SABABA, “modern Israeli” restaurant, officially opens in Cleveland Park Thursday

by Prince Of Petworth March 14, 2018 at 11:15 am 0

3311 Connecticut Ave, NW

From a press release:

SABABA (comes from the Hebrew slang, meaning cool and carefree)

Opening Date:​March 15, 2018

Hours of Operation: ​Dinner Hours: Sunday and Monday, from 5 PM to 10 PM; Tuesday through Thursday, from 5 PM to 10:30 PM; Friday and Saturday, from 5 PM to 11:30 PM

​Brunch Hours: Saturday and Sunday, from 11 AM to 3 PM

Owner:​Ashok Bajaj

Executive Chef:​​Ryan Moore​

Sababa MENU (PDF)

Menu Description: ​SABABA offers “modern Israeli” cuisine drawing inspiration from the Middle East, Turkey and Greece. The menu is comprised of a nice balance of innovative cuisine and traditional fare.

Guests can anticipate salads, hummus, mezze, kebabs and platters for the table, with an abundance of vegan and vegetarian options as well as chicken, lamb, and fish dishes. Highlights include Carrot Salad with dates and mint; Beetroot Relish with tahini and pistachio; Charred Eggplant with herbed labneh, pomegranate and pistachio; Dorade Crudo with choban salad, chili, cucumber, tomato and lemon; Harissa-Marinated Chicken Thighs; Lamb Shank with braised red cabbage, dates and citrus; Grilled Sardine with feta, walnut and charred zucchini; Kushari, chickpea with rice, lentil, pasta, fried onion and spiced tomato sauce, as well as Vegetable Tagine with charred okra, herbed couscous and tomato.

Wine List: ​SABABA offers an international wine list with an emphasis on Medatearean varietals that pair well with the restaurants “modern Israeli” cuisine. 60 wines are available by the bottle and eight wines by the glass. Prices range from $38 to $75 by the bottle and from $10 to $15 by the glass. Four signature cocktails and two mocktails reflecting the spirits and spices of Israel are also available. Priced at $12 each, cocktails include the Zephyr Breeze with Cotton & Reed rum, pomegranate soda, rosehip, and sumac; Gardens of Haifa with Montelobos mezcal, sundred tomato, red pepper, garlic, parsley and thyme; Cradle of Civilization with rye-infused Filibuster whiskey, Sorghum molasses, oak bitters and caraway-sesame cookie; Phoenician Frappe with Green Hat gin, Etrog liqueur, arak, mint, lavender and soda, as well as Halvia World Away with Casamigos Añejo, carrot, pistachio oregeat, cardamom and apricot.

Menu Price: ​$8 to $26

Reservations: ​Walk-ins welcome. A limited number of reservations are also available.

Capacity :​Main dining seats approximately 90 with an additional 12 seats at the bar. One can also book a table in the upstairs dining room, which can accommodate up to 40 guests seated. Those who wish to dine upstairs may choose to have food from SABABA or from neighboring Bindaas.

A rooftop patio is also available from April to October (weather permitting), and can accommodate 20 guests seated.

Interior Design:​James Beard Foundation’s award-nominated restaurant designer Martin Vahtra of Projects Design Associates of New York is the designer of record for SABABA. A bay window, situated to the left of the entrance, has been transformed into a small lounge area complete with a bench, throw pillows and ottomans. The walls and ceiling are draped with bedrolls to create a tent-like feel while the 12-seat bar has been decorated with a new wood slats and a ceiling that mimics a grape arbor complete with string lights crisscrossing overhead. Antique floor tile complete with Middle Eastern graphic design have been used on the lounge and bar areas.

The 86-seat main dining room offers new furniture and backlit Middle Eastern screens cover the walls. White canvas hang from the ceiling to mimic sails while lanterns hang intermittently with the fabric giving the illusion of a Casbah Tent. In many Middle Eastern countries, blue represents safety and protection. It is symbolic of heaven, spirituality, and immortality and is prevalent in the new restaurant’s color scheme along with other jewel tones.”


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