Monday, May 16, 2011

Just Opened: SAX

Capital Cooking got an inside look at the recently opened SAX.  SAX is an exclusive lounge and restaurant with provocative live entertainment designed to amuse, please and divert the senses with opulent grandeur.  As you can see from the collage, the interior design is beautiful. 

The two-level, 5,000 sq. ft. space is the owners’ own modern French design, plush with gold gilded columns, hand-button tufted damask banquettes and inlaid medallion tabletops. Authentic reclaimed church doors provide an entryway into SAX, and red velvet curtains lead to the main dining room adorned with 30 wall sconces and nine chandeliers surrounding the perimeter balconies. All wall sconces and seven chandeliers are genuine period pieces gilding again in the twenty-first century.  

Allegory meets contemporary art with “The SAX Scandals” - satirical murals and portraits of celebrities and political figures. The rotating installations provoke the senses and push the envelope of allure and corruption.  Bill Clinton is featured in three of the murals.  You'll also see Obama smoking a joint, Clarence Thomas with his pants down and George W with cocaine.
A 20-foot enclosed infinity stage is visible from all angles of the two-story space, which will host grand-costumed cabaret performers throughout the evening. Guests can expect to see artists ranging from illusionists and mimes to other alluring performances that border on burlesque as the evening continues.  The shows continue to run throughout the evening.   
Dinner menu is modern French-influenced, featuring sensual and satisfying small plates meant to be enjoyed without utensils. European fondues, flatbreads, canapés and main selections will pair with an extensive list of cocktails, beer and wine.   I wasn't that impressed by the small bites being served at the opening party.  The tuna tartar was under seasoned.  The other bites didn't blow me away... it was hard to tell what the menu will actually feature.  I was a little disappointed because I love the food at OYA and SEI.

Jonathan Seningen is the Executive Chef of SAX, and before opening the restaurant and lounge, he oversaw the menu at OYA.

Seningen is a native of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. After stints in local restaurants, Seningen left the U.S. at age 20 and took a position as Sous Chef in St. Thomas Virgin Islands at the Frenchman’s Reef Marriott. There, he opened five on-site restaurants and ran the banquet division. At 23, he decided to try his luck on a larger island and enrolled in the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan. His first position post graduation was at Atlas, where he worked under Paul Liebrandt, who became the youngest chef in New York City to receive three stars by The New York Times. Seningen then moved on to Terrance Brennan’s Artisanal restaurant. At 26, he worked as a private chef in the Hamptons, before traveling to Spain, France and England, delving deeper into his culinary roots. Upon returning to the U.S., Seningen briefly staged at Chanterelle in New York City, before moving to Washington, DC, where he spent one and half years at Le Paradou under Chef Yannick Cam.
Location:        734 11th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001 
Web Site:     

Make sure you make reservations before arriving.  There is a $75 minimum spending requirement.
SAX Lounge on Urbanspoon

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