Cafe Saint-Ex Scores Executive Chef Joel Hatton, formerly of 1905 & Leopold Kafe

14th and T Street, NW

From a press release:

“Cafe Saint-Ex is starting 2018 with a fresh slate. The 14th Street restaurant and bar, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, recently underwent a facelift in the main dining room with bigger changes behind the pass, naming Joel Hatton its new executive chef.

“We’ve been long-time fans of Chef Hatton and his Southern-style comfort food,” says co-owner Jonathan Fain. “14th Street has changed a lot since we started, and we’re excited to grow and change with the neighborhood to continue to be a destination people seek out to have a fun night out with delicious food in a relaxed atmosphere.”

Chef Hatton joined the Saint-Ex team just before the new year having most recently headed up the kitchen at the recently shuttered 1905 Restaurant & Bar. Prior to that, he was the opening chef at Shaw’s Tavern and the long-time executive chef at Leopold’s Kafe in Georgetown. A native of North Carolina, his menus have a definite Southern flair with all the flavors of home.

With his arrival, Saint-Ex has quietly revamped both the dinner and brunch menus in the last couple of weeks. The new dinner menu, which launched this past weekend, features a variety of snacks, sandwiches, salads and “full dinners,” including Two-Way Pork (crispy shoulder, pastrami spiced belly, grits and greens, sorghum mustard), the #1 Chicken Dinner (confit fried legs and thighs, buttermilk biscuits, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole), and Cauliflower Steak (heirloom grains, maple sherry, pickled sour cherries). Snack and Spread options range from Loaded Tots with bacon and guacamole to Deep Fried Brie to French Onion Brisket sliders (slow-roasted brisket, gruyere, garlic mayo and french onion jus on potato buns), and a Spinach, Artichoke & Foie Gras spread served with grilled bread.

Starting this week, the updated brunch menu will now be available on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. In addition to entrees like a Fried Green Tomato Benedict topped with your choice of ham or crab cake, Crispy Brisket Barbacoa with slow poached Egg and grits, and French Toast Bread Pudding, brunch guests can go bottomless with their bacon for $10 more! Vegetarians brunching at the restaurant have not been forgotten with creative options like a spicy Buffalo Cauliflower Po’boy sandwich with cucumber, pickled celery and blue cheese crumbles, and a hearty Heirloom Grain Salad with farro, quinoa, and avocado with a goddess dressing and pistachio dukkah.

DJs will continue to rule the decks downstairs at Gate 54 on the weekends. However, for those looking for something a little tamer during the week, Capital Laughs’ Martin Phillips hosts a free weekly Comedy Happy Hour in the basement every Thursday from 6 to 8pm with extended happy hour specials followed by a DJ, and Tuesday nights feature trivia with the chance to win a $50 bar tab and other prizes.

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