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“Elevating the Dining Experience to the Next Level.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of minibar, Washington, D.C.

minibar, Washington, D.C.
855 E St NW, Washington DC, DC 20004
202.393.0812
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Ranked #81 of 2,564 Restaurants in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Contemporary
Dining options: Dinner, Drinks, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Drinks, Reservations
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“Elevating the Dining Experience to the Next Level.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2013

The skill, attention to detail, and whimsy make a meal at minibar an unforgettable experience. Every second of the meal is meticulously planned, and the staff's desire to ensure you enjoy yourself appears to be their first priority. Some of the 27 courses are more memorable than others, but there isn't a single "bad" bite. It's hard to believe a $600+ meal (for a couple) could be a fun experience, but it's obvious that fun is the goal. Mission accomplished.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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95 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    69
    12
    6
    6
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
North Carolina
Level Contributor
62 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“A full week later and I'm still giddy with excitement over this place.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2013

A dining experience like no other, I honestly felt like I had stepped into a different reality from the moment we were welcomed into the lobby. Your senses are all stimulated throughout your journey in this unique restaurant. Wicked expensive but worth every penny and I'm already salivating to get another reservation. Every bite was an experience texturally as well as aromatically, from the incredible Waldorf salad layered between clouds of meringue (I think) to the frozen Lilly pond dish that made me want to lick the bowl to the check served in a nesting doll. We did the early seating and when the second seating came in they were loud and boisterous for about 30 seconds, they were obviously shut down immediately. The management of this establishment truly care about your experience. If the choice is table 21 or minibar.... minibar all the way without question.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A Feast For The Senses”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2013

If you are looking for a unique dining experience, this is it. Booking a reservation was easily accomplished via the internet. Service was superb from the moment we entered and were provided with excellent cocktails - none of which we were familiar with, by choice. On a cold and dreary day the fireplace was a welcome surprise. The staff were knowledgeable, passionate and happy to describe how items were made. There was a sense of anticipation and excitement shared by diners and staff. Waldorf Salad and Late-Night Chicken Shawarma were some of my favourites, but most impressive was the Frozen Lake which belies description...one must experience it!! Some items I would typically not try, but the menu was filled with so many outstanding moments - there were no disappointments. This is the place to try something new. The wines paired with each item caused the food flavors to expand and linger in your mouth. The decor was modern yet enticing and perfectly reflected the 'innovativeness' of the menu. I left wanting to begin the experience all over again. Bravo, utterly enchanting. Even forgetting my raincoat and having to return the next day did not sully this memory.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A MUST DO!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2013 via mobile

I had to book in FEB for JUNE :( but it was worth the wait... Unlike most of the reviews we decided to just do the MINIBAR ... IT was VERY HARD TO FIND THE DOOR, I walked passed it severL times, however the service I experiences Was OUTSTANDING... I told the bartender to give me something sweet and each drink was right on the money the food was excellent... If you love grill cheese then you will be in for a SURPRISE!!! A MUST ORDER!!! Next time we will be doing the 26 course pairing!!!

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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
321 reviews
146 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 526 helpful votes
“Fantastic in Every Way!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

My spouse and I dined at Minibar in late May 2013. When we checked their website, we learned that Minibar had changed its reservation process, and that customers no longer needed to wait until 30 days prior to make a reservation. Because we were booking relatively early (early March for late May), we easily received the date and time that we requested. We emailed the restaurant to make a reservation. The restaurant offered us a spot, and emailed us a confirmation form to fill out, sign, and return, and we needed to remit our credit card information, as well as our drink pairing choices. We ended up choosing one $75 wine pairing and one $45 non-alcoholic pairing, although we did not specify those choices on our reservation form; we waited until we arrived at the restaurant.

When we arrived (we were asked to arrive 15 minutes prior to our reservation time), we were seated in a lounge area fronting the restaurant, with just two 2-seater sofas and a chair and ottoman. There is a small gas fireplace in the lounge area. The door from the street to the restaurant is understated - you have to be looking for it to really notice it. Valet parking is available - the valet placard is probably what is most noticeable about the entrance to the restaurant. The restaurant space is stark, modern, and attractive. The restroom is wild - be sure to visit even if you do not need to!

Guests are seated at a counter in groups of 6. The first group arrives at 6:00 and is seated at 6:15, and the second group arrives at 6:15 and is seated at 6:30. (The process is repeated at 9:00 and 9:15.) The bar stools are quite comfortable, and they are spaced nicely apart.

The avant-garde food was phenomenal in every way! Every dish (20+ of them) was a work of art that incorporated unique ingredients, novel methods of preparation, and served them in creative ways with amazing presentation. The restaurant provides a menu of what you have eaten that you can take home with you, so there is no need to take notes or photos, although they are not forbidden like as they are in some comparable tasting restaurants. (It is easy to see why, too - no one can possibly compete with this chef or duplicate his work!) I enjoyed the non-alcoholic pairing - every drink was carefully conceived and executed to complement the dish that it accompanied, and much more effort and creativity went into designing the drink that just opening a bottle of juice. The wine pairing was also good, although my spouse felt that it detracted a bit from his meal - often, the sommelier was explaining about the wines just as the next course was arriving, and the explanation of wine and food sometimes overlapped more than he would have liked.

The staff was friendly and interactive, and really seemed to love their jobs. They were knowledgeable about all aspects of the food.

Ending the evening at barmini is a terrific idea! Your last few courses are served there, and it gives guests a chance to decompress and compare notes. Cocktails at barmini are creative (not included with the dinner price), and the list is expansive. barmini itself is something to see, even if you cannot get a reservation to dine at minibar. (Be sure to make a reservation at barmini using the City Eats on-line reservation system.)

We loved every aspect of our dinner at minibar - chef/owner Jose Garces is a genius!

Visited May 2013
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