100 Very Best Restaurant List 2017: Minibar

Cost:

Lettuce-Ice Salad. Photo by Scott Suchman.

We’ve had the luxury of tasting the evolution of José Andrés’s modernist venture each year for more than a decade—from a $65 sideshow inside long-gone Café Atlántico to the current culinary wizardry in an 18-person tasting room. So is it worth $507 a person (all-inclusive with wine)? Right now, yes. Minibar has pushed boundaries since it opened in 2003, but the experience varies depending on who’s pushing. Andrés, of course, is the marquee name, but newish head chef Josh Hermias and his team spend months formulating a single dish for the 30-odd procession. In the past, winning items often leaned on nostalgia, which wasn’t bad—we’re still dreaming of their riff on Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Yet many recent delights stake new territory while perfectly marrying science and deliciousness: Hokkaido sea urchin on buttered meringue “toast,” caviar and frosty cauliflower purée, or Thai-style rabbit with coconut “air.” Misses are rare, but one thing is certain: No one in the city—or country—is doing food like this. Very expensive.

Also great: Frozen salad; spot-prawn tartare in aloe leaf; pufferfish with citrus; truffle-stuffed capon legs; croissant ice cream.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.

Kristen Hinman
Articles Editor

Kristen Hinman has been editing Washingtonian’s features since 2014. She joined the magazine after editing politics & policy coverage for Bloomberg Businessweek and working as a staff writer for Voice Media Group/Riverfront Times.