Authentic Italian fare, an open kitchen, and festive, family-style seating make this trattoria equally popular with celebrities from Hollywood and ranchers from the Santa Ynez Valley. Thin-crust pizza, homemade ravioli, risottos, and seafood linguine are among the menu favorites. The noise level tends to rise in the evening, so this isn't the best spot for a romantic getaway.
Oct 9, 2008
Trattoria Grappolo The Santa Ynez valley has a thriving Italian community, being wine country, you’ll find fine Italian vino from the vine, Sicilian donkey farms and just about everything else Italian, which means that if there is going to be a premiere Italian joint, it’s got a lot to live up to, to survive and the Grappolo is all that. We were introduced to this authentic Italian cuisine by local poet and author, Richard Jerrett, who
doesn’t mess around when it comes to food. We sat outside to talk, had bread and olive oil the Caesar Salad was fresh and crisp. I ordered the big Porter House Steak rare, as always on my first outing. It was AMAZING! Meat so tender, I almost screamed and ripped my clothes off while I sipped my Peligrino Water. Our waitress was awesome. I want to call her Randy, but I honestly can’t remember. People seemed to know each other. It was definitely a local staple and popular hang out for good reason. The owners dropped by to say hi, and were incredibly friendly. On my second visit, we hit lunch and I had the spaghetti and Meatballs. If you ever shamed your family name by saying that one meatball was as good as the next, this dish will rip your theory to shreds. Incredible presentation. The spaghetti came in a well organized pile of pasta, heaped in a bowl over 6 immense meatballs and mint leaves. It knocked me under the table! The chef came out to get my animated reaction, and we exchange a high 5 if I can recount correctly! Now, the Grappolo is what crosses my mind when I plan my trips to Santa Ynez.
Jun 26, 2007
We had a hard time finding a parking space at this spot --- for good reason. The wine list (Wine Spectator rated) was amazing and the food spectacular. We had calamari stuffed with smoked mozarella, poached halibut with lemon and capers, and ahi tuna in penne. It was difficult to choose which desserts we wanted as well...the flourless chocolate torte with mocha creme anglaise and coconut ice cream in a coconut shell were a great conclusion to
the evening. Our server was adorable, telling us about the area as well as the history of the restaurant and its offerings. Don't miss it.
Nov 17, 2006
I came here with really high expectations based upon reviews I've read of this restaurants. It didn't reach those lofty heights although I am a pretty tough critic. You will find good but not great Italian food here. The decor is nice and the serivce is attentive. Mattei's Tavern is the best restaurant in the area in my opinion.