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Santa Ynez Roundup - Trattoria Grappolo etc.

Local | Sep 3, 200403:04 PM

Spent another beautiful 3 days last weekend at Rancho Oso. As is tradition with our horsecamping ventures, we eat OUT and avoid the Coleman routine by law.

Friday night just the S.O. and I ate late at Trattoria Grappolo for the first time. Place was still filled at 9:00pm -inside, two large groups and a few couples winding down with coffee or polishing off
that last drop of wine. Eavesdropping, it appeared to be a healthy mix of ranchers, riders, local families,
vintners, and vacationers. I liked the ambiance - friendly, casual, definitely a loud room- but like
being at a good party. We got seated right away despite people waiting (outdoor tables), wait
staff eventually showed up and thereafter was attentive. Starter: Salmon bisque - rich reduction
of tomato and salmon - quite good, a little goes a long way. Also, kudos, and thank you to
Hugh Lipton and others who recommended the Branders Sauvignon Blanc in a previous post.
A second glass became mandatory, and, anyway, the SO was driving. Their bread was tasty
with the soup; we were starved and ate too much. I should have stopped there, but went ahead with
the Rigatoni con Funghi - cepes, shiitake, and porcini mushrooms in a medium red sauce. Pasta met my definition of al dente and the shrooms were flavorful-paired nicely with the Branders. S.O. had the Linguine al Mare - wonderful mix of seafood in a light broth. Afterwards, we went next door to Maverick's for a few West Coast Swing numbers, then headed back to R.Oso.

Saturday breakfast - Longhorn Cafe. Eight of us had eight different things and cleaned our plates,
including Zorro (traveling companion/yellow Lab) who had his share of French toast. Even Mr. Plain Palate
was a happy camper (2 eggs scrambled, wheat toast, nothing else, no butter, no jam, no salsa,
no ketchup -nada). Spanish omelettes, French toast, lotsa bacon, pancakes, even the request
for well-done hashbrowns ("hashblacks") was met. Great waitress -bottomless coffee cup and
great seats on the deck.

Saturday late lunch - 5 of us at the Summerland Beach Cafe - plentiful servings -Excellent entree salads, grilled Mahi Mahi sandwich, Omelette with Brie and Avocado, Cream of Mushroom soup, onion-rings, etc.

Saturday dinner - A Purple plum -too tired to eat, in the sleeping bag by 8:30.

Sunday breakfast- Cold Springs Tavern. Got there right at 8, so it was still quiet before the
brunchers and bikers arrive to hold court. I had a mushroom/cheddar omelette - but the
wheat-molasses toast was the standout. Handcut at least a 1/2 inch thick, it requires no butter
or jam. The S.O. stuffed himself with the huevos rancheros. A masterpiece - fresh tortillas
layered with wild game chili, scrambled eggs, fresh pico de gallo salsa, and sour cream. That chili
raised what could be a fairly pedestrian choice to a higher level.

Looking forward to trying Rick's Cafe and going back T. Grappolo next visit!

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