Saturday, November 1, 2014

Chef Jose Andres' Barmini (Washington, DC)

BarminiChef Jose Andres not only has a group of some of the best restaurants in Washington, DC, but also one of the best cocktail bars in the city. Barmini is a small, beautiful bar right next to Minibar. You have to be seated and most of it is reservation-only but they do allow walk-ins if there are seats available.

The drinks here are more expensive than usual, but everyone that comes in gets a free welcome cocktail. The night I was there, the welcome drink was a 19th Century Cocktail: bourbon, lemon, creme de cacao, lillet rouge
There are quirky details that I love here, like this suspended chair, and other things you'd see later.

The cocktail menu is vast, and I had a hard time choosing between so many promising options. The bartender was recommending classic drinks, which I'm sure are excellent here, but at Barmini I wanted to try out the more unusual things. I've done the cotton candy and olive sphere and liquid nitrogen drinks at Bazaar in LA, so I ended up going with the Veruka Salt (peanut infused rum, pineapple grog, crumbled salted peanuts - $15)
To make the peanut rum, the white rum is blended with peanuts, then pressed and isolated with evac so that you get a white rum that has the flavor and aroma of peanuts. Some rice vinegar adds acidity in the back. I was really surprised by this drink, and I loved it. I love peanuts and you get a strong flavor and aroma of peanuts but it isn't rich. Combined with the pineapple, the drink is light and bright.

Another infusion with my second drink, this time heading towards fall flavors with the Pumpkin Manhattan (pumpkin infused bourbon, blanc vermouth, maple, Peychaud's and Angostura, $14)

They also serve snacks, and since this is a Jose Andres bar, you shouldn't miss the bar snacks. Even though I've spent most of the past 4 months in Boston and not foie-deprived LA, I still had the order the "Foieffle" (mini waffle with foie gras, peanut butter, and honey - $12)
Wonderful, warm waffle, with the doubly decadent richness of both foie gras and peanut butter!

If you've never had it before, the cotton candy cocktail is always fun. At The Bazaar it's a mojito, but I think here they do an Old Fashioned with Angostura cotton candy.
Even the bill presentation made it fun. For the potential "sticker shock" they give you "the pill with the bill"
"The pill with the bill"
If you're a cocktail lover looking for a bar in DC, definitely consider Barmini. Barmini was also the perfect place for a solo traveler like me to hang out, since there are so many fun details in the interior that you can spend the whole evening discovering. Check out the bathroom wall, too, where you'll never run out of toilet paper ....

855 E St NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 393-4451
Barmini on Urbanspoon


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