Restaurant Week is returning to the Santa Ynez Valley through the end of January, but this time with a twist.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions shutting down indoor dining, restaurants and tasting rooms in the Santa Ynez Valley are offering a “takeout edition” of Restaurant Week for residents to enjoy local cuisine from the comfort of their homes.
More than 50 restaurants and tasting rooms across the Santa Ynez Valley will be offering special packages of meals for one or two, as well as family packages for a range of prices.
Matt Wright, general manager of the Skyview Los Alamos motel, is looking forward to treating Santa Ynez residents to a menu of “comfort food” items from the motel’s restaurant, Norman.
“This week, we really strived to make very user-friendly options for guests,” Mr. Wright told the News-Press.
During Restaurant Week, locals can enjoy various dishes curated by Norman’s culinary staff, including dinner entrees like filet mignon kabobs, butternut squash risotto and crab alfredo paired with a choice of dessert.
“We have hearty but refined dishes, and the goal was just really to provide a different option to people,” Mr. Wright said.
Norman will also be offering delivery services to locals in the Santa Ynez Valley during Restaurant Week. Since starting delivery services in December, Mr. Wright said this option has been a great success.
“(Delivery) is an extension (of the restaurant) to their home, and people have been really appreciative of that,” Mr. Wright said.
A number of Buellton restaurants are also being featured in this year’s Restaurant Week, including Zaca Creek Tavern, a new restaurant that opened in August 2020.
Opening a restaurant during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic came with its challenges, but the restaurant saw a good response from the public in its first few weeks, General Manager Stephen Villa said.
During Restaurant Week, the Zaca Creek Tavern is offering a three-course menu, featuring beef tartare, a meatloaf wellington, smoked albacore and fazzoletti. The restaurant makes pasta in house each day, adding “bright flavors” to the menu, Mr. Villa said.
With the latest COVID-19 restrictions barring restaurants from allowing indoor seating, Mr. Villa said the restaurant staff took time to carefully consider items on the menu that would travel best for takeout orders, especially during Restaurant Week.
“Right now, one of our biggest concerns is that we can’t have anyone sitting in-house, so we wanted to choose (menu items) that would travel really well,” Mr. Villa said. “We chose items that would have great preparation and items that would have just as good presentation in take-out as they would in plates on the restaurant.”
Other Buellton restaurants included in this year’s Restaurant Week include Campfire Cafe at Flying Flags RV Resort, Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Hitching Post II, Industrial Eats, Santa Ynez Valley Marriott and Sideways Lounge.
In Santa Ynez, Trattoria Grappolo, Ellie’s Tap and Vine, and Willows Restaurant + Bar are participating in Restaurant Week.
For a full list of restaurants and tasting rooms participating, visit visitsyv.com/restaurant-week.