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José Andrés' Minibar


John W.
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That was an awesome post Chinorlz, thx. How difficult is it to score a reservation for the Minibar?

Thanks! I had zero difficulty initially getting a reservation for two. I made them roughly a month in advance and dinner was on a thursday.

After I cancelled one reservation since my brother could not make it, the guy sitting to the right of me got the spot within two days of the actual day of dinner.

So, it seems like as long as you aren't looking for a weekend dinner, it's not terrible especially if you plan ahead. You may also luck out like he did and get a spot because of a cancellation.

Hope that helps! I can honestly say it's worth traveling from NYC just to have dinner there. Hell, make a weekend out of it and eat at Citronelle as well!

-A

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Nice report and glad you liked it. It is very nuch a fun place to dine. Was everyone there dining there for the first time or were there repeaters?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Thanks!

It was me, the guy to my right and two couples.

As far as I know, everyone was there for their first time.

After looking back through the photos that you took and others, I can see that not only are the dishes themselves constantly changing, but even the plating and presentations are constantly modified. It's definitely a very interesting place.

It's too bad that it doesn't get more exposure... at the same time, I love that it's almost a secret of sorts too hehehe.

I will definitely be going back!

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Thanks!

It was me, the guy to my right and two couples.

As far as I know, everyone was there for their first time.

After looking back through the photos that you took and others, I can see that not only are the dishes themselves constantly changing, but even the plating and presentations are constantly modified. It's definitely a very interesting place.

It's too bad that it doesn't get more exposure... at the same time, I love that it's almost a secret of sorts too hehehe.

I will definitely be going back!

I suspect that it gets as much exposure as it can handle at this time. I don't think they have too much trouble filling twelve seats per night.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I've had a difficult time getting a reso at Minibar. I tried this summer and couldn't swing the day trip from Jersey based on the dates they had available. Then they closed for a while toward the end of summer; it was unfortunate.

These pictures really make me want to go. They do love those spherications, though. I'm also quite amused by the El Bulli spoon in one of Chinorlz pictures.

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  • 5 months later...

6 of us dined at Minibar last Friday night. Without doubt, it was the most fun meal I have ever had. Not just that, virtually everything would get 10/10,

and the worst mark I would give to any dish is 8/10. Some I would give extra credit to for being that freaking good.

When I unpack, I'll dig out the menu, but there are many many items chinorlz and docsconz had, as well as a few twists, and at least one new one.

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Firstly, it was an amazingly lucky coup in getting the reservation for 6 of us. That is all they can take for a seating at Minibar, and it was fortunate that I was the first caller. I was put on hold a few times while other slower dialers were given the bad news. Quelle dommage. :raz: Clearly the word is out, and a Friday or Saturday night reservation is a hot ticket. As discussed before, Minibar is in Cafe Atlantico, on the third floor. The whole space is very cool, and when we were there, it was packed. At the bar before dinner, I had a delicious caipirinha with grapefruit infused cachaca, muddled limes and sugar. Gone in less than sixty seconds, and it was a generous serving. Sorry there were no pictures, but the ones already posted are pretty indicative of the space, and also of the menu items. In any case, I am a crummy photographer. As we had the whole Minibar to our group, we decided to go with bottles of wine instead of the pairing, but followed their suggestions. As I didn't do the ordering, I have no idea as to what was precisely served, but we started with champagne (Pol Roger?), a few whites and a red dessert wine. All worked very well with their food partners. The menu is divided into 4 sections.

Munchies

"Americano". A foam of Campari and fresh blood orange juice. A fun start.

Tumbleweed of Beet. As pictured. A one bite golf ball sized serving.

Papaya and olives. A very thin slice of papaya, candied with sugar syrup and dried, with dried olive bits. Salty, sweet and crunchy.

"Mojito". An encapsulated fizzy drink. Very much fun when broken in the mouth.

Olive Oil Bonbon. A thin caramel shell containing outstanding olive oil. Mouthcoating and delicious.

"Cornbread". A superstar of a course, but all I remember was the base, which was a crunchy meringue of pure corn flavor dissolving in my mouth. Rapture.

Cotton Candy Foie Gras. Great contrast between the cotton candy and the cube of creamy foie gras.

Bagels and Lox, A cone as pictured above. Awesome delicious bite, with crunch, creaminess and the salty pop of the caviar. I could eat a dozen.

Curried Chicken Wing. Boneless wing, crispy with curry. Very good, but not as mindblowing as others.

Conch Fritter. Very clever, crispy shell with hot liquid center.

Lobster Americaine. Oh so sweet chunk of lobster tail, on a pipette of sauce. Again, very clever and fun.

Ferran Adria "Olives". The classic. Brilliantly creative, and damn tasty too.

Flavors and Textures

Salmon-pineapple Ravioli with Crispy Quinoa

Deconstructed Glass of White Wine

Zucchini in Textures

Feta "Linguine"

Caesar Salad

Egg 63 degrees with Caviar

Sea Urchin Ceviche

Corn on the Cob

Guacamole

Smoked Oyster with Apple

New England Clam Chowder

Breaded Cigala with Lemon

Philly Cheesesteak

All of these have been pictured above. Can I pick a favorite? All were really delicious, but the cigala stands out as a dish that will live in my mind forever. The texture of the cigala was simply amazing, a synthesis of firm and tender, and oh so sweet. The crunch of the caesar salad, the creaminess of the chowder, the salty sweetness of the sea urchin, the surprising chill of the sorbet in the guacamole, intense corn flavor of the corn on the cob, I could go on and on. Genius at work!

Dessert

Baby Japanese Peaches with Yogurt

Pistchio-beets and mixed berries

Thai Dessert.

The last one was the star. This is coconut and peanut brittle one described above. It has a little cayenne in there too. Brilliantly original and delicious.

Sweet Endings

Matchaball. A Meringue with lie zest.

Saffron Gumdrop with Edible Wrapper.

Pina Colada. Pineapple with coconut sauce in the pipette. Refreshing and delicious.

Maracuya Marshmallow. A marshmallow filled with passionfruit.

Bravo to Michael and Ryan. You guys worked your asses off. I would be hard pressed to name a better meal I have had. Simply stellar!

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Thanks for the fine report, Bricktop. It is getting to be time for a college-search visit to DC. minibar will certainly be a great intro to DC for my son.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
A thimblefull of olive oil and dash of vinegar encased in a crystalline caramel shell. The experience was similar to reading William Gibson's Neuromancer, or hearing the Rite of Spring for the first time. Truly revolutionary (at least to my sensibilities). Although no single additional course had the impact of the olive oil bonbon, the sequence of ideas, techniques, and tastes was a continuous rush.

I've had this "bon bon" - can anyone tell me actual Andres name for this course?

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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A thimblefull of olive oil and dash of vinegar encased in a crystalline caramel shell. The experience was similar to reading William Gibson's Neuromancer, or hearing the Rite of Spring for the first time. Truly revolutionary (at least to my sensibilities). Although no single additional course had the impact of the olive oil bonbon, the sequence of ideas, techniques, and tastes was a continuous rush.

I've had this "bon bon" - can anyone tell me actual Andres name for this course?

Olive oil Bon Bon. This is a vinegrette.

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A thimblefull of olive oil and dash of vinegar encased in a crystalline caramel shell. The experience was similar to reading William Gibson's Neuromancer, or hearing the Rite of Spring for the first time. Truly revolutionary (at least to my sensibilities). Although no single additional course had the impact of the olive oil bonbon, the sequence of ideas, techniques, and tastes was a continuous rush.

I've had this "bon bon" - can anyone tell me actual Andres name for this course?

Olive oil Bon Bon. This is a vinegrette.

LOL! Sometimes titles aren't as complicated as you think.

I don't remember it tasting like a vinaigrette - I just remember olive oil flavor - but then again, I might have been thrown off by the caramelized sugar shell.

I've also had his cotton candy foie gras, which was excellent. Does anyone know what he coats the foie in before twirling it through the cotton candy machine? I think it's bits of caramel, but I'm not sure. I saw them rolling the foie in something and I remember a crunch.

BTW, do I need to book an entire party of 6 to get into the minibar? If we are only two, can we just book for two? (i.e. Is this like a "chef's table" where you need to book the entire thing)?

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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just a random ? does anyone know what brand chef coats jose wears because i like there style and have never seen them before.

They are made by a company called FOC out of Barcelona

http://www.foc-bcn.com/

"Well, there's egg and bacon; egg sausage and bacon; egg and spam; egg bacon and spam; egg bacon sausage and spam; spam bacon sausage and spam; spam egg spam spam bacon and spam; spam sausage spam spam bacon spam tomato and spam; spam spam spam egg and spam; spam spam spam spam spam spam baked beans spam spam spam or Lobster Thermidor a Crevette with a mornay sauce served in a Provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried egg on top and spam. "

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  • 3 weeks later...

Went to Minibar during my college finals week, and probably had the best meal of my life, for people that love food that makes you think, this place is amazing. My meal was similar to those listed above with a couple minor changes in dish prep but nothing significant. The most notable dishes were the guacamole, the philly cheesesteak, and the peach dessert dish, the baby peaches may have been the best fruit I've ever had. Looking forward to El Bulli in August to compare/contrast. Also, while talking to the chefs heard that they might be closing down for a couple months next year while they try to open up a similar restaurant in LA.

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  • 1 month later...

I went to minibar in March and it was the best dining experience i have ever had. minibar was so unpretentious and the chefs were so nice in answering all the questions i Had about the food. I feel like the meal I had at minibar was a perfect meal. The way the flavors and the textures just progressed. It totally changed the way I view dining. I think Jose Andres is undderrated while other chefs in NYC are overrated.

All of the dishes were outstanding but I especially like the deconstructed torta espanola, and the glassless mojito.

http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/node/1175

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  • 4 months later...
I went to  minibar in March and it was the best dining experience i have ever had.  minibar was so unpretentious and the chefs were so nice in answering  all the questions i Had about the food.  I feel like the meal I had at minibar was  a perfect  meal.  The way the flavors and the textures just progressed. It totally changed the way I  view dining.  I  think Jose Andres is undderrated while other chefs in NYC are overrated.

All of the dishes were outstanding but I especially like the  deconstructed torta espanola, and the glassless mojito.

http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/node/1175

so has anybody gone to Minibar since March ????

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  • 1 month later...

Hi,

I want to go here come October. Can someone explain reservations to me. The website says they are taken 1 month ahead (ex: Seating Oct 15, call Sept 15). Is this still valid. It seems like a strange system. I can't call 8 months ahead? Also, what times are best? I've read conflicting information and very vague things like "call before lunch"

Thanks.

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Hi,

I want to go here come October. Can someone explain reservations to me. The website says they are taken 1 month ahead (ex: Seating Oct 15, call Sept 15). Is this still valid. It seems like a strange system. I can't call 8 months ahead? Also, what times are best? I've read conflicting information and very vague things like "call before lunch"

Thanks.

I called at 9 am SHARP. If you want a Friday or a Saturday, that's the way to go. As I said above, there were several people calling at the same time who got shut out because I reserved for 6 of us. Other days may be different, but I can't really speak to that.

Good luck. It is really worth the effort.

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Hi,

I want to go here come October. Can someone explain reservations to me. The website says they are taken 1 month ahead (ex: Seating Oct 15, call Sept 15). Is this still valid. It seems like a strange system. I can't call 8 months ahead? Also, what times are best? I've read conflicting information and very vague things like "call before lunch"

Thanks.

I called at 9 am SHARP. If you want a Friday or a Saturday, that's the way to go. As I said above, there were several people calling at the same time who got shut out because I reserved for 6 of us. Other days may be different, but I can't really speak to that.

Good luck. It is really worth the effort.

So 9 AM 1 month before?

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  • 3 months later...

Went here for the first time a couple of nights ago. This place is outstanding. Out of 27 courses, only one clunker. The smoked oyster and apples is one of the best bites of food I've ever had. The chefs are engaging and helpful.

I was slightly apprehensive about spending the cash needed to eat here, but it's well worth it. And fun, fun, fun.

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  • 1 month later...

Okay, I managed to finally get a write-up from our meal last Friday night posted on my blog. It's pretty long and I'm just too lazy to post it over here too, but feel free to copy, quote whatever.

In short, it will definitely be one of the most memorable meals of my life. Any worries you may have about the "theatrics" of the meal are eclipsed by the deliciousness of the food. A truly wonderful time. I really hope to go back for another meal sometime.

The Cotton Candy Eel and the Thai Dessert........two dishes that were by themselves worth the trip.

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

Unsaved Loved Ones

My eG Food Blog- 2011

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