We visited minibar by Jose Andres with some friends this past Saturday night. It was the first time we had been to the new space, which is spare and minimalist with high ceilings and lightly painted wood. (It’s located at 855 E Street, NW, Washington, DC.)
The food definitely catered to the “foodie” crowd and was innovative, fussy, and delicious. Here are the evening’s dishes:
We started out with a series of amuse-bouches (I would say a series of appetizers, but the entire dinner is made up of appetizer-sized dishes). The introductory dishes were pineapple short bread,
pizza margarita (the crust is made out of potatoes),
a parmesan canele,
pressed flowers (they were edible), and
almond tart with blue cheese, which was good, even though I don’t like blue cheese and which was served on rocks that had been bathed in liquid nitrogen (to prolong the life of the almond shell).
almond tart with blue cheese
One of the cutest dishes we were served was the rubber ducky (the inside was filled with foie gras ice cream):
One of the most interesting dishes was the beef tendon churro (once was enough for me):
beef tendon churro
The Waldorf salad was an extremely creative rendition of a traditional Waldorf salad:
The late night chicken shawarma was amazing and even more amazing was the side of yogurt accompanying the shawarma
The Vietnamese pig ear was excellent—spicy and full of texture:
Vietnamese pig ear
The Iberico sea urchin would be good, I suppose, if you like sea urchin. The texture wasn’t my cup of tea, but the flavors were excellent.
The shabu shabu included coconut shrimp ravioli in an extremely flavorful broth:
The most straightforward dish (and quite delicious!) was the beech mushroom papillot with truffles:
beech mushrooms with truffles
The smoked oysters with escabeche was a myriad of flavors and textures:
The fabes con almejas (white beans and clams) were clams with essence of white beans. The dish was delicious!
white beans & clams
The espardenyes (sea cucumber) with bone marrow proved to be a surprise. I loathe sea cucumber, but the chef had prepared it in such a way that the texture no longer resembled the gelatinous, slug-like creature that it is (unlike Chinese restaurants). It was actually quite tasty, and, combined with the bone marrow, was amazing.
sea cucumber & bone marrow
Next up was a squab liver mousse bite:
squab liver mousse
To prepare us for the roast squab with oysters and seaweed.
You have to like goat cheese to like the bonne bouche cheese puff, but I’m told it was quite yummy for those who do like goat cheese.
goat cheese puff
The bloody beets and yogurt course were beets with a little hisbiscus juice covered with frozen yogurt snow. Yum! (And I’m not that fond of beets.)
beets with yogurt snow
The mango floating island was refreshing and palate-cleansing.
mango floating island
And the assortment of desserts included a raspberry bon bon, Thai pocky stick, lemon-mallow (lemon marshmallow covered in white chocolate), a bluberry coolant, a boozy bear (a gummy bear filled with muscat), and doughnuts, made with Krispy Kreme doughnut ice cream, reformed to look like a Krispy Kreme doughnut and covered with chocolate and sprinkles. (No photo of the doughnuts, unfortunately, as we had to eat them quickly before they melted.)
We were impressed by the skill of the chefs, and the meal was delicious and innovative. But it definitely isn’t for the steak-and-potatoes type of diner. Still, if you are an adventurous eater or are looking for new food experiences, it’s definitely a worthwhile visit.
(Disclaimer: we are investors in ThinkFood Group, the parent company of minibar.)