After the rebuilding following the devastating debris flows, Frankland’s Crab & Co. at the Montecito Inn opens Friday, April 6th. Scratch|Restaurants, the restaurant group known for its multiple restaurants in Encino (Scratch|Bar, Sushi|Bar, Woodley Proper), combines the talents of chef-owners Phillip Frankland Lee and Margarita Kallas-Lee for their first hotel venture outside of Los Angeles. Starting with Frankland’s Crab & Co., the group plans to open four concepts at the historic Montecito Inn.
Entering the sunny, windowed storefront perched at the main drive of the Montecito Inn, diners are greeted by an ordering counter and wall-sized menu. Wooden tables and stools fill the counter-lined interior, anchored by distressed concrete and “cheery” Crab & Co. sign lit with exposed bulbs.
Capturing fond early memories of jaunts to the Santa Barbara coast and weekend drives down Pacific Coast Highway, Lee reminisces through the nostalgia of lobster rolls, peel-and-eat shrimp, clam chowder, and good times with loved ones—arriving at the modern-day, casual seafood shack that is Frankland’s Crab & Co.
The menu highlights Santa Barbara catches like local ridgeback shrimp, wild-caught crab, clams and oysters, served raw, steamed, fried, or whipped with butter and other accoutrements in house-baked brioche sandwiches. Fish & Chips are comprised of a filet of wild-caught branzino battered in Scrimshaw brew, while Chowda features a stock made from a variety of shellfish, including house-cured bacon, crab, lobster and prawn. Other classics include freshly-shucked Fried Local Oysters & Clams and a Mary’s Fried Chicken Roll topped with a tangy giardinera. Upgraded sides like a corn on the cob is brushed with lobster butter, a freshly churned butter drawn and steeped with lobster shells. Beachcomber and Wine Tasting picnic baskets make for an easy grab-and-go option.
For dessert, Margarita’s Homemade Iced Cream Sandwich rotates through flavors such as Peruvian dark chocolate chip cookies surrounding Madagascar vanilla bean ice cream and Latvian-style sgushenka. To drink, homemade root beer on draft, fresh lemonade, and iced tea are given the option to be spiked with mini bottles of premium gin, vodka, tequila and other spirits. A house keg on display allows for easy pints and pitchers of rotating local beers, while a selection of individual wine cans showcase favorites from the region.
Future Scratch|Restaurants eateries at the Montecito Inn include Margarita’s Snacks (late summer), The Monarch (late summer), and Silver Bough (winter 2018). Frankland’s Crab & Co. is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. No reservations needed. For takeout orders or more information, visit franklandscrabandcompany.com.