The new Valley Bistro (290 Valley Station Dr., Buellton, 688-7666, is not a “no substitutions” place. “Tell us what you like, and we’ll make it,” say chefs Brooke Stockwell and Brianna Allen. This means if you want the tri-tip panini with the house-made BBQ sauce, that’s what you get, although it’s a shame to miss out on the salsa and aioli that usually accompany the just-grilled cuts of meat. Brooke and Brianna, who met at SBCC’s Culinary Arts Program, worked together for seven years as private chefs in Montecito, creating everything from seven-course meals to gluten- and dairy-free low-fat cuisine. Now they’ve brought their healthy gourmet recipes to Buellton, along with the custom service from their private chef past. When Brooke and Brianna catered private parties, appetizers were their specialty, like the sweet, savory, and spicy Bistro Poppers made with candied jalapeños on the Bistro’s menu. Diners seem to agree that the Bistro Burger is the best main course, a diet-sized portion of which can be found on the extensive kid’s menu as the “Burgerette.” In addition to their regular, affordable lunches and dinners, the chefs offer Farmers Market dinners every Wednesday, with the menu determined by what they find that afternoon at the Solvang market.


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