By Claire Goldman
When I first moved to DC years ago, I caught a PBS special on this tiny restaurant that served cotton candy bacon and solidified olive oil beads and I have had an obsession with getting a seat at one of those oh-so-coveted kitchen view seats ever since. I knew I couldn't be alone in this fascination and the winding line around the corner of E Street on Monday, July 15th, proved my theory. Myself along with hundreds of other curious members of the general public, had the rare opportunity to peak behind the curtain of one of DC's most storied and exclusive eateries, star chef Jose Andres' Minibar.
Our group of about 20 began our visit in Barmini, where guests could sample a deliciously refreshing cocktail and hear about all the different kinds of glasses and inspirations behind this super hip tiny watering hole. There was a laptop set up to display a personal message from Chef Andres himself from his family vacation in Spain.
We were then escorted into the main kitchen and dining area of Minibar. The kitchen was buzzing with activity as the chef's formed an assembly line churning out Minibar's famous take on the Philly Steak and Cheese. Thinly sliced red meat sits atop a crunch-crusted roll that's filled with foaming cheese that pours out upon your first shell-breaking bite.
Our herd then moved on to the new six person private dining area where we were told everything is taken care of. The guests can enjoy all the charms of Minibar while having the feel of an intimate dinner party. Lastly, we checked out the ultra mod black and white waiting room where guests can enjoy cocktails and wait for the rest of their party before entering the restaurant. We were sent off with saffron flavored gummy cubes, a note from Jose Andres and the little coupons to Andres' other local restaurants. One lucky visitor would win a golden ticket valid for dinner for two at Minibar, that lucky visitor was not me. Sigh.
For more information or to schedule a reservations for the Fall/Winter of 2013/2014 go to Minibar's website. You can also stop by adjoining Barmini to take a closer peek. Also, for more perspectives on the open house event, search #minibarturns10 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
855 E Street, N.W.
Washington D.C. 20004