Stonehouse Restaurant

A rustic retreat in Santa Barbara

Tucked away in San Ysidro Ranch’s 500 verdant acres filled with citrus and olive groves, you’ll discover Stonehouse Restaurant. The rustic stone structure looks like a charming home, but it’s actually a 19th-century citrus-packing house. Inside, a stone fireplace, white-cloth-clad tables and creek views set the mood for an intimate meal.

And the same romantic atmosphere is found in the greenery-wrapped terrace with its twinkling nighttime lights, crackling fireplace and ocean vistas.

For the menu, Stonehouse draws from its surroundings. Chef Matt Johnson plucks seasonal herbs and vegetables from the ranch's organic garden to craft his sophisticated, fresh regional cuisine. While the fine-dining restaurant appears formal, the food offerings reveal otherwise — baby-back ribs and caviar both have a place on the menu.

The restaurant also is great for imbibing. The Stonehouse carries a vast wine collection. It’s one of the only restaurants on the West Coast to have the famous Chapter series from Balvenie. And of course, it crafts plenty of cocktails — a local favorite is the Warner Margarita, which is made with Don Julio Real Añejo and Ty Warner’s Secret Mexican Margarita mix and served over ice in a hand-blown glass.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • Alfresco dining is a must here. And don’t worry if the weather chills — the year-round terrace offers a wood-burning fireplace and heated floors to keep you toasty.
  • For a dish with flair, try the popular steak Diane. It’s flambeed tableside and accompanied by mashed potatoes, haricots verts and a brandied cremini mushroom sauce.
  • Head to the Santa Barbara restaurant on Sundays for its decadent champagne brunch, which includes free-flowing bubbly, mimosas and Bellinis.
  • End the meal with the signature lemon tart. The dessert features Meyer lemons grown at the ranch and lavender Chantilly cream.
  • Stonehouse was honored with the Wine Spectator Grand Award. It boasts an impressive wine cellar of 2,100 labels and 12,000 bottles. 

Things to Know

  • Stonehouse Restaurant does not have a dress code, but we recommend donning smart casual attire.
  • Come early or stay later to stroll through the idyllic resort grounds.
  • For a private dining option, consider Old Adobe, a California historic landmark and the oldest building on property. The 1825 structure offers rustic elegance and charming décor and can accommodate up to eight guests. Or opt for the Wine Cellar. With masonry barrel-vaulted ceilings, stucco walls and original artwork, it can hold up to 30 guests.

The Food

  • Order the tender baby-back ribs slathered in Stonehouse’s own barbecue sauce (all sauces are made in house). It comes with apple-fennel coleslaw and seasoned fries.
  • For something fresh and light, try the yellowtail crudo, which arrives with Pixie tangerines, purple sango radish, petite seagrass, espelette and shiro dashi vinaigrette.
  • The tortilla soup is a guest favorite. Studded with fresh avocado, grilled chicken and cheddar, the soup is topped with tortilla strips.
  • Many ingredients on the ever-changing menu are prepared with seasonal herbs and vegetables from the onsite organic chef’s garden.

The Chef

  • A love of local food and wine runs deep in Johnson. The California native grew up in a family who worked in the Santa Barbara wine industry.
  • Prior to joining San Ysidro Ranch in 2008, Johnson worked at California spots such as Windows on the Water in Morro Bay, SummerWood Winery & Inn in Paso Robles and The Inn at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach.
  • Johnson was invited to cook at the prestigious James Beard House in 2014. His five-course dinner spotlighted Meyer lemons grown on the grounds of San Ysidro Ranch.

Gluten-free options
Kid friendly
Outdoor seating
Private dining
Reservations recommended
Valet parking
Vegetarian options
Getting There
900 San Ysidro Lane, Montecito, California 93108
Stonehouse Restaurant
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