The new Montecito
Montecito has always been known for its impressive history of visitors and residents, luxury boutiques and restaurants, low-key lifestyle, and for its location between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, while remaining only a short drive from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. While this reputation is spot on, Montecito has changed in the last few years with young entrepreneurs opening hip restaurants, on-trend clothing stores, design shops, and focused accessory boutiques.
The median age of homebuyers in Montecito continues to go down, and it feels as though this small town of ours better caters to socialites looking for a new summer outfit, followed by an evening cocktail on Honor Bar’s patio. The lifestyle is Montecito is hard to beat with everything at your fingertips, all within 5 minutes of each other. You get a luxurious, intimate, and private experience in Montecito without the traffic, lines, and waits. Riding bikes to Coast Village Road or the beach is not an uncommon sight and only takes 10 minutes from almost any home in the area. We're not exaggerating when we say A+ location!
///restaurants to Watch///
At Honor Bar in Montecito, you'll find an exquisite wooden bar in the center, surrounded by cozy booths. This tiny space also sports an exhibition kitchen where you can watch all the action. Outdoors enjoy a cocktail and assortment of snacks at one of our patio tables or relaxing Adirondack chairs— dogs are always welcome! Walk-ins only.
While you're here, don't forget to visit Honor Market next door for coffee & espresso, exceptional products for the home, and the neighborhood’s best artisanal take-home pizza. Honor Bar and Honor Market now offer delivery.
Lucky's décor is part of its allure. Vast windows peek out on a colorful thoroughfare. Old studio headshots of Hollywood stars on the walls create a palpable classy feel. But it's the quality steaks that have garnered Lucky's a devoted repeat clientele. Cuts like filet mignon, sirloin, and New York steak are served à la carte, with a bevy of starch and vegetable options. Lucky's is also famous for offering abalone, brought in from a nearby ocean-water farm, pan-fried and served with a Chardonnay-butter sauce and a rich cucumber-dill salad. There's rack of lamb too, as well as such appetizers as the French onion soup, giant prawn cocktail, and rice flour-battered onion rings. Save room for desserts like warm bread pudding with bourbon sauce and a Grand Marnier soufflé with crème anglaise. Lucky's wine list is long and heavy on expensive bottlings. The crowd tends to be big and noisy on the weekend, and if you're lucky, you'll run into a celebrity.
///Boutiques to Watch///
If you’re looking for timeless pieces and high quality “basics” Civilianaire is my go-to place in Montecito. They sell raw denim pants and jackets, which are hard to find anywhere in Santa Barbara, chic casual-wear perfect for my morning stroll to Jeanine’s for a breakfast burrito and coffee, and hip dresses and graphic tees that you can dress up with the right jewelry and shoes for cocktails at Lucky’s.
CIVILIANAIRE Clothing brand was started by two of the fashion industries favorites, Gene Montesano and Barry Perlman. After 24 years, the founders and visionaries of Lucky Brand Jeans, Montesano and Perlman have returned to their roots and are manufacturing domestically in Vernon, California.
I stopped by Whisky + Leather for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and immediately wanted to buy everything in the store! They carry brands you may be familiar with, but their selection is more unique than most – definitely stands out from the crowd. Their lifestyle brand carries an eclectic, relaxed inventory of clothing, shoes, and goods for both men and women. Not only do you want to try on everything they have on display, but if you are of age, of course, they have a variety of whisky to sip on while you shop. Stop in for a summer dress for that beach wedding you haven’t yet found an outfit for, or a rustic potted succulent plant and coffee table book to give your living room a little-added flare.
You walk into this boutique and immediately feel welcomed and surrounded by timeless, classy pieces for all ages. They have an incredible selection of knitwear that can be paired with skinny chinos and pumps for an evening at the Four Season’s Biltmore or thrown together with a denim skirt and your favorite Adidas for a day of shopping with your best friends. Laura is the former Creative Director for Antoinette in Montecito and began her career in 1984 working with Versace, and Dolce & Gabbana collections of the 1980’s to the current fashion houses of Etro, Yohji Yamamoto, Martin Margiela and more.
On a hunt for a beautifully understated handbag, leather goods, jewelry, or footwear? Look no further. You will find clean and classic pieces with a bit of an artsy boho edge at Kendall Conrad's in the Montecito Country Mart. True to their uniqueness, all the items are crafted in California using artisanal techniques and the finest materials. Owner, Kendall Conrad is a modern style icon. The former model grew up in Santa Barbara, the daughter of a writer and a painter, who was a former bullfighter. Her classic, sophisticated style was influenced by her bohemian California upbringing as well as the time she spent living abroad in Paris and London. Kendall’s creativity and chic style eventually lead to the creation of an eponymous handbag line which has evolved into a full accessories collection.
Blanka Boutique is an eclectic boutique curated by Jennie Reiter. The store is full of brands you used to only find in Los Angeles like Alice + Olivia, Diane Von Furstenberg, Shona Joy, Rebecca Taylor and other more Los Angeles based brands like Privacy Please, Otis & Maclain, and even her line, Blanka the LABEL. Jennie’s styling and shopping background serve as her inspiration for the store and the wide range of style “personalities” she represents- from the chic city girl to the romantic and retro; there is truly something for everyone. She even offers personal styling appointments you can purchase to gain new understanding about your coloring, body type, and style type. This Spring and Summer she will be offering closet cleansing and curating house calls as she goes back to her roots of personal styling. This store is an experience worth making time for on your next stay in Santa Barbara.