Sage Kicks it Into High Gear to Celebrate First Year in Business With New Menu Launch

Hunting & Gathering

BY BRITTANY MATTIE SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING THURSDAY JAN 23, 2020

With a year under their sartorial apron belts, the culinary curators behind the swinging chrome door of Sage’s fine-dining kitchen are wiping the slate clean for round two. “2019 was the year of getting established,” says Sous Chef Brett Wagner. “Now we have our feet on the ground and we’re ready to climb.” Combining illustrious ingredients with meticulous flair, Wagner’s own version of Rabbit Rillettes—a decadent, slow-cooked variant of pâté with cucumber gelatin and California white sturgeon caviar—is among the new Spring menu’s arsenal of boundary-pushing appetizer selections.

“We’re going to raise everyone’s standard of what they think food can be,” he says.

Gently nudging diners out of their comfort zones, Executive Chef Chris Covelli brings out the big guns with more anomalous proteins like Shredded Roasted Duck—wrapped in phyllo with a ginger-soy hoisin sauce; Sauteed Chicken Liver—wrapped inside a foie gras dumpling with shallots cooked in GranGala and butter, served in a star anise broth; Wild Boar Raviolo—finished in a demi-glace and topped with a mascarpone cream sauce; and Boquerones (European anchovies) with roasted eggplant and onion in a black garlic aioli, frisée and Spanish sherry foam.

“Rest assured, Chef Covelli isn’t playing any games with this one,” says Zach Dauth, director of marketing and events at Sage. 

Full of unexpected flavors, exceptional plating and classic European cooking tactics of renowned global dishes, the first-anniversary menu is a testament to the success of the last 12 months for the First Street haunt. With elegant, yet approachable service in the front of house, and a streamlined mise en place process in the back of house, the world-class culinary experience of Sage is not losing traction any time soon. “I’m so proud of what we have been able to accomplish in our first year, and the way we’ve been able to connect to the community,” says Covelli. “But this is no time to get complacent. We’re staying humble and focusing on precision. You’re only as good as your last meal.”

Keep your eyes peeled for Sage’s new seasonal menu, launching Wednesday, January 29. 

Photo of the Boquerones, taken by Zach Dauth.

1216 1st St., Sarasota, 941-445-5660, @sagesrq.

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