We went to minibar by Jose Andres last night (the 9:00 pm seating). As an aside, we are way too old for a weekday 9:00 pm seating as the dinner lasted past midnight, and we didn’t get home until after 1:00 am (the horror!). But I digress.
We had gone to minibar in September, and while we liked it, we weren’t wowed by it. For some reason, this time, we were wowed by it. It still is more a performance art meal than a normal restaurant meal, but, this time, the performance art was extremely impressive.
Here are the dishes, followed by the classic wine pairing and the equally attractive non-alcoholic alternative.
We started out with a series of appetizers. The first group consisted of a hot and cold pisco sour,
Pineapple shortbread (yum!), and
A pizza margarita.
The wine served with this was a 2011 Hexamer Meddersheimer Rheingrafenberg Riesling Quarzit Nahe from Germany. (The equally attractive non-alcoholic alternative was a Cucumber Sour with Floral Cloud consisting of chamomile, hibiscus, and orange blossom water.)
The next group of appetizers consisted of pressed flowers (served between the pages of a book),
Almond tart with blue cheese,
Rubber ducky (meringue with foie gras ice cream),
Beef tendon churro, and
A Waldorf salad.
The wine was a Raventós I Blanc Rosé de Nit from Spain, and the non-alcoholic drink was a golden delicious gastic.
The first real dish was a Late Night Chicken Shawarma served with a Thai Basil iced tea, consisting of Aperol, ginger, lime and Thai basil (the non-alcoholic version had orange juice instead of Aperol).
Then came a Vietnamese Pig Ear, served with a pipette of chili oil, one of my favorite dishes. It was served with a 2011 Morgadio Albariño Rías Baixias from Spain (and a Calpico Horchata).
Next came an Ibérico Sea Urchin (sea urchin served in an Ibérico ham jelled broth).
A seafood course followed—the coconut cuttlefish dish, served with a Hakutsuru Sho-une Soaring Cloud Junmai Daiginjo Hyogo Prefecture, Japan (it’s a sake).
The next course was another one of my favorite dishes, the Beech Mushroom Papillot with Black Truffle. The accompanying wine was a 2010 François Mikulski Chardonnay from Bourgogne, France and the non-alcoholic drink was a Truffle Parmesan made of parmesan water and truffle honey.
Another favorite dish was the Fabes con Almejas (white beans and clam stew). It was served with a 2010 Monasterio de Corias “Seis Octavos” from Cangas, Spain.
Espardenyes (sea cucumber) with Bone Marrow and Roast Squab with Oysters and Seaweed were served with a 2010 Cristom Pinot Noir Mt. Jeffferson Cuvée from the Willamette Valley in Oregon and a Kimchi Lemonade (house-made kimchi and lemon).
Dessert was a Bonne Bouche Cheese Puff and a Mango Floating Island. Dessert wines were a 2007 Grand Enclos du Château de Cérons from Cérons Bordeaux, France and a Lustau “East India Solera” sherry from Jerez, Spain. Also served with the desserts was a Pomegranate Ale (pomegranate, Mexican coke and angostura bitters) and a Derby (grapefruit and honey).
The second dessert was an After Eight (mint meringue with molten chocolate inside):
The petit fours course consisted of Raspberry Bon Bons, Lemon-Mallows, Boozy Bears,
Thai pocky sticks,
and Doughnuts (Kristy Kreme flavored ice cream inside).
The after-dinner drink was an Averna Amaro Siciliana from Caltanissetta, Italy and a Chai Soda (chai tea and fever tree soda water).
Minibar deserves the accolades it has received over the years for its “better dining through chemistry” innovation. It is located at 855 E St, NW in Washington, DC.