Reader John let me know that Merci Montecito has opened in (you guessed it) Montecito at 1028 Coast Village Road next to the brand-new Caffe Lux (opened 2 weeks ago) and not-so-brand-new Vons (opened in 1968). Both new venues occupy the former home of Xanadu Bakery. Merci Montecito is a boutique artisanal cafe created by acclaimed pastry chef Elizabeth Colling. Elizabeth earned her degree at the Ritz Escoffier in Paris before working at Spago Beverly Hills and becoming the pastry chef at Bastide. Elizabeth was also a Food Editor of Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings magazines, where she developed and styled desserts for both publications. Merci Montecito is primarily an organic homemade food shop at theĀ  Montecito Country Mart, serving lunch, dinner and desserts that are easy to take on the go. Visit

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  1. Chaz says:

    Starting an office pool to bet on what adjective will become de riguer and replace ‘artisanal,’ which has now become stale and shopworn with overuse.

  2. Rex Of SB says:

    Chaz, here is a list of trendy food terms. To no one’s surprise, “artisanal” is #1.

    • Chaz says:

      Thanks, Rex, and now I’m red-faced.

      I used “mouthfeel” on my post above about Dave’s Drip House. With good reason, of course.

      • Rex Of SB says:

        Don’t feel bad. I recently described a frittata I made as “rustic,” because it wouldn’t come out of the cast-iron skillet properly and I had to scrape it out with a spatula, and it wound up looking like it had fallen on the floor. It did look “rustic.” But it tasted succulent.