The Restaurant at the Ballard Inn is considered by many to be among the best dining destinations in the Santa Ynez Valley. With just 12 tables, soft ... More
The Ballard Inn
The Restaurant at the Ballard Inn is considered by many to be among the best dining destinations in the Santa Ynez Valley. With just 12 tables, soft music, candle light, and a roaring fireplace, the atmosphere is intimate and inviting. Chef Budi Kazali's award winning French Asian cuisine is sure to please, with signature dishes such as Hamachi Sashimi with Soy-Yuzu Vinaigrette and Grilled Kurobuta Pork Belly . Our servers are eager to help guests to relax and enjoy what we hope is a memorable dining experience. They will help to navigate our extensive wine list, replete with local and international offerings, to select the perfect wine to compliment your meal.
The bad review (dated 7/6/2007) about this lovely inn is obviously talking about a DIFFERENT HOTEL! The reviewer complains about being hassled for taking booze out on the beach - the Ballard in of this listing is NOWHERE NEAR the BEACH - it's a different hotel. The Ballard Inn in Ballard Calif, near Solvang, is in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley wine country (where the film Sideways was made). Each room is decorated in a uniquely themed classic decor, and the hotel oozes old world charm. My wife and I spent our honeymoon weekend there in July 2007 and loved it. Even if you don't stay at the inn, you owe it to yourself to drop in for a meal. Their restaurant will knock your socks off. As for the staff, they couldn't have been friendlier and more helpful. Please, if you want to have a wonderful, quiet and relaxing stay in the wine country, give this inn a try, you won't be sorry.
While this is a lovely Inn, do not let the apparent hospitality fool you. This seemingly warm and gracious establishment has charged my credit card $600 for a reservation I CANCELLED 5 months before the reservation date and are insisting I pay for its error in not recording the cancellation. Be very careful in providing this company with your credit card information.
We have been to the Ballard Inn several times and have had a wonderful experience each time. Althought it is not a historic place, it has the feeling of one. The wine list is wonderful. The server makes wonderful suggestions and is very wine knowledgeable. The menu is absolutely stellar. We have never had a anything this was just ok. Everything is special, fresh, well prepared and beautifully presented. We have recommended this wonderful place to others and all have agreed that is is a very special place.
This place was simply perfect place to relax and enjoy the Wine Country. The staff is warm and helpful. They pour wines in the afternoons and have cheese and other great stuff. There are many warm and open fireplaces throughout the Inn. Games and books make for a nice touch. The have a great restaurant down stairs with a fantastic wine list, ask for recomendations. They have bikes to rent, which is great way to go to all the little winiries in the area. Stay at the Ballard Inn and leave the world behind.
We were staying in the area last weekend and were fortunate to secure a last-minute reservation at the Ballard Inn's restaurant for Saturday night. We'd eaten here before and also knew Chef Kazali's reputation from his association with Chef Ming Tsai, so we were very much looking forward to the evening.
Even though we'd made a reservation for a relatively late time in these parts (8:30pm), we were never rushed during our meal, and even when we were the last diners in the delightful restaurant, we were surprised by a visit from the Chef who chatted with us for some time and was very interested in our views of our dining experience.
The food is an French/Asian fusion style which merits exploration; the highlights of our meal were
- a wonderful bouillabaise with a depth of flavor that was really remarkable
- this sounds crazy, but the salad, almost just a garnish, which accompanied the avocado-wrapped crab appetizer was an explosion of fresh tastes - cilantro, lime, celery leaves, etc (the crab and avocado was also pretty good!). I'd go back just for the garnish!
- a vanilla-scented creme brulee accompanied by a glass of Muscat de Beaume de Venise. In the Santa Ynez Valley, it's unusual to find a wine list that strays far from the local wineries or, at a stretch, Napa. This is a good thing, but there are some varietals that are not available, or not avaiable to a good standard in the region. The muscat is one example, and we applaud the Ballard for both making these wines available, and, importantly, having a large selection available by the glass.
We'll be back, again. In fact, we've already booked our next weekend!
Charming California Inn situated 2 blocks from beach & 6 blocks from downtown. Amenities:Air Conditioning (In Room). Refrigerator. Iron. Telephone.
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