Few may know, but Santa Barbara’s wine country – the Santa Ynez Valley – is linked to Santa Barbara via the Los Padres Forest and San Rafael/Santa Ynez Mountain range.  Over a hundred years ago, a stagecoach line transported guests down California, through Santa Ynez Valley and as we locals call it, “over the hill” (referring to the mountain range) to Santa Barbara.  One of the stops was Mattei’s Tavern (previously The Central Hotel, Los Olivos Hotel and Stagecoach Inn), which provided a bar, dining and overnight accommodations for guests.  While it has undergone many ownership changes, in the last 20 years, it enjoyed a renaissance as a prime destination intimate historic wedding location in wine country for those wanting something different from a vineyard wedding.  While it took a brief break from weddings during some ownership-changes, it appears to be back as a venue dedicated exclusively to private events… and we just love the wedding we did there!

Our menu consisted of very heavy hors d’oeuvres, and when you see what we served, you can see how a heavy station and appetizer reception is every bit as filling as a sit-down plated meal. In fact, we love it because the guests are able to get up and move around and socialize much easier.  The food doesn’t dominate the experience, it complements it.

Menu Highlights: Tray Passed Hors D’OeuvresRoasted Sweet Tomato Tart with Basil, Pine Nut Crush and Goat Cheese; Rock Shrimp Ceviche; Ribbons of Beef Tenderloin on Garlic Crostini |  Stationary Hors D’Oeuvres:  Imported & Domestic Cheese Display with Fresh Fruit with a Basket of French Bread and Crackers; Salsa Bar with- Traditional Salsa, Corn & Black Bean Salsa, Pineapple & Mango Salsa & Tomatillo & Apple Salsa with TriColor Tortilla Chips and our Freshly-Made Guacamole | Heavy Hors D’Oeuvres Stations: “Make your Own” Street Taco Station” : Pork Taco; BBQ Pulled Pork with Corn and Black Bean, Fresh Corriander and Red Onion; Seafood Taco; Shrimp tacos with avocado cream; Taco Bar Condiments: Green Cabbage, Diced Tomatoes, Chopped Cilantro, Jalapenos, Green Onions and Shredded Cheddar Mexican Salsa with extra cilantro | Slider & Fries Live Station: (with Uniformed Chef) Angus Beef Sliders with Gorgonzola Cheese and Grilled Onions; Grilled Portobello Slider with Herb Aioli; French Fries & Sweet Potato Fries served in Bamboo Cone | Farmer’s Market Station: Classic Caesar Salad with our Homemade Garlic Croutons ; California Baby Field Greens with Crumbled Goat Cheese, Roasted Santa Barbara Pistachios & Fresh Strawberries Champagne Vinaigrette |  Mac & Cheese Station: Classic Baked Macaroni & Cheese; Macaroni & Cheese with Ham | Dessert & Coffee: Brownies & McConnell’s Ice Cream Station:Vanilla Bean,Mint Chip and Wild Berry , Homemade Brownies Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, Sliced Strawberries and Whipped Cream

Event Partner Team:  Location:  Mattei’s Tavern | Catering:  Catering Connection | Rentals: Ventura Rental Party Center & Elan Event Rentals  | Florals: Sue Doherty   |    Entertainment: Guitar: Alex Mueller     DJ:  JSH Music Productions     |  Photobooth/Bus: Bessy The Fotobus     |  Photographer: Kenzie Kate Photography     |  Hair/Makeup:  Spa Elan    |  Wedding Coordinator:   Rani Hoover of Inspired Weddings