Tonight Jose Andres opened up Minibar and Barmini to the masses. And by the masses, I mean those of us who find the concept of dropping $225 for a meal (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity) rather foreign.
It’s Minibar’s 10th anniversary. To celebrate, they held an open house; from 5-9pm, all were welcome to tour the space, sip on a complimentary drink and nosh on the restaurant’s twist on a Philly cheesesteak.
Here’s the line at 5:40pm, snaking up 9th St.
To prevent people from blocking the exit of another building, the line was separated to clear an open space.
A nice man came around with a tray of cocktails.
I can’t remember the ingredients of any of these drinks, but whatever it was, it was refreshing.
This is a marble. They were handed out to each person in line, to be used like a ticket to enter the restaurant. It was not food. I know that because I popped it into my mouth.
In my defense, the woman distributing the marbles didn’t say what they were.
I honestly thought it was some culinary creation with a hard shell and soft center. My friends mocked my stupidity, but I can’t be the only idiot in line who mistook the marble for food. Can I?
And then, we made it to the entrance. We were ushered into Minibar’s cocktail lounge, Barmini.
More cocktails were being served.
This one, vaguely reminiscent of Limoncello, packed a punch.
A few more steps, and we we were now in Minibar.
Chefs were busily preparing the complimentary dish of the night, Minibar’s Philly cheesesteak.
We all agreed, we could have eaten five of these. Or ten. A hollowed-out, submarine-shaped pita filled with a liquidy, fluffy white cheddar. Draped on top, thin slices of Kobe beef. It’s a classic Minibar course, and it’s brilliant.
Continuing on the short tour to a small dining room with a single table.
And finally, a gelatin cube dessert, which I think contained saffron. It was both sweet and savory.
We each also received an envelope with a small gift, and the possibility of a golden ticket — a meal for two at Minibar. I didn’t pull the golden ticket, but my gift was a complimentary sandwich from Jose Andres’s food truck, Pepe. Works for me!
For most of us, this was probably our first and only visit to Minibar. It was fun to step inside and get a glimpse and taste of what goes on there. Happy 10th anniversary!
855 E St. NW