Tag Archives: Santa Ynez

Life Lately: Wedding Edition

First off, congrats to reader Georgiana for winning the Bee’s Knees Giveaway and a big thank you to everyone who participated!  You might have noticed a brief disappearing act from the blog over the past week, but if you follow me on instagram then you know that the Englishman and I got married a couple of weekends ago!  Since the past couple of weeks have been pretty focused around the wedding, I thought I’d do a life lately: wedding edition update.

life lately wedding edition aviatorsWant to know the best way to get rid of pre-wedding jitters? Go wine tasting with your mom the day before.  Works wonders on the nerves I promise.

Standing Sun WinesI finally got to meet the wonderful Christine from Standing Sun Wines and ended up leaving with four bottles I can’t wait to open later.  If you are ever in Buellton be sure to check this gem out.

Our rehearsal dinner was held at Avant Tapas and Wine in Buellton.  One of the highlights of the evening was an appetizer called “Yuppie Crack” which was a date stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in bacon.

avant tapas The picture doesn’t do it justice but it was amazing.  And since my maid of honor is a vegetarian, she was kind enough to let me eat hers too.  SO GOOD.  I will be making this at home this summer.

Of course it wasn’t all just wine and bacon wrapped dates.  There was water, green smoothies, sandwiches and these handy pumpkin seed snack packs the Skout Organic team sent me.

Skout Organic TrailpaksIf you are ever looking for a quick snack, these raw pumpkin seeds definitely hit the spot.  I’ve sprinkled them on salads and just eaten them straight out of the bag.  So good.

I plan on doing a more detailed post highlighting the amazing food at the wedding, but let me just say that Trattoria Grappolo did NOT disappoint.  And neither did Solvang Bakery, who created this gorgeous cake.

Wedding CakeI had various guests coming up to me telling me the cake was one of the best they had ever had, so I consider that to be a resounding success.  I made sure to help myself to a lovely slice of chocolate with lemon butter cream.

If you find yourself in the Santa Ynez area, be sure to check out Sunstone Winery (our wedding venue) and try their Grenache Rose.

Wedding Aviators RoseI personally find it more fun to drink rose while wearing aviators, but it tastes just as good without them.  Sunstone also has an amazing Cabernet and a Grenache Blanc that are also highly recommended.

And now it’s back to the real world for a couple of weeks until we leave for Maui on our honeymoon!  If any one has any good Maui food recommendations please leave them in the comments.

Trattoria Grappolo

When I first started planning our wedding I knew I wanted really, really good food that would leave people with a smile on their face and full bellies.  Santa Ynez has many wonderful restaurants and caterers to choose from, but as soon as I tasted the food from Trattoria Grappolo last fall I knew I wanted them to cater our wedding.

Trattoria Grappolo is an Italian restaurant that uses fresh, local ingredients from farmers in the area and also offers a wine list that includes many wines from wineries in the Santa Ynez area.  One of my favorite wines that they offer is the Grenache Rose from Foley Wines.

Trattoria Grappolo Grenache RoseWhen we were in Santa Ynez a couple of weeks ago finalizing wedding details, we knew we had to pop into Trattoria Grappolo for dinner.  The Englishman and my dad had yet to try the food, and I felt the need to taste it again for “quality control purposes.”

After a day filled with wine and cake tasting, we made our way over to Trattoria Grappolo and immediately dug into their delicious bread and olive oil while we eagerly looked over the menu.

Trattoria Grappolo Bread and OilFor our appetizer courses, we decided to split the Caprese Salad and the Antipasti Salad.

Trattoria Grappolo CapreseMy mom and I had the caprese the last time we were at Trattoria Grappolo and it was just as good as we remembered.  Slices of mozzarella nestled between tomatoes with a light olive oil drizzle and fresh basil.  Simple, yet perfect.

Trattoria Grappolo Antipasto SaladThe Antipasti Salad was out of this world.  I’ve had a lot of antipasti salad in my time, but this one exceeded all expectations.  We were presented with a beautiful dish consisting of fresh grilled calamari, shrimp, roasted vegetables, prosciutto and mozzarella.  Next time I dine at Trattoria Grappolo I just might order this as an entrée.

For our mains, the Englishman and I decided to split the Pollo al Forno, which is chicken roasted with shiitake mushrooms and truffle oil.

Trattoria Grappolo Roast ChickenAnytime there’s truffle oil on the menu I’m bound to order that dish and this one did not disappoint.  The truffle flavor was nicely balanced without being too overpowering and the root vegetables on the side were a perfect complement.

My dad decided to order the Fagioli con Salsicce, which was Italian sausage over a bed of white cannelinni beans.

Trattoria Grappolo SausageThe sausage had a nice little spicy kick to it and paired perfectly with the cannelinni beans.  If pasta isn’t your thing, I definitely recommend ordering a dish like this.

My mom kept it simple with Pizza Carciofi which was a thin crust pizza topped with cheese, artichokes and capers.

Trattoria Grappolo PizzaI’m a firm believer that sometimes simple is better when it comes to pizza, and this one was a perfect example.  The crust was nice and crispy, the artichokes perfectly roasted and the capers added a nice touch of salt.

Of course, no meal is complete without dessert, so we ordered Tiramisu and Spumoni.

Trattoria Grappolo SpumoniFor those of you not familiar, spumoni is an Italian ice cream made with three different flavors – cherry, pistachio and chocolate and is delicious.  I’ve mentioned my feelings on tiramisu before, and while it’s not my favorite dessert, this version was very good.

Having dinner at Trattoria Grappolo just reinforced my excitement for having them cater our wedding in May.  And I will say, some of the dishes in this post will be featured on our wedding menu, but we also have a lot of other delicious items coming from Trattoria Grappolo that I can’t wait to share with you after our big day!

But now I leave you with this important question – what is your favorite Italian dessert?