, Elegant Cuisine Meets Farm-To-Table Dining At Solvang’s New Sear Steakhouse, The Nzuchi News Forbes

Elegant Cuisine Meets Farm-To-Table Dining At Solvang’s New Sear Steakhouse

, Elegant Cuisine Meets Farm-To-Table Dining At Solvang’s New Sear Steakhouse, The Nzuchi News Forbes

Solvang, California’s newest hotspot is Sear Steakhouse, a farm-driven Santa Ynez Valley restaurant venture from Demitri “Jimmy” and Karen Loizides. This full-service restaurant and bar is the third Santa Ynez Valley hospitality business for the couple whose behind K’Syrah Catering and Event and Maverick Saloon. The steakhouse is the second Santa Barbara wine country business for partner and general manager, Alberto Battaglini.

Sear Steakhouse is an elegant restaurant built on the venue’s original adobe brick walls, with rustic decor and modern ranch flair. With reclaimed wood accents, two fireplaces, and wood tables and banquettes all hand built by Jimmy and his team give this steakhouse a warm, welcoming, upscale ambiance.

Separating itself from most other steakhouses, is the fact that the establishment sources many, if not most, ingredients from the restaurant team’s very own farms, Sear Farm and Roblar Farm. Minutes away from the establishment, these two farms are farmed by hand, and populated with over 100+ varieties of vegetables, fruits and herbs grown specifically for the restaurant. Sear Steakhouse will attain its meat from a single-sourced Colorado farm and USDA Prime and Choice beef from neighboring ranches.

Starters include seared tenderloin with ginger, garlic ponzu and microgreens; wild caught blue crab cakes with a red pepper remoulade; roasted bone marrow with oxtail jam and more. Seriously delicious sides feature some of the farms best veggies including crispy Brussels sprouts; grilled asparagus; and Sear Farms fried cauliflower among other dishes.

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All steaks are served a la carte and include the bone-in Tomahawk, fillet mignon center cut, and the bone-in rib eye. Complements include the New England lobster tail and a selection of different styles such as Oscar style and blue cheese. Other main entrees are the wild caught diver scallops with cauliflower puree, crispy bacon, pickled red onion, shaved truffle; and the New Zealand Rack of Lamb with charred leek aioli, roasted leeks.

Of course you can’t be in wine country and not have a great selection of Central Coast wines. In addition, the steakhouse offers favorites from other pristine regions including Napa, France and Italy.

The cocktail program is helmed by Battaglini, who’s known in the area for his mixology programs. Using the farm’s herbs and fresh produce for his libations, the cocktail menu will feature a “Classic”section of drinks–like a Sazerac, a Hemingway, or a Pisco Sour–as well as a Martini column. “Modern” crafts will include Battaglini’s farm-driven drinks such as “The Retox” with gin, aloe liquor, basil, cucumber, parsley tincture, lime, and simple syrup and the “Surfing Cow” with gin, bell pepper, basil, Aperol, simple syrup.

We chatted with owners Demitri “Jimmy” and Karen Loizides on the opening, farms, menu inspiration and more. Here’s what they had to say.

You’re not new to the hospitality business, how has your experience prepared you for opening up Sear Steakhouse?

I have been in the restaurant business my whole life from the age of 16. I’ve worked every position in the restaurant industry from dishwasher to owner and everything in between. I’ve been through multiple economic downfalls and swings including the most brutal, COVID-19. I have had multiple concepts and have talked to a lot of different people. I realize that you need to know your environment in order to prepare for the specific business in that area. I think for those reasons, it had me prepared for our new venture.

How much of your ingredients are sourced from your farms, Sear Farm and Roblar?

We try to use as much of our produce as possible from the farm and incorporate it into the menu, so sometimes we actually build a dish around a specific vegetable rather than the other way around.

For example, we just had a fish special which was local rock cod that was built around wild dandelions from the farm. Depending on the season, we grow up to 130 different things. We also grow most of our own herbs.

Like right now, we have tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, basil, zucchini squash and about 15 other different things. We also have 12 varieties of fruit growing – it will be ready from summer to fall.

What is the inspiration for your menu? Where is the meat sourced? Must-try dishes?

Inspiration for the menu was my love for traditional steak houses. We always said that we wanted our steakhouse to be a special place for prime steaks and locally grown and sourced produce and seafood.

My wife and I always joked that if Mastro’s steakhouse married a farm and had a baby, it would be Sear Steakhouse. Our meat is sourced from a single ranch in Colorado called Stock Yards. Must-try dishes are always the prime steaks, my favorite being the bone-in ribeye and my wife’s being the filet.

Also, one of our most popular dishes is the Diver Scallops which sit on cauliflower purée with crispy bacon bits and shaved truffle.

Has opening during the pandemic been tough? Have there been any unforeseen issues come up?

Opening up during the pandemic has not been as difficult as we thought, because we were towards the end of the pandemic and people wanted to come out and enjoy our restaurant. Our biggest challenge has been trying to find staff, which seems to be a huge issue for almost all restaurants in the nation. We have a great team, starting with our partner and general manager Alberto Battaglini, our chef Erik Dandee, and the rest of our amazing staff.

What do you hope the diners take away after a meal at Sear Steakhouse?

What we want our diner to take away after a meal at our steakhouse is to say, “Wow, that was an amazing dining experience with great entrées, great service, great craft cocktails, and I can’t believe how great the environment was.”

How has the first few months of opening been?

The first two months of being open have been rather interesting for us with the staffing challenges. However, saying that, we have we exceeded our expectations for sales and are so grateful for all the support from the community and the tourists. Well, the best thing we did was invest a lot time and money in pre-opening training. It really helped us get our feet under us and hit the road running.

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