The restaurant will represent the third Santa Ynez Valley hospitality business for owners Demetri (“Jimmy”) and Karen Loizides, the duo behind K’Syrah Catering & Events and Maverick Saloon in Santa Ynez, and the second local business for partner and General Manager Alberto Battaglini, co-owner and operator of Santa Ynez coffee shop Pony Espresso, a restaurant spokeswoman said.
“Due to the events of this past year, our catering platform faced so many limitations," Jimmy Loizides said. "But we still had our farms, and we were still floating the idea of opening a restaurant in K’Syrah’s Solvang space. We just needed that final push, which we received in the form of two great additions to this business: Alberto and Chef Erik."
Chef Erik Dandee, a Vancouver, Washington, native, will command the kitchen, informed by nearly two decades of restaurant experience that include culinary school at Vancouver’s International Air and Hospitality Academy, and Scottsdale Culinary Institute. He also competed on Food Network Canada’s grilling show "Fire Masters" in 2019.
Battaglini, a local mixologist fixture, will manage the bar program and pull from the eatery's nearby farms to produce a special cocktail menu.
Both food and drink menus will consist of locally sourced ingredients from the restaurant team’s own-farmed, organic agricultural properties, Sear Farm and Roblar Farm, both minutes away from the restaurant’s location, the spokeswoman said. Sear Farm sits on the Loizides’ Santa Ynez Valley land — where the family has resided since 2011 — and is populated with over 100 varieties of vegetables, fruits and herbs dedicated to the team's restaurant and catering businesses.
Neighboring ranches or a Colorado farm will provide USDA prime and choice beef, and fresh seafood will come from local waters.
“We wanted a place with local roots … a spot meant for locals, and for family," Karen Loizides said. "All of us — including Alberto, Chef Erik — have families here, on the Central Coast. We wanted to create something for all of our families, but something that would also give back to the immediate community.”
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FROM THE VINE As soon as February rolls around it always feels like the month of romance. It’s all about sweet pleasures like dining out in special restaurants, wine tasting, Champagne and sparkling wines, and decadent, heart shaped boxes of local, handmade chocolates.
Practically nowhere is local love easier to display than here, in Santa Barbara County wine country. Our restaurant menus are often shaped by what is available and in season; what chefs find in their kitchens as a result of local farm deliveries, or relationships with catchers of fish, raisers of cattle, growers of mushrooms, makers of wine, or bakers of breads, cakes and cookies.