The latest addition to downtown Excelsior’s charming Water St. community debuted last Friday.

Red Sauce Rebellion, a casual counter to Victor’s on Water, the more formal Italian restaurant it replaces, offers a completely remade space and a new, approachable menu at 205 Water St.

The team behind neighborhood restaurant Coalition made quick work of renovations after taking over the space on Nov. 1, but the major change is obvious. The elegant drop ceiling has been removed, and the space has been opened up significantly. Part of the kitchen is exposed, and a small bar near the back was jazzed up with turquoise tiling and plates decorated by a local artist.

There, cocktails such as the Rebellious Boulevardier – which incorporates port into the typical concoction of whiskey, Campari and vermouth – and other takes on classic drinks, are whipped up alongside pours from a substantial wine, vermouth, port and grappa list.

 

 

Meanwhile, the menu is categorized into starters, soups and salads, pasta, rebel pies – that is, cast-iron, biscuit crust pizzas – and a handful of entrees. The nostalgia-aiming “Americanized” dishes include the likes of charred oysters, farro salad, linguine with clams and braised short ribs. Prices hover around the mid to high teens for most dishes.

 

 

Eventually, the basement area will be transformed into a cocktail bar, called Rebel Lounge.

Red Sauce Rebellion will serve lunch and dinner, opening at 11 a.m. daily and closing at 9 p.m. on Sun. and Mon., 10 p.m. on Tues., Wed. and Thurs. and 11 p.m. on Fri. and Sat.

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