Fresco Café Comes to the Valley

Casual Dining, Healthful Ingredients, and an Eclectic California Style

Serving lunch and dinner seven days a week, Fresco Valley Café (442 Atterdag Rd., Solvang, 688-8857) has been generating a buzz in the Santa Ynez Valley since its opening last September. Owners Aric Christopher and Matt Raab adhere to the cuisine and menu of Santa Barbara’s Fresco Café and Fresco Café North in Goleta, but the place has its own valley ambience, low-key and unhurried. Portions are ample, choices plentiful, and there are gluten-free and vegetarian options. Try the seared ahi over mixed greens with red onion and balsamic vinaigrette, or the meatball Parmesan sandwich, or the hot mushroom combo with caramelized onion, Brie cheese, and Dijon mustard, which might just convert you to vegetarianism. There are burgers, pizza, soups, and quiche, and an impressive assortment of daily specials such as barbecue beef ribs with ranch-style beans and twice-baked potato, or glazed salmon with sautéed broccoli and leeks. An assortment of regional wines and microbrewery beers are served, and, oh yes, there’s that shiny glass case with tarts and tortes and tiramisu. Order at the front, take your number, and seat yourself in the spacious, well-lit dining area … or find a nice table on the outside patio; you’re in storybook town.

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