Eating Well

'Sensorium' brings magic, mystery, artistry and surprise to the experience of fine dining

By Troy Petenbrink
Published on April 21, 2011, 1:10am | Comments

Take a little music, a dash of theatrics, a pinch of magic and a hefty helping of creative cuisine and wine -- mix it all together and you have Sensorium. The brainchild of chef Bryon Brown, Sensorium provides guests a 12-course meal with wine pairings. Guests can expect such dishes as beet gazpacho with goat cheese, braised pork belly and oxtail ragout as well as a few unusual surprises that Brown pulls from under his molecular gastronomy sleeve.

During the meal, local artists provide vignettes of performance art designed to draw a connection between what guests are seeing and hearing on stage and what they are smelling and tasting on their plate. The entertainment portion of the evening is overseen by Sensorium's art director Jeramie Bellmay and managing director and emcee David London.

Sensorium
Sensorium
(Photo by Troy Petenbrink)

''I want people to change their idea of eating,'' says Brown, a veteran of Jaleo, Cork and Rustico restaurants. Brown is also known by many foodies for his unique Artisa Kitchens Supper Club, which offers monthly dining events at various locations that are not disclosed in advance.

Whether Brown has accomplished his task is hard to say. The experience of Sensorium is certainly unique among the District's rather stolid dining scene. But some diners might find the various performances more distracting than entertaining. In addition, a few of Brown's dishes fail to capture the imagination of the evening.'

Sensorium is housed in a customized 36-foot geodesic dome along the riverfront on the lawn of Yards Park, just east of 'Nationals Park stadium at 4th and Tingey Streets SE. Two seating times are offered nightly: 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., Sunday through Thursday; 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Each dinner and show is designed for only 30 guests per seating. The all-inclusive tickets are available for $150 per person. Through May 22. Visit SensoriumDC.com.