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Sauce, NYC: A pocket of rustic charm in the Lower East Side

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Sauce restaurant in lower east side, Manhattan

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At 78 Rivington Street in Manhattan's Lower East Side, you'll find the doorway into what looks like your Italian grandmother's oversized kitchen and dining area. Rustic and welcoming, Sauce has replaced grandeur with satisfying simplicity using their disarming, minimalist personality. Long, wooden "beer garden-esque" dinner tables serve as the perfect anchor for large parties of guests celebrating special occasions, enjoying gossip with old friends, or relishing a plentiful family dinner.

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The melodic, flowing syllables in their all-Italian wine list will intrigue you enough to whet your appetite with a few glasses of red and few glasses of white. Flavorful yet subtle, their La Selva Vermentino Maremma is a slightly sweet white wine versatile enough to pair with the majority of dishes.

For cheese enthusiasts, the Burrata is a must. Served on a bed of heirloom tomatoes and basil, the goodness of this buttery, creamy, mozzarella combination is hidden inside a knotted outer layer of solid cheese. To please all mouths at the table, order the "The Plank". Served family style, this soft polenta on a slab of wood, drizzled in a grass fed Bolognese invites you to dig in by the spoonful.

Though seemingly lacking in sustenance, kale has quickly climbed the ladder of leafy green goodness to contend with bok choy and seaweed. Choose their Pecorino Kale salad - vibrant in color, it is equally as refreshing with its black pepper, mustard and lemon mayonnaise dressing. Another recommended plate is their Stringless Braciole soaked in "Grandmother's Tomato Gravy" - just meaty enough to fill your carnivorous cravings without overloading.

To tie up your evening, don't be afraid to continue with your gluttonous ways and order the Vanilla Panna Cotta. Expertly made, Sauce's panna cotta is fresh enough to believe they milked the cow, made the dish and served it on the spot - farm to table, exactly the way it should be.

The lower east side is known for its off-the-beaten-path, surprisingly fresh, delicious and unassuming menus and Sauce is just that. Fitting right into the scene, Sauce is at once memorable, quaint, humble, flavorfully powerful and uncomplicated. No nonsense and no frills, just one great meal.

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