Home #WHERETONEXT USA Santa Ynez Valley adds two more restaurants to MICHELIN Guide California

Santa Ynez Valley adds two more restaurants to MICHELIN Guide California

The Santa Ynez Valley is now home to two more MICHELIN-rated restaurants after Bar Le Côte in Los Olivos and peasants FEAST in Solvang were recently added to the MICHELIN Guide California. Bar Le Côte and peasants FEAST were among the 37 “New” restaurants to be added to the MICHELIN Guide California.

The two restaurants join a growing list of restaurants in the Santa Ynez Valley to have earned a MICHELIN rating. Bell’s — a beloved French-inspired bistro in Los Alamos and sister restaurant to Bar Le Côte — became the first Santa Ynez Valley restaurant to earn a coveted MICHELIN Star in 2021. And First & Oak in Solvang was the first Santa Ynez Valley restaurant to be included in the California Guide when it was awarded a MICHELIN Plate in 2019.

Coincidentally, the announcement was timed between two of the Santa Ynez Valley’s biggest culinary celebrations: The immersive Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley, which took place Nov. 4-6, and Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks, which are scheduled for Jan. 16-31, 2023.

The full MICHELIN Guide distinction of both Bar Le Côte and peasants FEAST will be announced on Dec. 5 during the MICHELIN Star Revelation event at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

“We are thrilled that the MICHELIN Guide has recognized two more incredibly deserving Santa Ynez Valley restaurants,” said Shelby Sim, President & CEO of Visit the Santa Ynez Valley. “The Santa Ynez Valley has built a reputation as the wine country jewel of California’s Central Coast. But thanks in large part to innovative kitchens such as those of Bar Le Côte, peasants FEAST, Bell’s, First & Oak, and others, the Santa Ynez Valley has earned its reputation as a world-class food destination, too. Not only do Bar Le Côte and peasants FEAST showcase the quality of Santa Ynez Valley cuisine, but they are also indicative of the growing diversity of the region’s culinary scene.” 

Bar Le Côte

Under the direction of Chef and Co-owner Brad Mathews and husband-and-wife team Greg and Daisy Ryan, who also co-own Bell’s, Bar Le Côte opened in 2021 in the quaint wine country town of Los Olivos. With cuisine inspired by the daily catch of the Central Coast and the modern cuisine of Europe’s seaside capitals, the casual and stylish seafood tavern has been an instant hit.

According to the MICHELIN Guide description of Bar Le Côte: “Slide in to one of the booths or banquettes and settle in for a meal that is an ode to the sea and is best enjoyed with shared plates.”

“We opened Bar Le Côte in 2021 with the intent of bringing an exciting new restaurant to the region that married the modern cuisine of Europe’s seaside villages with the abundant resources available to us here in the Santa Ynez Valley and along the Central Coast,” said Greg Ryan, co-owner of Bar Le Côte. “We knew that with chef/owner Brad Mathews, general manager Grace Gates, and the rest of the team in place, the sky was the limit. It’s wonderful to be recognized among a community of restaurants, farmers, and chefs that are raising the Santa Ynez Valley’s culinary bar even higher.” 

peasants FEAST

Indoor dining room at peasants FEAST // Solvang, CA
photo credit to: Bri Burkett

Chef Michael Cherney and his wife, Sarah — both veterans of the Santa Ynez Valley culinary scene — opened peasants FEAST in downtown Solvang in April 2020 just as the pandemic began to take hold. Opening under the weight of the worst crisis to ever face the restaurant industry was hardly ideal. But peasants FEAST managed to not just survive, it thrived with the Cherneys’ unique take on seasonal, farm-to-table comfort food.

According to the MICHELIN Guide description of peasants FEAST: “It may seem impossible to be even more charming than its Solvang surroundings, but peasants FEAST doubles down, and delivers. This daytime-only café from Michael and Sarah Cherney spotlights the seasons on its sandwich-driven menu.”

Pastrami Smoked Salmon Sandwich at peasants FEAST
photo credit to: Bri Burkett
Chef/co-owner Michael Cherney with wife/co-owner Sarah Cherney | photo: Linda Chaja Photography

“When we opened peasants FEAST in April 2020, only two weeks into the pandemic, we did it as an expression of appreciation to our local community, our farmers, ranchers, fishermen, winemakers, brewers, and all of our regional food and drink purveyors,” said Michael Cherney, chef and co-owner of peasants FEAST. “We never expected that appreciation to be returned with the level of support that it has, including this great honor of being included in the MICHELIN Guide due to that support, the heartfelt reviews, and all of the foodie love.”

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