If ever there were a reason to charge the Tesla and hit the 101, it’s the May 1 debut of The Bear and Star Restaurant in the heart of Los Olivos. Eli and Ashley Parker are partnering with Chef John Cox to create refined ranch cuisine founded on the rich ecosystem of Foxen Canyon’s Parker Ranch — with Wagyu cattle, chicken, quail, pig and produce raised at the ranch.
The collaboration showcases “Refined Ranch Cuisine” inspired by the surrounding Santa Ynez Valley, along with the storied heritage of the legendary Parker Family.
Chef/Partner John Cox has earned accolades for his turn at Sierra Mar at Big Sur’s Post Ranch Inn. Santa Barbara native Chef Jeremy Tummel and Sous Chef Trent Shank join Cox. General Manager and Sommelier Rachel Vander Veer oversee the restaurant and beverage program.
Ingredients are sourced from the 174-acre Fess Parker Home Ranch, seven miles away on Foxen Canyon where 75 head of Wagyu cattle are raised and finished with spent grains and pomace from the family brewery and winery. Beef and pork are expected to be available by Fall 2017. Chickens, quail, rabbits, pigs, bees, a number of heirloom fruits and organic vegetables are also raised on the ranch, linking the family’s expertise in hospitality, wine-making, and ranching to the dining experience, an ecosystem developed under Chef Cox’s passion and vision. The ranch will be supplying much of the produce for The Bear and Star.
Chef Cox’s style is influenced by his Texas roots and he shares his Lone Star heritage with the late family founder Fess Parker. The restaurant’s motif is reflected in the logo, uniting the Texas star with the California bear. A 30′ custom reverse-flow Texas smoker designed by Chef Cox is a centerpiece of concept, housed on the property and the source for slow smoking, as well as barbecuing many of the restaurant’s dishes. The mobile smoker is a self-contained kitchen with a pizza oven, Big Green Egg, sink and onboard refrigeration.
But let’s talk about the food! Highlights of the all-day lunch and dinner menu include Wagyu Fries with garden herb aioli; Smoked Berkshire Pork Rillettes with grilled country bread & house pickled onion; Deviled Ranch Eggs with Santa Barbara urchin and espelette; Fried Green Tomatoes with “Cheese Wiz” and bbq spice; Smoked Wagyu Carpaccio with cured egg yolk, koji, charred scallions & radish; Parker Ranch Wagyu Burger with smoked cheddar, tomato jam, & butter pickles; Crispy Catfish with refried black-eyed peas & blackened smoked tomato sauce; Berkshire Pork Chop with cheesy grits, Syrah braised cabbage & grain mustard au jus; Wagyu Meatloaf with potato puree, garden vegetables & pan jus; Gnocchi Stroganoff with mushrooms from the farm and crispy herbs; Parker Ranch Chili with cheddar, chives, & cornbread croutons and Local Stuffed Quail with farro risotto, bay laurel and red wine demi glace. Steak-lovers can choose from Cast Iron Steaks with crispy shallots, demi glace & herb butter with choice of 60-oz. Angus Filet; 12-oz New York and 18-oz. Wagyu Ribeye.
The Bear and Star is also open for breakfast with don’t miss favorites like Cheddar Biscuit & Country Gravy; Steel Cut Oatmeal Brulee with local blueberries & caramelized palm sugar; Santa Barbara Smoked Salmon with radish salad, house pickled vegetables & scallion creme fraiche; Smoked Wagyu Hash with Farm Eggs, root vegetables & lemon-thyme hollandaise; and Home-Made Country Sausage with Poached Eggs and sourdough country toast.
In keeping with the Fess Parker legacy, The Bear and Star will feature a thoughtfully curated wine program featuring the family’s Fess Parker, Epiphany, and new Fesstivity sparkling wines, as well as small-production wines from Santa Barbara County’s most sought after wineries. Local wines will be complemented by international wines from Champagne, Burgandy, Chateuneuf du Pape and beyond. Older vintage and iconic wines will be available to sample by the glass via Coravin pouring system.
The market cocktail menu reflects the seasonal, local and sustainably sourced focus of the menu with craft cocktails such as Home Ranch Bounty with gin, basil, cucumber, St. Germain elderflower liqueur & lemon; The Lone Barb with tequila, prickly pear puree, lime & smoked salt rim; Bear Claw with vodka, blood orange juice, bitters & pink peppercorn; Ranch Hand Reviver with mezcal, jalapeno, mint & lime; Wagyu Bull Shot with vodka, beef bone broth, turmeric & ginger; and Grand Avenue Smash with bourbon, mint, blueberries, lemon juice & maple syrup.
The restaurant is divided into four distinct environments: The Dining Room; an exclusive Wine Room for local vintners and private functions; Chef’s Room for classes and intimate dining groups; and the Bar/Lounge.
The Bear and Star will be open daily for breakfast from 7-10:30am and a full-day lunch/dinner menu served from 11:30am-10pm, as well as weekend brunch. The Bar and Star Bar are open daily from 11:30am to close.
The Bear and Star
2860 Grand Avenue, Los Olivos, CA 93441
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