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Brothers Restaurant at the Red Barn: Bringing back the classics with a new flair

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The latest restaurant to open in Santa Ynez Valley is the Brothers Restaurant at the Red Barn. It is the latest project from Matt and Jeff Nichols and is currently the trendiest place to dine in the Santa Ynez Valley. After being open two weeks, with a group of friends, we decided to see how it compared to the original Brothers Restaurant at Mattie’s Tavern and to the Sides Hardware & Shoes, the Nichols brothers other restaurant in Los Olivos. For locals who used to frequent the bygone restaurant they will be extremely happy as the old menu is back with its excellent classic quality cuisine with emphasis on utilizing the freshest ingredients from local producers in the area.

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We thoroughly enjoyed our meal. The service is excellent and the décor is simple yet elegant with a very comfortable warm rustic feeling. The restaurant features two original fireplaces that add warmth to the atmosphere. The room seems larger due to the high ceilings. The kitchen opens to the main dining room that seats 15 tables. The bar area has another ten.

For those with dietary restrictions or allergies the restaurant staff will work with you to accommodate your needs.

The wine list excellent and features local vintners from Santa Barbara County with an emphasis on Santa Ynez Valley. On our visit we enjoyed a 2012 Samsara Syrah Santa Barbara County. This full-bodied wine was balanced and very peppery.

As you wait for your first course a basket of wonderfully freshly baked breads are served. These include a tasty corn bread with jalapeño, Focaccia bread with rosemary and a wheat bread.

Several in our group sampled the starters. The Kabocha Squash Soup is a must. One of my favorite types of squash, made the soup absolutely delicious. The soup is rich and creamy without overwhelming the flavor of the squash. One of our friends ordered the Vegetable Spring Rolls with Spicy Mango Sauce and Asian Salad, which he said was superb.

We all chose different entrées. There was the Baked Horseradish Dill Crusted Organic Scottish Salmon served with Vegetable Brown Rice and Whole Grain Mustard Sauce. The Salmon was tender and cooked just right. The Pan Sautéed Idaho Rainbow Trout with Lemon Chive Sauce was served with the savory Vegetable Brown Rice rather than the classic mashed potatoes that normally accompanies this dish and is ideal choice for those wanted a lighter fare. The Grilled Prime Filet with Caramelized Onion Potato Gratin and a Stilton Cheese Port Wine Sauce was cooked to perfection as was the Grilled Prime 8 oz. Top Sirloin with Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Garlic Butter. The sauces did not overpower the entrées but rather enhanced the flavors so you could really taste the meat or fish. You cannot go wrong with any of the steak or beef entrées on the menu. All dishes were presented in an appealing fashion that actually fit in with the style of the restaurant. You almost felt as if the vegetables came right out of the garden.

We could not depart without trying at least one of the desserts created by Pastry Chef, Stephanie Jackson. All of us agreed upon the Carmel Brioche Bread Pudding with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream & Crushed Pecan Praline. The pecan praline gave the pudding the caramelized sensation of a Crème Brulee. The dessert was yummy as we all indulged in the one portion.

The Brothers Restaurant at the Red Barn is well worth the dining experience but reservations are a must since the restaurant has only been open a few weeks.

For Reservations:

Brothers Restaurant at the Red Barn

3539 Sagunto St.

Santa Ynez, CA 93460


Open Daily: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.

If you would like to follow more of Cori Solomon’s articles, she would love you to subscribe to her column by clicking the box next to her photo.


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