Mattei’s Tavern

A Review of the Historic Brothers Restaurant in Los Olivos

Mattei's Tavern.
Jen Villa

Where: 2350 Railway Ave., Los Olivos, 688-4820,

What: Santa Barbara Wine Country’s most historical building, Mattei’s Tavern, houses Brothers Restaurant.

How much: Seasonal starters $8-$12; 20 oz. slow roasted prime rib $40; 8 oz. grilled top sirloin $19; wildflower honey and ricotta cheesecake $7

The dish: Few restaurants offer such a distinct view into the past as the rustic Los Olivos landmark, Mattei’s Tavern. Built in 1886 as a hotel and restaurant, it later became a famous stagecoach stop focusing on fine dining and regional cuisine. The original stark white building still exists today and is run by brothers Matt and Jeff Nichols, who renovated the restaurant in 2002, maintaining its original pastoral charm, historical decor, and hospitality. Brilliantly manicured green lawns surround a wisteria-covered building full of velvet wallpaper, old family photographs, and crackling fireplaces. The Tavern Room at the entrance is a cozy place to enjoy a relaxed pre-dinner drink. One of the most popular dining areas is The Wicker Room, a sunroom that looks out over the side garden. Here, guests can enjoy a menu that blends traditional top sirloin, prime rib, and enormous pork rib chops recipes with innovative made-from-scratch sides and sauces from the freshest in-season ingredients that local producers have to offer.


This week at, M is also for: Milk and Honey and the Museum Cafe. And for all of our restaurants, see Next week, see what N/O are for :


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