Upscale, Authentic Greek Cuisine in Santa Barbara Wine Country

Where: 2860 Grand Avenue, Los Olivos (located inside the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn & Spa), 686-5455,

What: Upscale, authentic Greek cuisine in Santa Barbara wine country.

How Much: Petros Greek (Horiatiki) salad $13, appetizers $8-$15, dips $7-$9, entrees $23-$36.

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The Dish: Gregarious and passionate, Petros Benekos welcomes patrons to his self-named establishment as if welcoming them into his own home. Petros opened a sister restaurant to his acclaimed Manhattan Beach Greek eatery (winner of Zagat’s esteemed Top New Restaurant Award in 2007) in Santa Barbara wine country last year, serving upscale Hellenic Mediterranean cuisine to patrons starving for a spot to taste authentic Greek recipes. His philosophy is simple: Use the freshest and most authentic ingredients possible, while following family recipes and throwing together nostalgic combinations from his upbringing. Sesame-crusted feta with golden raisins and honey, Nikos Saganaki is named after his brother, and most of the recipes come from his mother’s cooking. The Greek salad is made from big juicy Volos olives, tomatoes, cucumber, great feta, and fruity olive oil. The kitchen staff preps fresh-baked pita and yogurts daily for numerous dips; Taramosalata is a favorite with its caviar-smoky-lemon juice flavors. Perhaps one of the most unique and tasty desserts around is the Bougatsa, a beautiful pastry made with vanilla bean and semolina custard wrapped in phyllo with spiced cinnamon ice cream.

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