It’s Restaurant Week in Washington, DC, and my friend Holly and I decided to check this French restaurant out. A play on words if you casually change the middle letter with waitresses in corsets, red velvet everywhere, dimly lit room, a stage with interpretative burlesque dancing. This place a modern version of Moulin Rouge in the middle of downtown DC.
Sorry about the slightly blurry pictures. I didn’t want to use my flash in SAX. That would totally ruin the SAX appeal of the place.
“It’s not hard to figure out the SAX appeal” – Washington Post
734 11th St NW
Washington, DC 20004
It was like dining at the Moulin Rouge. The velvet ropes, gold doors, hidden dining area since SAX is unmarked from the outside. There was even a red carpet and red ropes surrounding the entrances. Talk about making a dramatic entrance. Holly and I agreed that this place reminded us a lot of a lavish lounge where Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl would hang around. A restaurant that teases you in a wonderland of mysterious fantasies in what seems like an underground world that tickles your every senses.
The part that amazed me the most was the burlesque dance shows that came on every 20 minutes or so. The dancing was a lot more classier and tasteful than I expected which I appreciated. Dancers in intricate costumes coming onto the glass walled stage with masks on their faces, sheer sheets of fabric that elegantly flowed through the stage as the dancers moved about. The dances were mesmerizing, and we both paused our conversation and the eating to watch the shows. Holly noted that it would have been bad if they had shows on throughout our dinner without pauses in between, because then we would just be watching the shows all throughout our dinner. No eating, no talking, just shows.
Now onto the food. It was restaurant week in DC which makes dinners at pricey places like SAX affordable to poor college students like us. During restaurant week restaurants offer 3 course meals for $35. A normal 4 course meal at SAX is $65. $35 compared to $65 is a lot more doable. The meals usually come with an appetizer, entree, and dessert. You get to pick from about 3-5 different choices on a prix fixed menu.
American Wagyu Beef Sliders – Fenugreek gouda, ba ba bleu, cheddar, green tomatoes, relish
Both of us started out with the American Wagyu Beef Sliders. The sliders were really good. Out of the 3 courses that I had for my dinner this was my favorite. The bun was perfectly toasted so that it was crispy. The actual beef patty was grilled to perfection. Cooked till medium rare. The beef was tender with a rich combination of all the cheeses. There is just something about eating tiny foods that makes it tastes better. The sliders were tiny, but perfectly sized.
We got different entrees. I got the Scottish Salmon, and Holly got the Braised Short Ribs.
Scottish Salmon – sweet potato, cauliflower, raisins, sage, hazelnut brown butter.
The Salmon was good. Sometimes when you eat cooked salmon it is overcooked and the salmon itself is dry and just not good. This salmon was perfectly cooked. I cut into it with a knife and the salmon easily broke off. It came with cauliflower and sweet potato. I really liked the sweet potato squares. The sweetness of the sweet potato went really well with the salmon. I really enjoyed the hazelnut brown butter. The butter was very evident in the vegetables and was very delicious.
Braised Beef Short Ribs – pommes puree, cippolini onion, parsley pistou, marjoram, red wine sauce
Holly got the Braised Beef Short Ribs. I tried a little bit of her short ribs. It was extremely tender and moist. Cooked to perfection. She really liked the sauce that came with the short ribs.
For dessert we really wanted to get different desserts so we could try each others, but we ended up both getting the chocolate cake. It was too tempting. Saxual Chocolate Cake why do you tempt me so?
Saxual Chocolate Cake – blackout cake, caramelized white chocolate, lemon cream, chocolate mousse
The chocolate cake was delicious! It was Holly’s favorite part of her meal. The chocolate was so rich. It became a little too much for me with the last couple of bites of the cake. I had to take a break from the chocolate cake, and just take a moment to rest my taste buds.
Overall the food was okay. Above average. It was still definitely worth it to check this place out especially for a restaurant week price. I think you come here not for the food, but for the atmosphere. After going to lounges and speak easy styled bars I am a huge fan of these mysterious, dreamy places. The thing I love about these places is the secretness about it. The dim lights. The moody ambiance. The idea that only you know about it. A mystery to the rest of the world.
Stars – 4/5