Welcome to Girl Walks into a Bar, a weekly Gut Check feature that spotlights local bars and bartenders. This is part one of Alissa Nelson's two-part profile of Sanctuaria bartender Matt Seiter. Part two, a Q&A with Seiter, will be posted tomorrow.
If you want to get noticed at Sanctuaria, order a drink that involves fire. Then order one that involves raw egg. If you really want to attract attention, order a drink that involves both.
Thankfully, bar manager Matt Seiter will field all inquiries from your fellow patrons.
Seiter came to this Grove-neighborhood establishment equipped with a nearly encyclopedic knowledge of off-the-beaten-path spirits, coupled with an inquisitive spirit that has inspired a slew of creative cocktails. He honed his chops at Chesterfield's Villa Farotto and south city's Trattoria Marcella, whose bars he revived with a focus on fresh juices and classic cocktails. At Sancuaria Seiter uses his back-of-the-house savvy to bring a culinary sensibility to drink development.
But behind a bar is where Seiter belongs.
"I really like cooking because I liked hearing people's comments, but I'd have to get it secondhand," he says. "With the bar it's immediate gratification: watching somebody take a sip of something and smiling, or saying, 'Damn, that's good,' or even, 'That's awful, make me something else!' It's something that I have control over right then and there."
Click through to watch a video of Seiter mixing a Rum Fire...
Sanctuaria 4198 Manchester Avenue; 314-535-9700