Chef Mollie Ahlstrand creates a little culinary corner of Italy at Trattoria Mollie with a special blend of fresh ingredients, Italian training, and her personal dash of joie de vivre. Located at 1250 Coast Village Road, Mollie’s restaurant is a common haunt for celebrities and foodies alike, with a menu full of tantalizing and traditional treats all prepared to the chef’s exacting standards. Here are a few insights from Mollie, the mastermind behind one of Montecito’s most exciting kitchens:
What was your favorite food as a child?
One of my favorites was pasta and tomato sauce, but as we know, this is every kid’s favorite, so I want to also mention lamb as another favorite.
What’s new or popular on the menu at Trattoria Mollie?
My menu does not change much because my customers want everything that is on the menu. Currently, the sole soup is very popular.
Have you discovered or rediscovered anything that you’ve been really excited about lately?
Fresh home-made pasta with local crab. It sells out whenever I offer it.
Are there any hidden or forgotten items on the menu that are sometimes overlooked?
The most overlooked item on the menu is Risotto with Asparagus.
If you hadn’t become a chef, what might you be today?
A children’s teacher.