Following the success of their mobile pizza catering concept Autostrada, husband-and-wife team Brendan Smith and Rachel Greenspan have brought Neapolitan-style pizzas and naturally-leavened breads to Bettina in Santa Barbara’s Montecito Country Mart.
Short for Elizabetta, the friendly and approachable neighborhood pizzeria is named after St. Elizabeth, the patron saint of bakers, and both of their grandmothers.
Bettina’s cheery interior space combines saddle-leather banquets, signature green slatted wood and Santa Barbara-based Raoul textiles. Once you’re inside, you forget you’re in a shopping center just off Highway 101.
The pizzas are seasonal and baked in their wood-burning oven, so there are always new and interesting pies to keep the menu fresh. As long as the gorgeous summer orbs are piled up at the farmers market, ask for the purple artichoke pizza studded with Castelvetrano olives (which isn’t always listed on the menu).
The spring pesto combines Mozzarella, raclette, feta, spinach, kumquat with Calabrian chile and the carbonara with Ricotta, mozzarella, provolone picante, pancetta, egg, black pepper is divine on paper thin crust. The list goes on, including a unique roasted cauliflower pizza with ‘Nduja, mozzarella, crushed tomato, mint and pecorino. And yes, you can build your own.
While you wait, try the house made chicken liver mousse with market pickles or a bowl of meatballs al forno with harissa tomato sauce accompanied by a refreshing and summery white negroni made with bordiga, white vermouth, prosecco, Suze and gin.
Bettina, 1014 Coast Village Road, Santa Barbara; (805) 770-2383, bettinapizzeria.com.