Lunch at S.Y. Kitchen, Santa Ynez

The road trip was going well. We’d arrive in a new place, walk around, do what there is to do, then get back in the car and leave. Usually we’re there with only enough time for one meal, so wherever we ate, it had to be amazing. As the family’s Food & Beverage Manager, this was a lot of pressure. Good thing we know my skills to find a place to eat are second to none.

And this was one of those moments where I triumphed, lapping up all the “Great choice, Bianca” comments as I bask in glory. It’s the little things. After a little research, S.Y. Kitchen was our destination of choice as we left Santa Barbara.

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It was the perfect shout. An absolute gem.

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First up was a little bread, which we demolished two plates of easily. We had to hold ourselves back from asking for any more.

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The parents equipped themselves with a glass of lemonade and cranberry juice.

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I, on the other hand, was looking for something a little stronger to prepare myself for sitting in the car for a few more hours. I eyed up their custom-made manhattens in the menu.

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Instead, I went for a Triple Berry Collins (I love a good Tom Collins variation).

It was delicious, but super strong.

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(The sunglasses were necessary after I saw that picture of myself earlier).

On their specials board, the soup of the day was a Minestrone Soup, which Mum and Dad got a small bowl of to share.

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For mains, both Ming and Dad opted for the Nicoise Salad – French green beans, potatoes, olives, shallots, tomatoes, lettuce, preserved tuna, and a picture-perfect soft boiled egg.

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Mama Bridges spotted her favourite and there was no turning back.

It was the Spaghetti Clams – Handmade spaghetti, olive oil and clams.

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I was pleased when they swooned over how good the soup was, because I ordered a big portion for the main.

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Boy oh boy, it was SO good. I dare to say it was the best Minestrone Soup I’ve ever had (I’m not that keen on the ones with pasta in it). Good thing I’d sneakily stolen a couple of slices of bread for dipping.

If you’re road-tripping or just in the area, this is definitely worth a visit!

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