minibar by Jose Andres (Washington DC)

Chef Jose Andres’ minibar website claims that reservations are “in short supply, but available to the passionate.”  If by passionate, he means willing to stay awake until precisely 12:01am on the evening of May 31 to get a table sometime in the summer of 2014, and willing to drive to Washington DC on a Thursday night for a 6:30pm seating of only six people in total, then -yes- I am passionate.

Chef Andres, who owns several restaurants in the DC area, was in Tokyo for a charity event when we visited for our anniversary dinner.  However, his extraordinarily capable staff -surely among the world’s culinary best and brightest- welcomed us hospitably and left us pleasantly full.

 

Cocktails deftly mixed by JP: 

Corpse Reviver #2 (left) made with gin, lemon, cointreau, lillet blanc, absinthe 

and Smokey Gonzales (right) made with tequila, apricot liquor, ginger syrup, pear juice, and laphroig wash 

 

Amazing fruit and flowers at BarMini for our 4th wedding anniversary dinner

 

BarMini

 

Pisco Sour at BarMini

 

Edible pressed flowers in a crisp, clear potato starch paper and flavored with St Germain (elderflower liquor)

Served in a book

Resting on the “marble” chair

  

“Hot and cold” pisco sour: icy cold lime sorbet in a hot lime foam

  

Back: Pineapple shortbread

Front: Parmesan canele

 

Pizza margherita (“crust” made with same starch paper as earlier pressed flowers)

 

“Cold bowl of rocks”

Almond tart with blue cheese

 

“Rubber Ducky”

apple meringue filled with foie gras ice cream

 

Hard at work!

 

“Late-Night Chicken Shawarma”

wrapped in potato starch, making lettuce wrap easier to pick up and eat

Filled with crispy chicken skin and flavored with aleppo pepper, dill, mint, parsley, cilantro

Herbed yogurt on the side

Easily one of my favorite dishes all night (and ever!)

 

Thai basil iced tea (mini cocktail): homemade ginger beer and micro Thai basil

 

Homage to “Vietnamese street food”

Crisp pig ear topped with braised pork shoulder, julienned vegetable slaw, mint, citrus, basil, curry

Served on, yes, a brown paper bag and with a pipette of optional chili oil

(I could have eaten this the rest of the night and gone home happy.)

 

Don’t eat the expanding hand towel!

(scented with orange blossom)

 

Geoduck sashimi (omg— gorgeous, clean taste of pure ocean)

in “smoke custard” flavored generously by bonito tuna and katsuobushi

topped with “citrus caviar” (finger lime)

 

The shellfish-less version of the geoduck dish

Baby Japanese peaches and apple miso ice

 

 

Absolute insanity…

Fusilli pasta handmade by molding each on a corkscrew, 

freezing it with liquid nitrogen, then injecting it with pesto

The texture has a pop that makes you want to cry.

Served with deconstructed pesto elements: egg, generous parmesan flakes,

pignoli, and shavings of black truffle

 

Andalucian tofu with gazpacho ice (instead of rice)

Tofu had a gorgeous almond flavor (think marzipan but not sweet)

Served with sesame, garlic, and sesame

The gazpacho ice was a little over-salty, but that made the tofu seem almost sweet

by comparison.  The tofu flavor was insanely good.

 

 

NOT PICTURED: Shabu shabu

Coconut flesh and black garlic ravioli

dragged through a bowl of broth made from young, green coconut and shrimp broth

flavored with scallion and garlic

(My shellfish-less version was a sweeter and very aromatic

coconut broth made with ginger and lemongrass.)

 

 

Iberico Tendon

Starchy kuzu root emulates the creamy mouthfeel of marrow

in an onion broth / beef consomme made richer by a quail egg

 

Jicama raviolo with bone marrow

topped with foamy butter and black pepper 

On top of delicious, mustardy capers

(the shellfish-less version of espadenyes with bone marrow below)

“a study of jicama” flavored with coffee

 

NOT PICTURED: Espardenyes with bone marrow

Roasted bone barrow with bone marrow sauce, sea cucumber

 

 

 

Beech mushroom papillot with truffle

The texture and flavor of these mushrooms was heaven-

incredible aroma as the clear bags were cut open

topped with Maldon sea salt, winter truffles from Australia, and truffle cream sauce

(a little temperature hot but delicious)

 

 

Lamb shoulder with whey and dill

I don’t love lamb, but I could’ve eaten a whole plate of this…

Tzatziki-inspired with dill, dill flowers, cucumber flowers,

(see the little cucumber attached to the yellow flower?)

Fork-tender lamb shoulder topped with milk skin

 

“Bonne Bouche Cheese Puff”

Vermont unpasteurized goat cheese encapsulated in walnut and mannitol sugar

 

“Spring Thaw”

Apple herb ice flavored with basil, cilantro, and coriander

Buttermilk “snow”

Sugar-cured lychee gelee

Ginger chip

Sugar-cured cucumber

Chlorophyll

BEYOND DELICIOUS.  Spring should always taste this good.

 

“After Eight” mint

Peppermint meringue, table torched to caramelize the sugary exterior

“Cocoa puffs”- almond chocolate cookies

Surprise center- tempered chocolate

 

Chef Andres’ favorite after-dinner drink: gin and tonic with juniper berries

 

On round, black plate: 

White puffs= raspberry wasabi bonbons

Chocolate mini-bars (ha ha, get it?)- milk chocolate with passionfruit

Yellow “wrapped” candies- Saffron pate de fruit in edible wrappers

 

Sticking up from the clear block:

 dark and milk chocolate sesame Pocky stick (sooooo good!) 

 

Dark chocolate covered yuzu marshmallows

 

Ice cream doughnuts

I can’t even begin to tell you delicious these were… like frozen Krispy Kremes.

I have no idea how they captured that flavor and made it cold (and better!)

 

Scotch gummis (“Jell-O shots”)

 


Pina colada cotton candy cake

(a special treat for our anniversary)

made with pineapple, coconut, and rum

 

Our 4th (“fruit and flowers”) wedding anniversary!

 

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