ACOUSTIC 5/5 STARS

 

SARAH KOCHER

sakocher12@ole.augie.edu

If you’re looking for a place to relax and unplug, you’re looking for something Acoustic.

Located just off of 6th Street, it’s close enough to both Augustana and downtown to be appealingly accessible.

After opening in October 2012, Acoustic—originally Eutopia catering for the Sioux Falls overlook café—is trying to find its way into a new dining scene by offering a relaxed atmosphere for anyone searching for some good old-fashioned comfort food. The menu includes the traditional American favorites: French fries, pizza, burgers, wings and everything is made by hand. From the sauces to the dressings to the meat, nothing is pre-made, -packaged, or -cooked.

Acoustic offers a nice change from what owner Tony Kellar believes to be the “amped-up” places that surround the restaurant. Acoustic is “a place to just get real, back down to Earth,” Kellar says. The dim lights and eccentric decorations create a quiet, unassuming atmosphere. Each light fixture is a different shape, and the photo collection is eclectically charming…and crooked.

On the day of the grand opening, Kellar was in such a rush to decorate that he brought his own items to put on display. It was just hammering in nails and throwing the pictures up there, Kellar says. He intented to straighten them later, but customers—myself included—appreciated the homely feel.

It’s not about perfection or sterility, Kellar says, and this belief transcends his decorating style.

I ordered the Harvester, a personal pizza topped with smoked chicken, leeks, crispy bacon, mozzarella and Gouda cheese, and roasted corn with a cheese-stuffed crust. It was a comfortable wait: just enough time to catch up with your dinner company, not so long as to make you antsy. The food came out at a ready-to-eat warmth, a welcome change from the “too hot to eat” typicality of most restaurants. The smoky flavor of the meat offset by the sweetness of the corn and leeks mingled pleasantly together. I haven’t smelled anything so delicious since.

And as with everything at Acoustic, the pizza was clearly done by hand.

“If [the pizza] was a perfect circle, I’d send it back,” Kellar said. “It’s got character. It’s homemade.”

And with everything else with Acoustic, it has a story behind it. The Harvester pizza was named after the 104-year-old building, an old show room for International Harvester threshers. And that’s just the first floor.

Walk down the stairs, lit by strings of Christmas lights, and you’ll find a whole new space. Acoustic rents out the basement for parties, receptions and dinners. It features a full bar, quite a bit of seating, several retro video games, a pool table and a shuffleboard.

While the basement is still partially being decorated, Kellar is hopeful about its future, one that he hopes will include a relationship with Augustana. Kellar expresses interest in hosting specials for Augustana students before dances and finals, both on food and on their collection of alcoholic beverages for the older students.

While the restaurant is still in its infancy, Acoustic has already established itself as a delicious eatery. One of my favorite things about the restaurant is that the staff members obviously believe in the place’s mission: It’s all about the people’s food.

You can tell the waitresses love to eat the food they are bringing to you, and they know the menu front and back. It’s about being a kind of cantina, Kellar said. It’s about the community behind the food as much as it is about what you’re putting in your mouth (both of which are incredible in the fledgling restaurant). And all of it stems from an intense attention to detail and a deep caring for, and belief in, the food and the customers.

“It’s the little things,” Kellar says. “And that’s what we try to remember here.”

To view Acoustic’s full menu, visit http://acousticdining.com/eatz/menu.

Acoustic