Ranch-style cuisine is running strong in epicurean circles these days and The Bear and Star deserves much of the credit. The Los Olivos restaurant — inspired by the Fess Parker family — has served “Refined Ranch Cuisine” for many years.
The Bear and Star takes its name from the two states founder Fess Parker called home: Texas and California. The restaurant will celebrate Valentine’s Day with a special dinner on Wednesday, Feb. 14. The hearty menu, created by chef John Cox and his team, focuses on sustainable food. The Bear and Star sources most of its meats, fowl and produce from the Parker family ranch, as well as nearby organic farms.
With the Valentine’s Day dinner, chef Cox raises a toast to romance in the Santa Ynez Valley wine country. The evening begins with an amuse of deviled farm egg with caviar; followed by a first-course choice of three Morro Bay reserve oysters with Santa Barbara rock crab “Rockefeller” or winter greens with crispy country ham, Asian pear and goat cheese.
The second course consists of Parker Ranch Wagyu short ribs with stone-ground polenta and pan-roasted kale; or wild Chanterelle mushrooms with creamy toasted orzo, black truffle Camembert and lemon-parsley Gremolata.
For dessert the restaurant is offering a choice of Key Lime Pie with graham cracker crust or a dark-chocolate ganache cake with cassis. Petit Fours and a chocolate-covered strawberry are presented before guests depart.
Sparkling and other wine pairings, selected by The Bear and Star’s Robert Williams, are available for the dinner. Pricing for the Valentine’s Day menu is $68 per adult and $35 additional for the optional wine.
Valentine’s Day hours at The Bear and Star begin with morning breakfast from 7-10 a.m.; followed by lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner is served from 5-9 p.m. Reservations are recommended. Contact: The Bear and Star, 2860 Grand Ave., Los Olivos; 805-686-1359 or OpenTable.com; visit www.thebearandstar.com.