Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dine Around 2012: Sauce Restaurant & Lounge

this is part of a series of guest posts covering Dine Around 2012

February 18, 2011

About the guest author:
I have worked for 15+yrs in the hospitality industry in Regina SK and here in Victoria. I've worked all kitchen positions from dishwasher to kitchen manager and busboy, waiter and bartender in front of house. 

I've had a passion for food since the age of 15 and am always trying to learn new techniques, and develop new recipes, for my home cookery. I also have a passion for anything smoked. Meats, fish, veggies, salt and cheeses and prepare many of these during the spring and summer months. For me, good food equates to good memories. I enjoy experiencing others creations as well as sharing my creations with others. Nothing brings me more joy than seeing someone enjoying something that I've created in the kitchen. 

You can follow Brian's food adventures more on twitter.

Major kudos to Steve and his team at Sauce! One of the best dining experiences I've had, ever. That's saying a lot since I've lived in Victoria for 23yrs and worked in the restaurant industry for 15+ years. There was something for everyone on the Dine Around menu. Carnivore, omnivore, vegetarian and even those with Celiac disease (gluten sensitivity).

Very friendly, warm and attentive staff who know the menu well, and seeing the owner, Steve, playing an active role really made me smile. You can tell when people are passionate about what they do and the staff at Sauce exemplify this. I've never experienced better "table side romance" than what I did tonight.

Myself and my significant other both have food sensitivities and the waitress ensured the kitchen staff were made aware of them and assured both of us that our menu choices would not cause any EpiPen usage. Our water and iced tea only ran dry momentarily and either our waitress, one of the other front end staff, or the owner himself, made sure that was quickly attended to.

The food was exquisite. My significant other had the bacon pineapple bruschetta, mustard and herb cured pork and Kahlua & vanilla bean creme brûlée from the $20 menu. I had the hoisin bbq pork spring rolls, braised beef with red wine (which our waitress informed me that I was the first person to order the braised beef and was interested in what I thought of it) and Bailey's and espresso chocolate mousse from teh $30 menu.

The flavours in every dish were perfectly balanced. The bruschetta was crispy, tangy, sweet and salty and the spring rolls were moist inside, flavourful and the wrapping was crispy and golden brown and topped with bean sprouts and chopped green onion. The hoisin dip was a perfect accompaniment. I have to give the chef major kudos for using layered filo rather than a spring roll wrapper, pure genius. Both the pork and the beef were tender, mine more so since it was braised, moist, perfectly seasoned and cooked to perfection. The desserts were both light and rich and were a perfect ending. 

You can tell that the kitchen crew love what they're doing by the quality, presentation and attention to detail. If you are following the paleo diet, there are many options on the menu that you will be pleased with. They source as much as possible locally and support sustainable ingredients.

If you've never been to Sauce Restaurant, I highly recommend it. I know we've just found a new favourite spot in the downtown core.