Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Fancy Brunch at San Ysidro Ranch

"There's this really nice ranch hotel in the mountains with an amazing restaurant and beautiful gardens," remarked a friend when Will and I mentioned that we were planning a weekend trip to Santa Barbara for a wedding this past June. Of course my ears perked up at the sound of the words "restaurant" and "gardens". "Oh and make sure you bring your camera," he added, "you'll probably want to take lots of pictures." Will probably saw the way my face lit up and mentally noted that San Ysidro Ranch would be added to our itinerary.

If there was a place that exemplified "idyllic" it would probably be San Ysidro Ranch. Hidden away in the Montecito foothills, San Ysidro Ranch is composed of forty one charming little cottages and the rustic Stonehouse restaurant, all surround by a dreamy landscape of flower gardens, fruit trees, vine-covered trellises, lily ponds, and running creeks. Have you ever seen a romantic field of lavender in a Jose Villa wedding shoot or a garden colored in gorgeous soft pastels featured on Style Me Pretty and wonder where in the world all of these incredible places are? San Ysidro Ranch is undoubtedly one of those incredible places.

We drove up a winding country road and arrived at the ranch well before our reservation so we could have some time to stroll around the lovely grounds. We took a leisurely walk through the enchanting gardens, explored the restaurant's organic vegetable garden, said hello to a large stone turtle sunbathing by a fountain filled with lilies, and finally circled back around to catch our brunch reservation at the Stonehouse.

We were seated in the dining room, next to a cozy fireplace, side-by-side so we could both enjoy the view from the open window and patio doors that overlooked the beautiful gardens. What followed was all a wonderful blur (perhaps due in part to the bottomless orange mimosas and pear bellinis, yum). Salty Scottish smoked salmon and Idaho trout topped with quail egg and caviar, oysters on the half shell with watermelon mignonette, juicy lobster omelet, and a rich duck confit hash....but my favorite was dessert: the perfectly sweet, perfectly tart creamy plum sorbet. Afterwards we walked off the wooziness from the luxurious fare by making another round through the gardens.

It certainly was a splurge, probably the most we have ever spent on brunch, but thank you to my sweet husband for indulging me so.

San Ysidro Ranch
900 San Ysidro Lane
Montecito, CA 93108
Website: http://www.sanysidroranch.com/

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