Today we have an awesome guest post from Lark Killelea about Minibar in Washington D.C!  The chef of that establishment happens to be Jose Andres, one of the prevalent forces of molecular gastronomy, as well as a celebrity chef on the food show about Spain, called, Made in Spain!(It’s on Hulu if you want to watch it!)

 

Dinner at Minibar, a Jose Andres establishment, is an experience to remember for a lifetime. I happened on an invitation by luck, as they only take reservations one month in advance and only have six places available. Over the span of our two-hour meal, we received a performance of 26 courses, each not quantifying more than a few bites. Both the chef’s cooking behind the bar and the wait staff were really engaging and educating as the meal progressed. Although it has since been remodeled to accommodate more seating, for us it was quite an experience to squeeze into a small six-seat restaurant that resided in another restaurant concept by Andres.

Twenty-six courses is quite a lot to go through, so I will just highlight the best and then leave you with the entire list to dream about.

 

Oaxacan Snowballs PHOTO BY LARK KILLELEA

Oaxacan Snowballs PHOTO BY LARK KILLELEA

Oaxacan Snowball

This was the first dish, composed of frozen meringue of mezcal, St Germain, and lemon bitters. To the touch and taste of the texture, it was almost identical to that of the snowballs I used to toss as a kid. It was a really unique take on a cocktail, definitely a great way to start the show.

 

Golden Nugget

The presentation for this piece was exciting, opening a box to find a small morsel acting as a piece of jewelry within its box. A slight crunch to the outside, with bold, creamy flavors within, this freeze-dried lychee fruit was filled with black garlic and a yogurt mouse.

 

Chicken Oyster PHOTO BY LARK KILLELEA

Chicken Oyster PHOTO BY LARK KILLELEA

Chicken Oyster

Prior to this meal, I had no idea that this part a chicken even existed; chicken oysters are two small round pieces of dark meat that are located on the back of the bird, close to the thigh. For its preparation, it was cooked with a shallot mignonette and topped with an oyster leaf. The meaty oyster combined with the leaf left a lingering taste of the sea on your tongue.

 

Zucchini in Textures

This dish was by far, one of the most surprising in how complex a simple food such as zucchini can be prepared. It was presented in three layers, a zucchini water gelee, poached zucchini seeds, and a puree that was decadent, and rich with a smoky caramelized flavor.

 

Fabes Con Almejas

This dish is a tribute to Andres’ heritage, a dish traditionally made in Spain. The clams are encapsulated in clam liquor and the fava beans were pureed in their own separate encapsulation. They were topped with fragrant saffron, such a treat. I personally am not a fan of beans normally, but because they were pureed, you still had that great flavor without any grit.

 

Espardenyes with Bone Marrow

I keep saying raving about every dish and it seems increasingly difficult to come up with other words to describe the best meal I have ever had. The name in this one really speaks for itself, and of Andres’ creativity. This dish deemed “surf & turf”, combined sea cucumbers with bone marrow and peppery foam. I was a little scared of this dish, but it really proved to be a perfect marriage of sea and land.

 

Foie Gras PHOTO BY LARK KILLELEA

Foie Gras PHOTO BY LARK KILLELEA

Adam and Eve

Foie gras is one of my regular favorites, but was presented here in a fabulous new way. The foie gras was creamed, combined with green apples and pressed between two airy apple meringues. The meringues and the tart apple brought out an almost nutty taste to the rich liver.

 

Mango Coconut Rice PHOTO BY LARK KILLELEA

Mango Coconut Rice PHOTO BY LARK KILLELEA

“Mango” Coconut Rice

This sweet creation was one of the most beautifully displayed dishes of the evening. Tricking the eye, the “peel” of the mango is actually cocoa powder delicately brushed atop a mango sorbet. The sticky rice was soft and topped with crispy rice, which gave it a nice crunch texture.

 

I only wish I had a better knowledge of chemistry and molecular gastronomy to even begin having a greater appreciation for that extraordinary meal. Here is the final menu, which was also presented to us last:

Oxacan Snowball
Golden Nugget
“PB&J”
Sea Bean Tempura

Almond Tart with Blue Cheese

Mint Leaf Mojito
Chicken “Oyster”
Oyster Escabeche

Zucchini in Textures
Thai Peanut Soup

Chicken “Shawarma”
Fabes Con Almejas

“Lobster & Grits”

Espardenyes with Bone Marrow

Charcoal Grilled Eggplant with Black Garlic

Parmesan Egg with Migas

“Adam & Eve”

Olive Oil Soup with Mandarin

Vermont Snow

“Mango” Coconut Rice
“Baklava”
Terra[misu]

Apples in White Chocolate

Profiterole

Bacon and Chocolate

Fizzy Paper