Wild Tapas


Sanctuaria Rolling Out New Vegan and Vegetarian Menu Options for Spring (via RFT)

By Tara Mahadevan Tue., Jan. 28 2014 at 9:15 AM

       Veggie chorizo at Sanctuaria | Tara Mahadevan


The Veggielante is on a mission to spread the word about places to order good, meatless grub. Check out this week’s pick.

Destination: Sanctuaria (4198 Manchester Avenue; 314-535-9700)
Neighborhood: The Grove
Cuisine: ”All Latin flavors”

       Sanctuaria | Tara Mahadevan


Overview: Sanctuaria’s Chef Wil Pelly has a passion for creating vegetarian and vegan dishes, seeing the task as a challenge.

The restaurant’s cuisine encompasses all Latin flavors, from Cuba to Spain to Mexico, and while vegetarian options are common in this cuisine, Pelly puts his own unique spin on them.

Sanctuaria’s spring and summer menus will be geared towards more vegan and vegetarian-friendly options, so be on the lookout for a new menu when it starts getting warm.

Highlights: Pelly’s vegetarian chorizo ($10) is not on the current menu, but when it is, it might fool you into thinking it’s actual meat.

Pelly uses a combination of black beans and carrots to create the “chorizo,” and serves it with rice, fried plantains and a curried broccoli purée. This dish is a playful twist on his mother’s classic Cuban recipe, and is also vegan and gluten-free. Look for it on the restaurant’s spring menu.


       Black bean stuffed piquillos at Sanctuaria | Tara Mahadevan


Pelly’s black bean stuffed piquillos ($8) is a traditional Spanish dish.

Five piquillo peppers are roasted and stuffed with black beans and mozzarella cheese, and topped with a chipotle vinaigrette. Though not vegan, the piquillos are gluten-free, and a filling and healthy option.

Another popular vegetarian dish is the black bean croquettes ($8) served over the restaurant’s homegrown vegetables.

New to Pelly’s spring menu will be pan-seared vegetarian tamales ($10): three vegetable-stuffed tamales, served with madeira onions and a passion fruit gel. Both are vegan.

Mandi Kowalski’s ‘Fan Favorite’ Cocktail From Paris Of The Plains

4.original2POSTED ON AUGUST 30, 2013 9:12 AM



Last weekend, local bartenders made a mass exodus across the state to Kansas City’s Paris of the Plains Cocktail Festival, where they indulged in educational seminars, high-stakes competitions and the occasional raucous reunion with fellow Midwest mixologists. We can’t speak for all the events of the weekend, but when it came to the cocktail competitions, our STL bartenders made us proud.

In a test of the ultimate bartending talents—who can make the best drinks the quickest—Justin Cardwell of BC’s Kitchen, Matt Obermark of The Agrarian, Jayne Pellegrino of Blood and Sand and Kyle Mathis of Taste brought home the grand prize from Midwest Melee, a competition that pitted the four against teams from Kansas City, Denver and Chicago.

And in the grand finale of the weekend’s festivities, The Paris of the Plains Bartending Competition, Sanctuaria‘s Mandi Kowalski tied for fan favorite with her creation, Her Majesty’s Pleasure.

“Some of the folks in KC described this drink as a delicate summertime mulled wine,” says Kowalski. “Despite its lovely magenta hue, it managed to win over many of the men in attendance at the competition. Judge and Master Sommelier Doug Frost summed up the drink by saying, ‘So rarely does her majesty’s pleasure also equate to his majesty’s pleasure.’”

Mandi shared the recipe for this crowd-pleasing concoction, so you can wow your friends with her award-winning cocktail.

Click here to read more.



by Nate Hopper


We like to pair our teams with liquor, so on behalf of fans of St. Louis, who tied the series up last night, we called up Joe Duepner, bar manager for Sanctuaria—one of the city’s best cocktail spots, conveniently located not even ten minutes from Busch Stadium—to recommend a Cards drink for us. He landed on a version of the Southern Gentleman. Here’s his reasoning: “It’s red and white: the Cards colors. And the drink looks kind of like when somebody slides into home plate and there’s that mess with the white chalk and the dirt. It’s got all the fall ingredients in it—and fall is when the Cardinals do their best stuff. Plus, the sweetness of the cinnamon, and the velvet of the cream, and the bite of the habanero and the Buffalo Trace bourbon will either accentuate your win or remove the sting of your loss.” Works for us. Here’s how you make it:

Read more: A Cocktail for St. Louis Cardinals Fans – Esquire

Sanctuaria won the 2013 RFT Best of Award for Best Tapas/Best Small Plates!


Sanctuaria named as one of the Top 55 Best Bourbon Bars in America




4198 Manchester Avenue

Saint Louis, MO  63110


(314) 535-9700

Saint Louis, MO (August 5, 2013) – Sanctuaria, winner of the 2013 OPEN TABLE DINER’S CHOICE AWARD and recently named the BEST PLACE TO HANG OUT IN THE GROVE by the GO! Magazine and BEST LATE NIGHT MENU by Alive Magazine Hot List, was named as one of the TOP 55 BEST BOURBON BARS in America.  The list, created by The Bourbon Review, was compiled through years of onsite research and the trusted opinions of the best minds in our industry.  The list criteria was simple: the bar must showcase Bourbon in the proud manner it deserves, it must educate its patrons about Bourbon and either provide them with a superior selection, or a combination of great selection and a reputation for showcasing Bourbon in their cocktails.  Five regions were selected for representation:  Bourbon Country, Northeast, the South, Midwest and West.  Of the 55 establishments selected, 7 were from the Midwest, 2 were from Missouri and Sanctuaria was the only bar named from Saint Louis. 


Click here to read more.

National Writing Award

Sanctuaria’s Matt Seiter up for national writing award


Matt Seiter, bar manager and chief liquor officer at Sanctuaria in the Grove, is one of 10 finalists in the Best New Book category at the Spirited Awards at the 2013 Tales of the Cocktail.

Tales of the Cocktail is a festival held annually in New Orleans. The Spirited Awards, given in 17 categories, provide recognition to bartenders, bars, writers and cocktail experts. Awards will be announced July 20 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel New Orleans.

Seiter is nominated for “The Dive Bar of Cocktails Bars,” a look at the recipes for and the stories behind the Sanctuaria’s cocktail menu. The book is on sale for $24.99 at Sanctuaria, 4198 Manchester Avenue, or online at sanctuariastl.com.

See the full article here:


Good Spirit News

Sanctuaria: The Dive Bar of Cocktail Bars by Matt Seiter

(Nectar Media Group) I have to tell you, that I love spiral bound cocktail recipe books. This one goes a step further by having all the pages in a custom ring binder. Kind of like those recipe of the month card sets you used to be able to subscribe to in the 1980′s. Lest you turn your attention elsewhere based on this fact, let me say here that this book is on a par with Jim Meehan’s PDT Cocktail Book and Dale DeGroff’s Craft of the Cocktail. Although it may seem like a novelty, the way this book is designed, is pure genius. Imagine if you will, that you want to try a new cocktail. Simply open this book and see what recipe you land on. No need to prop the book open, it lays there in all of its glory for you to see. A full color picture, the recipe details, and the story behind the drink. Oh, did I mention that all of the recipes hail from a single bar in St. Louis? What sets these drinks apart from the crowd is that most of them call for specific brands of spirits, many of which are micro-distilled and craft-made. That’s not to say that they are obscure, simply not owned by the major players in the spirits industry. A fun read, as well as a fantastic source of new recipes, this is a must have for cocktail enthusiasts! GSN Rating: A

Dive Bar

divebarbookcover265Matt Seiter Lets It All Hang Out, At Sanctuaria and in His New Book, “The Dive Bar of Cocktail Bars”


An otherwise “A” student, Matt Seiter earned in “F” in an Eighth Grade Religion class for writing that he’d like to serve Kool-Aid to thirsty African children after being prompted to reflect on a charitable act. While Seiter concocts drinks much stronger than Kool-Aid at Sanctuaria, where he’s the Bar Manager and creator of its Cocktail Club—the inspiration for the recently released book, The Dive Bar of Cocktail Bars—his propensity for quenching others’ thirsts apparently began early.

Before the Cocktail Club’s introduction, Seiter was already thinking about writing a book based on its 150 drinks. Between March and September of 2011, Seiter drafted The Dive Bar, leaving plenty of time for edits before turning it over to the publisher. Everyone involved with the book is local—something that Seiter is the “most proud” of. Anne Milford, AKA “The Book Nurse,” for example, edited the book, and Jacqui Krawczyk Segura, a club member, took most of the drinks’ pictures.

Also included in the tome are a history of the club, tips on making juices, liqueurs, syrups, and tinctures at home, and a glossary of spirits offered at the bar, none of which are mass-marketed brands, and a cross-listing of drinks using them. Throughout the introductory material and in the individual drink recipes, Seiter infuses the text with asides, questions, quotes, and tricks.
If you’ve spent any time at Sanctuaria’s bar, you probably know Seiter (right) for his signature mohawk, but you’ll remember him for his ability to make anyone feel comfortable . . . even as he’s disagreeing with you. “I’m not known for holding shit back,” Seiter admitted, noting that others are more receptive to those, like himself, who are honest.

That honest voice comes out strong and clear in The Dive Bar. Milford initially attempted to “clean up” Seiter’s writing, but the result “sounded like a professor in front of a classroom,” according to the author. When you read the book, it’s obvious that Seiter won that “creative difference,” as the voice is all his: conversational, accessible, irreverent, and informative—what you get when you’re parked in front of him at the bar.

relish relish
Click here to read more.

Toques & ‘Tails



Toques & ‘Tails was created to celebrate and promote the culinary and beverage talent of innovative restaurants in Denver and Boulder.  Toques & ‘Tails aims to feature the culinary team from the same restaurant.

Three chefs, three beverage professionals and one bon vivant from around the country will be the judges; Garrett Harker, Jackson Cannon, Elayne Duff, Jamie Bissonnette, Matt Seiter, are just a few of our judges. Additionally, food and beverage professionals from Colorado and around the country will be ambassadors who will mingle with and engage the attendees to share their culinary experience as well as the food scene in their respective cities.


Matt Seiter


Matt Seiter started in the world of cocktails by taking on the opening bar manager position at In Fine Spirits located in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood in February of 2008. From there, he was formally trained at the Academy of Spirits, created and led by Master Mixologist Bridget Albert. He joined the United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG) while living there and upon returning to St. Louis, he founded a USBG chapter.

From the moment he returned home, Matt has taken the cocktail scene in St. Louis to new level. In October of 2009, he was one of six people selected to compete at the Iron Bar Chef of America Competition at the Santé Restaurant Symposium in upstate New York. He was voted St. Louis’ Best Bartender in 2010 by the Riverfront Times and won the St. Louis Magazine’s A-List Mixologist! Award of the same year.

Along with creating house made liqueurs, bitters, tincures, tending to the on-site garden, and shaking cocktails like a madman, he founded the Sanctuaria Cocktail Club in December of 2010. The Club Menu of 150 cocktails was nominated for World’s Best Cocktail Menu at Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards in 2011 and World’s Best Drinks Selection in 2012. Matt also has been leading seminars around the country regarding the up & coming trend of Cocktails On Tap, most recently at Tales of the Cocktail in 2012 and VIBE conference in Las Vegas in early 2013.

Matt is on the board of the National USBG Master Accreditation Program, currently in charge of producing a study guide for all members for those exams and practicals. He is one of seven people in the nation to hold the title Advanced Bartender through the MA Program and is currently working on his thesis to be certified as a Master Mixologist. He writes a monthly column for Feast Magazine and is the recent author of the acclaimed cocktail book Sanctuaria: The Dive Bar of Cocktail Bars.


Sanctuaria’s Mint Julep: Gut Check’s Hump-Day Cocktail Suggestion

By Kaitlin Steinberg Wed., May 1 2013 at 7:00 AM

Photo by Jennifer Silverberg

Wednesday. Hump Day.

Congrats, you’ve made it halfway through the work week!
Unfortunately, you still have two days to go.

Dunno about you, but in order to survive the midweek blues, we’re going to need a drink. Which brings us to our Wednesday Gut Check feature:

“Gut Check’s Hump-Day Cocktail Suggestion”

Each week we take you to one of our favorite St. Louis bars (and, oh, the list is long) for a drink (or two) we — in consultation with the bartender — highly recommend.


With the Kentucky Derby happening this Saturday, we thought our readers could use a mint julep to help them ride out the rest of the week until the inevitable drinking and partying associated with both the Derby and Cinco de Mayo the following day.
We ventured to Sanctuaria (4198 Manchester Avenue; 314-535-9700), the tapas and cocktail bar headed by master mixologist Matt Seiter, in search of the perfect mint julep, and bartender Nate Kromat definitely delivered.

Click here to read more …