Ok, wow. It appears that I am to review the restaurant here at this new little Solvang hotspot and I have already been raving. Loudly. Everywhere.
The restaurant serves, hands down, the best food in the loveliest restaurant with the finest service anywhere in the Santa Ynez Valley. That's a tall order but I speak the truth.
Food - wine country cuisine but with a twist. Better sauces. More interesting flavors. Spectacular presentation. Phenomenal first courses. The warm bacon spinach salad will ruin you for other salads. It's just not normal. It's life changing. The lobster bisque, with its tangy sherry-cream, is capped with a flaky bread crust that you have to break through to get to the fragrant soup. The filet, my God, the filet. I thought I had tasted filet mignon every way that it could be done but this one practically had me crying. The wine list is good - could use more local representation. I cannot speak of the desserts. I barely touched my chocolate torte for fear of losing the exquisite taste of the meal. Word on the street is that they wooed the chefs away from the Casino's Willow's Restaurant which, along with the Petersen Inn, tied for first in my opinion prior to the Hadsten House's arrival on the scene.
Ambiance: Santa Ynez Valley's new wine crowd meets New York City. We've never seen anything quite like this place around here. Sophisticated, dark ornamental wood decor with swanky black and white modern details. Service staff in head to toe black attire. Stemless Riedel glassware. Fine service pieces.
Roaring fireplace: A bar that puts you in mind of a funky little martini lounge - they didn't get their mixed beverage license this year so can only serve beer and wine. They are hoping for 2008. Washroom amenities are excellent, a detail that most restaurants overlook in my opinion. A small intimate romantic restaurant altogether and definitely an excuse to wear that little black dress that never makes an appearance in casual Solvang proper.
Pricing is reasonable, comparable to Mattei's tavern and the Hitching Post. Appetizers and desserts are inordinately low priced with the pricing that you would typically expect on your entrée and wine.
If visitors and locals do not embrace this restaurant like they have Grappolo and Aru, there is something wrong with this town and I'm moving back to civilization.