless chocolate cake and ice cream in-house, serving the classic dessert combo with velvety caramel sauce. Can't wait to get back to the wineries? The café also offers picnics packed to order.