Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Molecular Gastronomy a la minibar

I am humbled by what I experienced this weekend at minibar.
Beware of imitators. This is the inspiration for many other restaurants that have tasting menus in the DC Metro area involving molecular gastronomy as it's known. You can always tell the inspiriation from the inspired.
Ok, on to the show.
minibar (btw, for those of you who think I'm unclear on the use of capitalization with minibar, I noted that in all of my correspondence with their management team not once was the m in minbar capitalized) is the hardest reservation to secure in DC in my experience so far. Read their web page for strategies necessary to secure it. Is it worth the time? Absolutely.
Is it worth the money? Affirmative. I've spent much more for much less. This was the culinary equivalent of Cirqe de Soleil. Quick-paced, entertaining, lively, fun and engaging.
I can't/won't go over the intricacies of the 28 courses we had, but a menu and some pictures are below.
If you go, bring five people with you. There are only six seats at minibar. Enjoy it with friends. They have some wine flights that are paired to the coursing, not necessarily the courses, i.e. for the starters, for the savory, then the sweet sections of the tasting. 4 of the 6 of us opted for the sparkling wine pairings, which were an excellent value at 5 varieties for $40.00.
The lighting wasn't optimal for pictures, so this is only a smattering of shots that really don't do it justice.
If you go, tell Brian and Bonji that you read about it here!
Thanks for reading.
The menu.The intrepid dining crew. These folks bravely accompany me and my wife on our flights of fancy. Sindhu and Eric (couple on the right) were with us at the chef's table at Citronelle. Laura (2nd from left)and her husband, Craig (not pictured for security purposes 8-0), had dined with us at City Zen a while back, at Grapeseed, and most recently at Inox.
This is the Olive Oil bon Bon

Lots of tricks with liquid nitrogen and such.

What looks like raisins here are actually port that has been encapsulated.  Very tasty.

This was the pallete cleanser...

This was fantastic.  Deconstructed clam chowder.

The chefs.  Brad on the left was with Michel in the Ritz Tysons Corner and Paul on the right is the chef at America Eats, a new concept by Jose Andres in the former Cafe Atlantico spot.  Ryan Moore, in the middle, is with Rogue 24.

If you're friends ever argue about the best cheese steak in the world? Bring them to this restaurant. I don't know if you can order this a la carte, but it's worth a try.
Thanks again for reading.
Minibar By Jose Andres on Urbanspoon

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