Coast Range & Vaquero Bar (www.coastrange.restaurant), a Central Coast steakhouse and seafood restaurant including a full cocktail bar as well as deli counter and pastry program, will begin its opening phases with the Thursday, April 8, 2021 public debut of the Vaquero Bar and patio dining. The new multi-concept hospitality venture inhabits the former, locally-loved Mandarin Touch restaurant and bar space in historic downtown Solvang, California. Coast Range & Vaquero Bar will celebrate the best that the Central Coast has to offer including steaks from the area’s storied ranches, seafood directly from Central Coast wharves, craft cocktails, and a wine program showcasing the region’s finest producers. The restaurant concept will also include proprietary product from the owner’s Santa Ynez ranch, Coast Range Ranch
Coast Range will consist of three parts. Vaquero Bar, opening first, will display a full cocktail menu, local wine and craft beer, and an elevated yet casual bar food menu which will be available on the outdoor dining patio or inside the bar, at Santa Barbara County’s current COVID capacities. A hand-crafted, 16-seat bar will anchor the 500-square foot Vaquero Bar space which now boasts large windows and a new entryway, both of which open to patios, effectively bringing the indoor energy to the outdoor areas. Coast Range & Vaquero Bar’s expansive patio spaces total 1,000 square feet, with seating for up to 36 patrons.
The Coast Range dining room and the deli portions of the project will open in late-spring 2021. The dining room will add another 1,000 square feet of seating for up to 60 guests. The deli area will accommodate daytime walk-up orders meant to be enjoyed on the patios and at night, will transform into a “butcher shop” servicing the Coast Range steakhouse, where guests will be encouraged to pick their own prime steaks before the cuts of meat are delivered to the chef for preparation. One “VIP” table will reside in this space, affording its two diners the opportunity to experience the action of the butcher shop during dinner service.
Dynamic and entertaining Vaquero Bar menu items will include the likes of “Pig Ear Cheetoz” (crispy pigs’ ears, cheddar cheese); a daily crudo special (e.g., Channel Islands yellowtail sashimi with habanero yuzu kosho, sea grapes); chicken liver pâté (with white and red strawberries, and rhubarb galette); steak tartare (with puffed pigs’ ears, Worcestershire aïoli, chervil); fish and chips highlighting local rock cod (with ‘805’ beer batter, red onion tartar, salt and vinegar chips, Sausalito Springs watercress); a “Cowboy Pie” (stout-braised lamb, English peas, baby carrots, puff pastry, bone marrow); and, a requisite Beaufort Bar burger (chopped steak, Beaufort cheese sauce, crunchy pickles, sweet onions, fries), among other dishes which will change with the seasons.
Vaquero Bar will also offer a handful of desserts which will rotate in and out, such as a chocolate layer cake with “Grammie’s boiled icing” and salty caramel sauce, Coast Range Donuts (brown butter brioche, brown butter glaze), or a Meyer lemon tarte with almond shortbread crust and vanilla Chantilly. The daytime deli counter will also feature Chef Lincoln Carson’s award-winning pastries, coffee, and casual lunch to enjoy on the restaurant’s patio or as a picnic to take to a local winery.
Vaquero Bar’s cocktail menu will see sections portioned into “Martinis”, “Old Fashioneds”, “Margaritas”, “Sours”, “Mules”, “Negronis”, “Collins”, and “Tikis”. Each section will house three different drink options with imaginative twists like in the “Midnight Rider” Old Fashioned which entails Old Forester 100 Bourbon, maple, black walnut bitters, red oak smoked, or in the “Ramblin’ Man” Margarita which includes Milagro Tequila, pineapple, champagne, black salt.
Award-winning chefs and industry veterans Anthony Carron, Lincoln Carson, and Steven Fretz join forces with renowned sommelier and winemaker, Rajat Parr, to bring their collective experience to the new all-day dining concept in the heart of Solvang.
“They say there’s always a silver lining. While 2020 brought challenges it also allowed us to assemble a world-class team of chefs and find the perfect space to showcase our talents in a part of the world we love,” said Chef Anthony Carron.
More than just business partners, the Coast Range founders are longtime friends who first worked together over a decade ago, and now call the Santa Ynez Valley home. Carron was the executive chef for Michael Mina for many years, then went on to found 800 Degrees Pizza and Top Round, two Los Angeles-based casual dining brands with global reach. Fretz, also a co-founder of Top Round, opened Church Key in Los Angeles and has led some of the top kitchens in the country, working with chefs such as Michael Mina, David Burke, and Curtis Stone. Carson, a celebrated pastry chef and recent finalist for a James Beard Award, was most recently the chef and owner of Bon Temps in downtown Los Angeles, which received local and national acclaim including recognition as a “best new restaurant” from Los Angeles Magazine, Los Angeles Times, TimeOut LA, Esquire, and Food & Wine.
World-renowned winemaker, sommelier, author, James Beard Award winner and Central Coast resident, Rajat Parr will curate a focused wine list of the best of the Central Coast, Northern California classics, and special steak- and seafood-friendly wines from around the world.
Joining the team will be partner Hillary Calhoun, an experienced marketing professional who will oversee marketing, events, and catering for Coast Range & Vaquero Bar, as well as general manager and mixologist Joseph Sabato, who has worked in many of the nation’s finest restaurants including The Bazaar by José Andrés, XIV by Michael Mina, Katsuya, Sona, and Ortolan.
The team will open the Vaquero Bar and terrace dining first, on April 8, 2021, strictly following all COVID-19 guidelines. The Coast Range dining room and deli will open later in the spring. For updates on opening plans and capacities, follow the restaurant on Instagram @coastrangerestaurant or watch the establishment’s website: www.coastrange.restaurant.
Vaquero Bar’s initial opening hours will be Monday, Thursday, Sunday, 11:00 AM to 12 Midnight; Friday and Saturday, 11:00 AM to 2:00 AM (closed Tuesday and Wednesday; initial opening hours subject to change). Private event inquiries may be directed to Hillary Calhoun at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coast Range is located at 1635 Mission Drive, Solvang, CA 93463, directly across from Solvang Park, in the very center of the Santa Barbara County wine country village. Sitting above Coast Range are two fully-equipped, design-detailed vacation rental units which may be booked individually or combined. The mid-level unit features an ample outdoor patio, ideal for watching the hustle and bustle of the quaint Danish-settled town which centers the surrounding viticultural and agricultural landscapes. The vacation rental units will be available by summer 2021.