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Has anyone been? Thoughts? Is it worth the $120 price tag???


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  1. I have been once. It's sort of circus food - fun stories and presentations and some really delicious flavors and textures. It's fun to see the leading edge of cuisine science once in a while. I highly recommend it for a special event, and would even say I found it worth the hefty price tag. Once.

    My only advice is that you not order the wine flights - the flavors on the plates are so strong and intense that no wines paired well with more than a couple of dishes, and in fact they fought hard with others. Instead, go with chilled vodkas.


    1. My brother calls me gullible for spending the money but IT WAS WORTH IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I went this summer with a few friends/fellow foodies and we enjoyed every minute of it. I was fascinated with watching the chefs prepare everything and they are very open to answering any questions. The food was fabulous! Afterwards, I tried to describe it to a friend, who unfortunately couldn’t join us, and found it next to impossible because it is just so delicious and interesting and different. For example, the thai dessert which has a blanket of peanut over something yummy and creamy then a spices around it…doesn’t really accurately describe it. I would recommend it!!! Keep in mind, it takes awhile to get a reservation and of course your meal with tip/tax/wine will be more than the set price…but if you want a fun interesting new experience, GO FOR IT!!!!!!!!

      1. I think it is well worth the price point. I went awhile back and found it to be a memorable experience. Every once in awhile I get these cravings for their deconstructed clam chowder and the steak and cheese cigar. I added on the Champagne flight b/c I like my alcohol and thought it would go best with a menu filled with such different flavours and textures.

        Just two tips:

        1. Don't have a big meal before you go. There's about 35 courses and you are going to get stuffed. I did. Talk about food coma afterward.

        2. I recommend getting a reservation for the second seating. You won't feel as rushed. The chefs don't try to rush you, but I always get easily stressed by time and I knew that there was a seating right after us (we had the first seating) and I didn't want to delay the Chefs. Then again, that's probably me and my nutso brain speaking.

        1. Absolutely worth it. I went a couple of years ago and look forward to going again. I agree with mgm8v about the wine flights, though my beverage of choice for such experiences is champagne.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sweetpotater

            Agreed. No wine flight, just a glass or two of champagne!

          2. It's definitely worth it for an extremely different foodie experience. It's like they take things you are familiar with and make it taste better than you have had before. It's not the "best food" in DC, but I would say it is the "best experience." Would I rush back after going one time? Probably not. But, down the road? Sure. It was yummy, fun, and intimate.

            And, that Thai dessert Goldielocks1225 is talking about is AMAZING. I want some. Now.

            1. i agree with the chorus here. We went in April, b/f the price went up, but I still think it's worth it at $120, at least to do it once. Stick to champagne by the glass; a flight would be too much for most people.
              I was excited about the experience, but I was also blown away by a lot of the food. Some of the dishes--the thai dessert mentioned, the caesar, the zucchini--were incredibly delicious. I'd definitely go back when I can afford the price tag again.

              1. I'm going Saturday! will have to report back.

                1. I went to Minibar in September to celebrate my best gal pal's birthday, and we had a really good time. Our fellow diners were duds and took themselves way too seriously, but the chefs were wonderful and interacted with us a lot. I avoided the wine flights like previous posters, but they actually had a champagne flight that I ordered that went very well with the food. And the food was really interesting! Out of about 30 courses, I'd say that about 22-25 of them were absolute hits (and the rest weren't misses--they were just so-so). It's very hard to describe, but if you're openminded about ingredients (and how they're used together) and cooking methods and presentation, you'll really get a kick out of Minibar. As for the price, when you consider that you're getting dinner AND a show (it truly is like theater), it's not so bad! :-)

                  1. WOW! Thank you everyone for the feedback!

                    1. I loved my one experience at Minibar. I paid $66. I loved it, and I have absolutley no interest in returning. Once was just fine with me.

                      1. This week, the PBS series "A Diary of a Foodie" website was upgraded to include the episode highlighting Minibar. The Gourmet Magazine writers give both an introduction to the José Andrés philosophy and a feel for the interaction between the diners and Minibar chefs. It also includes several faces familiar to local Chowhounds.

                        Zuko, I hope this helps you decide whether it's worth the price.


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Lydia R

                          I went Saturday and thought it was totally amazing. The food was even more unique than I expected, and just about everything tasted great. I loved the fact that the techniques they used were absolutely unlike anything you'd be able to recreate at home. I also really enjoyed getting introduced to a bunch of ingredients I'd never had or only tried sparingly before (sea urchin, cigala, etc.). The foams and airs are all over the place, so it's definitely for the open minded, but it is SUCH an experience. Much more of an emphasis on veggies and seafood than I expected. The service was great - seeing the theatricality of the cooking was really cool, and the hosts treat you like celebs just b/c you're dining there. We got the wine pairings ("luscious and sexy" for me, "lively and fresh" for him) and would definitely recommend it, particularly my selections.

                          If you're more of a visual person, I took a photo (warning, I'm not a great photographer) of every single dish. http://flickr.com/photos/10622530@N00...

                          Since I didn't pay, I can't say whether it's worth the money, but my boyfriend felt like it was, and he's not one to drop a ton of $ on restaurants regularly. It's an experience quite unique to DC and rare for the US as a whole, and I just totally dug the concept.

                        2. I've been three times. I think its only worth it if you aren't willing to travel to try that kind of food. Alinea & WD-50 are head and shoulders above it, and if you just want to eat well in DC Citronelle & Cityzen are much better restaurants.

                          1. We went twice and agree is was an exceptional experience (esp. the first time when it was much, much cheaper!) It challenges the way you think about things, while still tasting good. My parents came with us the first time and I though my Dad would be miserable, but once he got in the spirit it became the best culinary experience he has had.

                            I will admit the second trip was a little less impressive, just bc we knew some of the tricks coming up. But we were moving from DC and wanted to visit the MiniBar once more before we left.

                            And while others might be doing similar things and some might argue doing them better, that doesn't make the experience any less enjoyable!

                            (Also, they will ask if you have food allergies and it is a good thing. Since I am deathly allergic to eggs, they created many unique items for me so I wouldn't be missing out!)