Italian Restaurant NYC: Sauce Restaurant Lower East Side

Entry door with signs above it for the Sauce Italian restaurant on Lower East Side.

Who doesn't like Frank Prisinzano's restaurants, that mini-empire of East Village Italian restaurants that include Frank, Lil Frankies, and Supper? The answer is: no one. No one doesn't like these places. And with good reason: they're intimate, cheap, tasty, welcoming. Can't-miss date spots; perfect for fun friends-night-out. Now add Frank Prisinzano's newest to the list, the excellent Sauce. Maybe Sauce is a bit more of a party than his other restaurants–the place gets loud and 90-minute-wait crowded–but that makes sense, given its prime, somewhat sprawling Lower East Side corner spot on Rivington and Allen Streets. Basically: it all works at Sauce NYC: go early for the relaxed atmosphere and first-rate food; go late for the amped-up scene and the first-rate food. If you're a resident of Glenwood's luxury highrise manahattan apartment, there's no excuse to not enjoy Sauce NYC.

Frank Prisinzano's Fried Zucchini Match Sticks at the Sauce Restaurant.

What Works at this Italian Restaurant in NYC

We've eaten at Sauce restaurant a couple of times so far, making our way through as much of the extensive Sauce NYC menu as possible, and have so far totally liked everything. Start with a salty, oily tangle of Fried Zucchini Match Sticks, which will likely last about 45 seconds if you're sharing with the table (they're only five bucks, so you might as get well get a couple); or a plate of the crisp Raw Fennel "Oysters" with Black Salt. The Sauce salads are all pretty appealing, the lemony Zesty Arugula delivering what it promises, and the Pecorino Kale is a lovely sight, the generously, finely grated cheese like snow on your mountain of peppery greens. 

Pecorino Kale dish at the Sauce Italian restaurant, Lower East Side Manhattan.

Pasta dish with meat sauce by Frank Prisinzano's Sauce Restaurant Lower East Side.

The heart of the Sauce restaurant experience is, of course, the pasta, and, no surprise at this Italian restaurant NYC, the kitchen excels. The Pappardelle with bolognese is a simple, satisfying plate of food, the Baked Farro Macaroni is indeed "crusty and chewy", and the Sauce pasta special we had one night, Cavatelli with ricotta, was delicious with a side of soft, intense meatballs served in "Frank's grandma's tomato gravy." The side of Italian Sausage is equally good. If you're looking for an excuse to wolf down a plate of butter and salt, you will definitely not be disappointed by the Sauce house specialty, Potato Linguini, the shredded spuds tossed (soaked!) in brown butter and topped with fried sage, "coarse grey salt" and a hard-cooked crispy egg. 

Potato Linguini with sage and fried egg at the Sauce restaurant Manhattan.

What Does Not Work at Sauce Restaurant

Our only complaint? Sauce Restaurant does not accept credit cards, which isn't too unusual but still slightly annoying if you're not prepared with cash, because you'll wind up adding a few bucks to your meal's total after tacking on the local bodega ATM fees. More irritating (and, frankly, sort of inexcusable): Sauce NYC doesn't have any coins on hand, and they round UP, pocketing the difference. WITHOUT ASKING. Yes it's only eighty cents or whatever, but it's still rude. And kind of like stealing. So: bring cash AND bring coins. 

Table set at the Sauce Italian restaurant in NYC.

Sauce Lower East Side Italian Restaurant Details   

Sauce restaurant is located on the corner of Rivington and Allen Streets and is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, from 10:30 a.m. until 4:00 a.m. For more information and a look at the Sauce NYC menu, please see the restaurant's Facebook page, here.

Sauce on Urbanspoon

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