Trattoria Mollie Where Dreams Come True

By on September 1, 2015

By Bonnie Carroll−

It took me awhile to get to this highly publicized dining spot in Montecito, California and I’m sure it is because Mollie had been given so much attention by Oprah Winfrey, who had become a devotee of Mollie’s turkey meatballs, and invited Mollie to appear on her show. The rest is history., and the long time private chef has become the restaurant darling of the Santa Barbara area, and is living her dream as a successful chef and restaurateur.

Mollie is as sweet as she is talented. The chef-owner Mollie Ahlstrand grew up in Ethiopia and learned her cooking in some of Italy’s finest restaurants. Ahlstrand once made breads for the Vatican, and her expertise in baking is renowned in Santa Barbara. Her career included working for many years as a chef in Milan, and explains the divine Italian pasta plates she is putting out of her very busy kitchen.

spinachI especially like her signature pasta dish filled with spinach and smothered in the most amazing sauce, served with fresh made bread to dip in olive oil, as well as an outstanding Caesar salad with a light dressing that had a hint of anchovy, and followed by a fabulous selection of homemade sinful endings. The perfect cappuccino with sweet Italian cookies worked fine for me. They also serve an excellent lunch with Naples style thin crust pizza that pairs perfectly with a glass of Chianti, and amazing as it sounds – they deliver!

The restaurant is charming, with collections of Mollie friend and celebrity photos posing sitting on side tables, DSC06912 (2)including photos of Mollie with Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and others who visited. The use of warm colors and familiar interior touches makes this comfortable and welcoming living room style venue to enjoy Mollie’s great food. The small outdoor patio is also a magical spot to enjoy dinner and people watch.

Overall, it is an ideal destination to dine and enjoy ‘breaking bread’ for social or business meetings, with authentic and delicious menu items, as well as an outstanding wine list, featuring wines from around the world and local California favorites. Mangia Bene!


Trattoria Mollie
1250 Coast Village Road, Montecito, CA 93108
(805) 565 – 9381


Bonnie Carroll

About Bonnie Carroll

Bonnie Carroll has been a food/travel/lifestyle writer since 1983. She is the founder & publisher of Bonnie Carroll’s Life Bites News, does travel and food reporting on KZSB1290 radio, and contributes to a variety of national and international travel/lifestyle publications. Her first children's book C.C. Charles was published in 2002 and she is currently working on a second book. Her first great grandchild is expected this summer. Contact her at [email protected]

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Trattoria Mollie Where Dreams Come True