S.Y. Kitchen is hands down one of my favorite restaurants in Santa Barbara County. It is in the Santa Ynez Valley, which is about a 40-minute drive from downtown Santa Barbara, so it also provides a nice way to go somewhere scenic for the day and have one of the greatest meals in the area! It is a cozy, modern Italian restaurant and I guarantee you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, both for lunch and dinner. I’m excited to tell you about my most recent visit to S.Y. Kitchen, where they use fresh, local ingredients!

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Craving delicious food and a nice day trip, my mom and I decided to go to S.Y. Kitchen for lunch. It has been at the top of my list of restaurants to revisit for a whole year ever since my first dinner there with my family. I can tell you for sure that my expectations were totally met and even exceeded. We were seated at a super comfortable booth outside and the table was at the perfect height to hide the food baby I got by the end of the lunch! We decided to have one of the entrees as an appetizer because … well, you’ll understand the second you hear the description. The entree-made-appetizer was the T-Bone Truffle Sliders — which came with truffle cheese, caramelized shallots, parmigiano crisp and potatoes — and it was absolutely mouth-wateringly delicious, so I highly recommend it. To be more descriptive, the sliders were so juicy, the caramelized shallots added the perfect amount of sweetness, the subtle taste of truffle added some earthy flavor and it was all finished with the crunch of the parmigiano crisp which made for the most satisfying bite. 

Then, both my mom and I couldn’t resist ordering the same handmade pasta even though we usually always try to get different dishes so that we can try more food. We each ordered our own wild mushroom pappardelle, which has fresh wild mushrooms, thyme and parmigiano. It is truly perfect creamy goodness and has a generous amount of fresh mushrooms, which you don’t see at restaurants too often. This mushroom pasta is officially on my list of food cravings! You would think that after the sliders and the mushroom pasta that we would pass on dessert, but when you’re at S.Y. Kitchen, you go big or go home! We had no idea which dessert to try, so we asked the waiter for his recommendations and he said he loves the tiramisu, which is such a classic, so we ordered it right away and were not disappointed. I usually prefer the ladyfinger/coffee part of tiramisu more than the cream but I have to say, with this one, I couldn’t stop eating the cream because it had a thicker consistency and wasn’t too sweet. This tiramisu had the perfect proportion of cocoa powder, coffee and cream which is usually so hard to find! 

This review may make it seem like I am just professing my love for this restaurant, but I can’t recommend it enough! I’ve had such wonderful memories with my family at this restaurant eating the most delicious food with a great ambiance and the kindest waiters. If you’re looking for a little adventure, I really recommend taking the scenic drive to S.Y. Kitchen for a superb meal. Afterward, if you’re of age, I also suggest that you check out all the nearby wineries or even drive through Los Olivos and take a little stroll!