100 Very Best Restaurants: #16 – Minibar

Squab and uni chawanmushi

About Minibar

855 E St NW
Washington, DC 20004

When José Andrés launched his tasting counter 17 years ago, it felt like a parade of foams, airs, and mouth sprays. These days, the restaurant resembles not so much a madcap science class as an ode to Andrés’s native Spain. There are still surrealist touches on the menu—that bowl of olives that looks plucked from a Madrid tapas bar actually holds spheres of briny juice that burst in your mouth—but also some welcome simplicity, as in a grilled lobster tail with crumbles of Spanish sausage. Don’t be put off when you hear you’re in for 20-plus courses. The experience is calibrated to leave you satisfied, not leaden. The only thing intimidating is the price: Dinner for two runs more than $1,000. Very expensive.