Friday, March 27, 2009

An Evening at Mattei's Tavern & Brothers' Restaurant in Los Olivos

We love historical places, so when we passed this tavern on our way to the vinyards, we just knew we had to come back for supper. Imagine our delight when the hostess at Firestone Vinyards recommended this restaurant to us!

Chef brothers Matt and Jeff Nichols moved into this historical building and restored it to its stage coach days splendor. It's surrounded by pretty green lawns and gardens, and an original wooden water tower at the edge of its large back lawn. I can imagine hosting an evening of dining with friends on that lawn!

They definitely need some old-fashioned southern rocking chairs on this porch, don't you think? I can just imagine all the people waiting for the stage to arrive!

It wasn't easy or comfortable for folks to travel back in those days! We're definitely spoiled by our luxury cars and air conditioning!

This is the lobby of the tavern and restaurant. Back during temperance times, the tavern was moved to a small building unconnected to the stage office, but it's back now. The fireplace and beams in the ceilings are all original. I just had to ask about ghosts, and the receptionist told me that she'd heard others talk of glasses falling off shelves for no reason, and women feeling their hair being pulled. Probably just stories to tantalize the tourists, but I would have been disappointed if there hadn't been any to tell!

Our bartender was great fun and made the best dirty martinis! What a perfect good will embassador, and he set the stage for a wonderful evening!

I would say that Bob is relaxed after a full day of wine tasting and touring. Wouldn't you agree?

I think the general public never gives food servers the credit they deserve. Our waitress was fantastic. She helped my poor memory out, too, because I recognized Cheryl Ladd at the table next to ours (one of Charlie's Angels...she's the blonde cutie), but I couldn't place one of her companions. Our waitress wrote a note on her pad that the handsome gentleman with the full shock of white hair was Efrem Zimbalist Jr. Remember him from the old FBI show on TV back in the late '60s & early '70s?

What a beautiful rack of lamb! The exquisite 2007 Estate Pinot we had from Melville Vinyards in the Santa Maria Valley was the perfect pairing for Bob's lamb and my salmon. The next time we come out here we are going to do the wineries in the Santa Maria Valley and Melville will be our first stop!

You can visit Mattei's Tavern & Brothers Restaurant at 2350 Railway Avenue in Los Olivos, California 93441. Call them at (805) 688-4820 for reservations or questions.

Bon App├ętit!
Chef Debbie

1 comment:

Oma & Opa said...

Hi Debbie -

Thanks for capturing a bit of the past out West here in combination with juicy stories, laughs, smiles, great food and wine....
Life doesn't get much better
than this!

Mary Jane
Custom Cuisine