2017 February 8

What do you call a restaurant that seats only 12?



Minibar, of course. The 2017 Plate List Tour continued recently with an epic meal at José Andrés's culinary landmark.

Responses to the Minibar invite were typically along the lines of either “Wish I weren't out of town that weekend!” or “You know you can get the same number of calories at McDonald's for 1/50th the cost, right?” But that didn't stop six of us from splurging. While mere words and even pictures cannot do justic to the complex tastes and aromas of that dinner, that's all current Web technology supports. So feast your eyes on us feasting our stomachs!

But first, some notes:

  • The descriptions in the video are based on the official menu all diners receive, but they hardly do justice to each dish's complexity. The caption “Shiso pillow”, for example, should actually be “delicate pastry shell topped with a shiso herb leaf and dollops of lobster cream and a flower I've already forgotten and they did something magical to the shiso that I also don't remember but it was really, really delicious”.
  • I voluntarily ate mushrooms. (But I still don't enjoy that flavor.)
  • The shiso pillow, the beet meringue supporting the osetra caviar, the gnocchi… they all just melted in the mouth in the best possible way. Basically, everything was cooked to perfection.
  • You don't usually see this much liquid nitrogen or this many tweezers in your average restaurant.
  • The women chose wine pairings for the courses, while the men chose the “Virtue” (i.e., non-alcoholic) pairings. I am told the wines were also excellent.
  • The mojito supréme may look just like an ordinary slice of lime, but it is in fact mojito gelatin with a lime rind wrapper.
  • The fried doughnut was stuffed with ice cream. (Yum.)
  • I voluntarily drank coffee. (See above.)
  • Each golden egg was partly edible and contained a surprise gift inside. (I won't spoil it for future diners.)