Pitchers N’ Platters
Local Food, Spirits, & Music Venues
Sauce Spirits & Soundbar
Sauce. The word alone is enough to make a food lover yearn for a delicious meal. It sets the senses on high alert and the imagination afire. To name your restaurant Sauce is brilliant, enticing and sets the expectations high when you serve Italian food. Sauce Spirits & Soundbar on the corner of Lake and Lyndale in Uptown certainly lives up to its tantalizing name. The secret is that the sauce, at Sauce, is an authentic Italian recipe from the restaurateur’s grandma Delia, that has been passed down in the Panebianco family for generations.
Mike Riehle, the owner of Sauce, is from northern Minnesota, near Grand Rapids, and his hospitality is key to the friendly vibe everyone can feel once they enter the restaurant.
Perusing the menu, a fine selection of starters, sandwiches, pizza, pasta and all day breakfast, made it difficult to decide, since it all looks and sounds so delicious, all I knew was that I had to taste this soon-to-be famous sauce. I decided on the three cheese ravioli and my friends ordered the lasagna Adelia and their signature dish, rigatoni calabresa. All three were topped with the mouth watering Panebianco sauce, which we decided was the perfect blend of sweet and spicy. Much to the delight of one heartburn sufferer, this sauce caused No Pain! He can enjoy Italian food again.
The service was a wonderful surprise as well. The welcoming, neighborhood feel was evident from the day manager Liz, to the ecentric Monday night trivia host Lyle, (a decades-long neighborhood scene vet who is more than happy to share a story or two over a glass of Absynthe), and certainly the excellent wait staff. During dinner, I could see from the happy faces all around the room, that everyone was well attended to throughout their meal. Our server knew her stuff and delivered everything promptly, and with a sincere smile. The meal included some fabulous homemade bread served warm with olive oil and wine for dipping.
I tried to find something to be critical about but to no avail. From the starter of parmesan french fries, to the carrot cake (with no raisins, much to my delight) right down to the killer coffee, everything makes me want to come back for more.
The owner takes great pride not only in the food, and grandma’s secret sauce, but in creating an environment that encourages friends to gather, relax and enjoy life. The large windows invite the neighborhood scene into the space, and with three rooms to be seated in you can choose an intimate dining experience all the way to a party at the bar.
Sauce is destined to become a landmark for the next generation of music, food and art lovers in the Twin Cities. It is the dream of Mike Riehle and his life-long friend and manager Dave Cartwright, to create an establishment that combines great food, music, wine and spirits in an environment that embraces and supports the community and local artists of all kinds.
Community involvement is the cornerstone to the mission at Sauce, with the introduction of live music, featuring a wide variety of local and regional acts seven nights a week, and local visual artists exhibiting their work in The Gallery @ Sauce. The artwork is rotated quarterly to allow a number of local artist an opportunity to exhibit their work.
One novel item is their CD vending machine filled with local artist’s discs at great prices! Be sure to check out some new bands albums and their live shows. The venue’s talented booking agents, Joe Winterer and Matt Johnson, have made Sauce THE place for the hottest local bands, hip hop artists, and Dj’s to perform in town. In fact, every Tuesday night Susstones DJ Marc “the Guv” takes over to spin the tunes. This year, Sauce is sponsoring the Lyndale Block Party on May 16 2010, which will surely be a huge success, so mark your calendar now. In the meantime, check out their website at: www.spiritsandsound.com for their great happy hour deals, full menu, concert calendar and special events.
photos by Jay Smiley