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New liquor permit application is up on the glass and it says that the name of the new applicant is Sax Restaurant.

There was a review of Sax in the free Express today, complete with a photo of the interior and...it looks seedy as all hell. Basically like a Baroque Hooters, or perhaps a Crazy Horse-like entertainment dinner theatre. But the review of the food wasn't that bad.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised if it thrives. DC is very much the type of town that would go for this type of thing. Old Boys' Club, bachelor parties, and all that...

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Couldn't disagree more. DC is exactly the type of city that would usually not go for this thing (and I say that as a lifelong resident and unabashed lover of this city). I hope it thrives, but doubt it will. It's a little too Miami or Vegas over-the-top. But I don't think a little more atmospheric diversity is a bad thing at all. If the food is good (and I've heard it's borderline excellent), then even better.

That being said, it seems a bit too rich for my blood, price-wise. It would make for a very expensive night out. Even understanding that you're partially paying for the entertainment.

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Me and the missus had dinner at Sax last Saturday to celebrate our anniversary.

Let's talk about the food first, lest it get swept away in the larger discussion of "what the hell is this place, anyway?" We both ordered the 4 course prix fixe (you can get a 3 course.) Cold starter, hot starter, main course, dessert. We sat at the bar first and had a couple of nice cocktails with house-made tonic. 21 bubbly choices by the glass is a nice touch. They served a tuna tartare amuse-bouche in a Chinese soup spoon at the bar.

Cold starters: yellowfin tuna, wagyu tartare. My wife must have been in a raw fishy mood, but these were both delicious. The wagyu was beefy and rich, if that makes sense.

Hot starters: chicken quenelles, lobster sliders. Three meatball sized sliders, and firm quenelles with with (I think) a healthy slice of seared foie. They are generous with the small plates. It was this point where we started to question our decision to get all four courses.

Palate cleanser: sorbet of some kind.

Entrees: pepper-crusted strip loin, roasted Maine lobster. Steak: delicious. Love the pepper. The lobster was delicate and very interesting; there's an interesting mix of sweet and savory with the sabayon, apples, and ginger.

NOW we're full, and here come the "Saxual" chocolate cake (geddit?) and I don't remember what my wife got because after all that, she wouldn't share it with me. Raspberry tart, I think. Must have been good! And, since it was our anniversary, they brought us two glasses of champagne - that was sweet of them.

So. Onto the dining room. This is very much one of those "dining experience" restaurants, and it is most certainly unique - only thing that's even in the same wheelhouse is Lucky Cheng's, and the two places are not similar. I mean, aside from the skilled, partially-clad dancers. Lucky's serves fusion. :-)

I think what they're going for here is the whole conspicuous excess thing - the food is delicious but deliberately heavy (without being heavy-handed.) It's designed to make you feel engorged, like Louis XIV. The dining room decor suggests as much; if it ain't velvet, it's gilded. Or behind one-way glass above the bar.

Did I mention that the dancing happens in a stage that's set into a small room above the bar, behind a wall of one-way glass? The stage is maybe 30 feet wide and 10 feet deep, and the back wall is ceiling length mirrors. They call it the "Infinity Room", I believe. So I already had a few drinks when the show started above the bar, which made it seem like the world's craziest-ass widescreen television. Awesome! (I came away fairly impressed; the dancers are very skilled. The show's not cheesy at all, and I'm not just saying that because the women are hawt and mostly dressed in dental floss. I saw that show, in Houston, and it was cheesy.)

Pretty fascinating evening, all in all. Not for everybody, but also not limited to the stout of heart. Here's the litmus test that I imagine: ask someone, "have you ever had a conversation about sex with someone?"

If they answer yes, you're good. If they squirm before answering - bring them anyway. If you're met with silence, best to take them to Fridays.

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Has anyone heard what the minimum charges at Sax are? I'm hearing figures that are preposterous, and I almost cannot believe they're true.

I am sure they are true. Anytime I see prices for some of these clubs, my first thought is "Who are these idiots paying $350 for a bottle of Grey Goose?" A case of Bud Lite at The Park costs $250. Let that sink in a moment.

There is apparently a large segment of the society that are very rich and dumb as fuck.

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