Where: 2436 Baseline Avenue, Ballard; 688-7770; ballardinn.com.
What: Located inside the Santa Ynez Valley’s Ballard Inn is chef/owner Budi Kazali’s wine-country gem, melding Eastern and Western cooking techniques and traditions.
How Much: Starters $9-$14, entrees $27-$32.
The Dish: Chef Budi Kazali’s acclaimed restaurant has combined his roots in Santa Barbara wine country with a uniquely global approach, putting together a menu influenced by both French and Pacific Rim cuisine. The bed-and-breakfast is home to the intimate and comfortable 12-table dining area with a roaring fireplace and extensive wine list. Santa Barbara’s wine-country cuisine thrives by reaching out to area growers and using only the freshest in-season ingredients, thereby inspiring ever-changing menus. Menu rotations currently include specialties such as red roast Kurobuta pork belly and pan-seared Hudson Valley foie gras to start. Grilled squab with spaghetti squash, wasabi sp¤tzle-flavored filet mignon, and a crispy-skin Arctic char demonstrate Chef Kazali’s eclectic style and focus on gourmet delicacies that do not grace many menus. A pleasing find for distinguished and innovative dining in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley. -Joanie Hudson
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