By Pamela Dozois
Daisy and Greg Ryan, a husband and wife team with an extensive background in the hospitality industry, have opened their first restaurant — Bell’s, a French bistro — in what was formerly Bell Street Farm on Bell Street in Los Alamos.
They say their aim is to make the restaurant a local gathering place, community cornerstone and a Santa Ynez Valley dining destination throughout the day, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Evoking the spirit of French wine country, Bell’s will blend the valley’s relaxed, natural beauty and rich agricultural roots with the Old West vibe of Los Alamos.
“Greg and I have returned to the Santa Ynez Valley, where my family has lived for 27 years. With the recent addition of our son, Henry, we are so happy to call the area home and are excited to have the opportunity to serve food and wine we are passionate about to the region’s residents and visitors,” Daisy Ryan said.
Set in a historic bank building accented with blue hues, the welcoming space features 60 seats split between an inviting dining room, intimate bar seating and a lush back patio. Adorning the space will be nearly 20 antique French copper pieces, and French and Italian pottery pieces sourced from Daisy’s parents, Brent and Suzi Freitas, who own Eye of the Day garden design shop in Carpinteria.
Bell’s menu skews toward French bistro classics paying homage to “working folks’ food” with dishes like bistro salad with aged goat cheese, sunflower seeds, pickled red onions and house vinaigrette; Parisian gnocchi with sauce fonduto and fines herbes; and rotisserie chicken with bread salad with currants, shallot confit, bitter greens, and sherry vinegar.
The wine list will feature Santa Barbara County producers new to the area, as well as familiar favorites, and incorporate wines from some of their other favorite regions in California, France, Italy, Germany and Portugal.
Daisy Ryan, who attended The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Hyde Park, will oversee the menu alongside sous chef and pastry chef Sarah Williams, whom she met at CIA and who worked in fine-dining restaurants in New York and most recently was the executive pastry chef at Cal Poly.
With service and operational experience at some many dining institutions, Greg Ryan will operate the restaurant. He promises a warm, recognizable and vibrant style for which the previous proprietors were known and loved in Los Alamos and beyond.
Bell’s is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and Monday at 406 Bell St. in Los Alamos.
For more information, call 805-344-4609 or email firstname.lastname@example.org