Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Mollie Does Deli

Chef Mollie Ahlstrand has been a local icon for three decades. Her treasured Trattoria Mollie on Coast Village Road set the bar for Italian cuisine in the region, and welcomed patrons like Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, and Ahlstrand’s personal favorite customer ever, Kirk Douglas. In 2018, she moved from Montecito to Santa Barbara proper, opening Mollie’s on State Street next to The Granada Theater. But, as she pointed out in a recent interview, “There was the mudslide and the Thomas Fire and COVID … and the rent and the taxes.” Ahlstrand closed the spot in 2021.

So it might seem surprising she’s back with Mollie’s Italian Deli in the Shepard Place Shops in Carpinteria. The strip mall storefront has seating for a dozen people, plus a few more outside, and is squeezed between the Culture Skate Factory and an animal medical clinic. Coast Village Road the location decidedly is not, despite the attractive white tile walls inside and the homey copper pots, clearly functional and not just decorative, along the walls.

Care to read the rest then do so at the Independent's site.

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