Where: 3687 Sagunto St., 688-6899, trattoriagrappolo.com.
What: Since opening in 1997, Trattoria Grappolo has been serving fine Tuscan cuisine in the Santa Ynez Valley.
How much: Pastas $12.50-$17, pizzas $12-$15.
The dish: With cuisine that echoes rustic Tuscan fare and old-town scenery that is distinctively western wine country, Trattoria Grappolo offers one of the Santa Ynez Valley’s top dining experiences. An equally romantic and energetically convivial atmosphere overlooks sun-yellowed rolling hills and winding roads that disappear in the distance. The historic building’s invitingly warm covered front patio is a haven for wine tasters with its romantic pressed lace curtains and creaking wooden floor. Traditional antipasti courses reflect Italian comfort food at its best, including made-to-order bruschetta, baked eggplant Parmesan as well as stuffed and sauteed calamari alla positano. Tuscany’s coastal influence is evident in numerous thin-crust pizza and pasta dishes that feature abundant shellfish, such as linguine ai crostacei. Main dishes include a mixed grill of fish, oven-roasted chicken, and Italian sausage. This traditional trattoria is perfect for a relaxing lunch stop on the way up the coast or a destination dinner stop that closes out a wine tasting day’s itinerary.
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