Mesa Burger Bringing Famous Burgers To Montecito…

Meanwhile, a but farther north…  Apparently there have been rumors for a while, but proof is now up in the form of a window banner announcing that a branch of Santa Barbara’s mini chain of “craft burgers with heart and soul”, Mesa Burger, is landing in the old Tutti’s/Coffee Bean location at 1209 Coast Village Road in Montecito.  If you don’t know about Mesa Burger, you should:  Celebrity Chef Cat Cora is part owner and force behind the menu of gourmet, handcrafted burgers, farm fresh salads, hand-spun shakes, and other items that are made using conscientiously-sourced and sustainable ingredients.  Local beers and wines are also on offer.  It looks like they’re shooting for a Spring opening.  Well worth the drive.MesaBurger.jpg

Ca’Dario Trattoria & Pizzeria Coming To Montecito

For those of you who take your staycations in Montecito comes this news:  A popular name in Santa Barbara Italian fare is opening a branch in the Coast Village Plaza at 1187 Coast Village Road.  Ca’Dario Trattoria & Pizzeria will be battling stiff  competition along the already red sauce laden strip.  We wish them the best of luck…


Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro Expands To Montecito

After a sad and disastrous year, it is inspiring to watch the rebuilding of Montecito.  From time to time, I like to check out what’s happening in the resilient and plucky seaside town.  Recently, I noticed that a branch of Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro is opening in the space at 1187 Coast Village Road (Suite 7).  Renaud’s bills itself as “A taste of Paris without the trip to France”, and has a smattering of locations in Southern California, mostly in various Gelson’s.  In addition to patisserie, and a light menu of salads, sandwiches, pasta, and quiche, the ABC application posted on the front indicates a that a beer and wine license is on the way.  Glass of Sancerre with that pain bagnat?  Mais oui!



Frankland’s Crab & Co. Opens April 5th In Montecito; Phillip Frankland Lee Gives Us A Glimpse Inside

A few months ago, we learned from Eater that Phillip Frankland Lee (Scratch Restaurants) was taking over the restaurant spaces in the Montecito Inn.  After a number of delays one is about to open, bringing new lifeblood to a community devastated by the Santa Barbara Fires and Mudslides.  Recently, I had a chance to speak with the energetic and affable Lee, who was kind enough to take time from his busy schedule to give me a glimpse inside his newest eateries.  Frankland’s Crab & Co. is set to open April 5, and offers a menu of seafood in a bright and airy casual space with high stools and communal tables.  His other Montecito Inn restaurant will be named The Monarch and has a menu of  local Santa Barbara products cooked over almond wood: think pizza, pasta, and “We’ll see”.  Look for an opening in late summer or early autumn.  We wish him the best of luck.

IMG_3290.jpgPhillip Frankland Lee inside Frankland’s Crab & Co. 

IMG_3288.jpgThe progress inside The Monarch

IMG_3292.jpgFrankland’s Crab & Co. at night

Hillstone Restaurant Group Expands Into Montecito

It wasn’t that long ago that an old-timey nursery sat at 1255 Coast Village Road in posh Montecito, a relic of the now-tony street’s utilitarian past that has disappeared to accommodate the patrons of estates worth millions just a stone’s throw away.  The nursery was demolished to make space for a new development that will house a branch of LA-based Hillstone Restaurant Group (Houston’s, South Beverly Grill, Gulfstream, Bandera), according to the ABC application posted outside.  This will be a prominent national chain presence in the sleepy seaside town known for its fiercely local and independent restaurant scene.  And while I can confirm neither an opening date nor the exact branch of the HRG, rumor has it that the new venue will be an R+D Kitchen.