Barmini By Jose Andres is a cocktail bar with the same avant-garde style inspired by his own haute cuisine in Washington, DC.
It brings back the golden age of libations and a staircase above your local self-proclaimed libation bar. It’s right next door to minibar with lounge sitting around the room and bar seating to view all the creations. The decor was very vibrant like the majority of Jose Andres’ restaurants. It’s like staring into the sun with the fuzzy glare after. Barmini by Jose Andres DC
It brings back the golden age of libations and a staircase above your local self-proclaimed libation bar.
It stands in the same category of cocktail bars like Grant Achatz’s Aviary in Chicago, Gen Yamamoto in Tokyo, and Alchemy in Taipei. The only difference between Barmini and Gen Yamamoto/Alchemy is Barmini has snacks. We all get the drunk munchies so it works well as you progress through the night. It’s not your typical bar food but creative and imaginative dishes like a Foie-affle, Adrias’ Liquid Olive and Australian Wagyu/Uni Tartare. I will touch on those items later in my review. Barmini by Jose Andres DC
My mixologist was fantastic and he paced my drinks very well for the two hour experience. I always try to sit at the bar or chef’s table for these types of experiences. It’s a much better overall experience as you marvel in the spectacle of the evening. However, it’s not as amusing as the Republican debates. Lies! Liar! Barmini by Jose Andres DC
Barmini has a tasting menu or you could go with ordering a la carte per se. I decided to go with the tasting menu cause that’s what I always do. The tasting menu consisted of 7 drinks and excludes any additional snacks. I had to order those items separately. Barmini by Jose Andres DC
Here are my favorites; Barmini by Jose Andres DC
DRINKS Barmini by Jose Andres DC
- Bourbon – The glass was smoked in a wood right before it was served. It was done with a blow torch in front of you. Once the smoke comes up, the cup was placed over it. The Bourbon had a very oak flavor to it and the smoked glass added another earthy element to it. It didn’t disappoint like how Jeb disappointed his Super PAC.
- Dark Side of the Moon – The ode to Pink Floyd and psychedelic party favors. It was Old Tom Gin with Creme de Violette, Lemon, Egg White, and Citric Ash. The mixologist’s ability to extract the egg whites directly from the egg was impressive. In addition, grating the outside of a lemon to add a citric flavor to the drink. It was a sweet drink without the psychedelic effect, which was a bit disappointing. I would have replaced the Creme de Violette with a few drops of acid.
SNACKS Barmini by Jose Andres DC
- Adrias’ Liquid Olive – This snack draws its inspiration from Ferran Adria and el Bulli team in Spain, which I had the opportunity to try when I was at Tickets. The texture and presentation of the dish was exactly the same but it wasn’t as bitter or ripe as the one I had at Tickets. The Tickets one had a crisp bite to the flavor. It was a decent attempt like when someone tries to mentioned a restaurant they think is really good and you’re just sitting there thinking it’s complete garbage.
- Foieffel – The dish was a waffle injected with foie gras, topped with peanuts, glazed with peanut butter and sprayed with decadence. The texture of the waffle was perfect and it was fluffy like a cloud of weed. The sweet toppings were integrated well with the light waffle but unfortunately the injected foie gras was a bit salty and sour like someone who gets called out for their BS.
- Australian Wagyu/Uni Tartare – The tartare was served with white Asian buns like the ones you find with your typical pork buns. The texture of the wagyu blended well with the uni. The uni provided a silky element to the tartare bun. It had a fresh taste to it due to the raw wagyu and uni. Hence, the name “tartare”.
Overall, I thought Barmini was a fun experience. The creative preparations of the drinks and imaginative dishes made it worth while even though I thought the first half of the drinks were too sweet for my personal taste. I like to taste the flavor of the alcohol like drinking a 30 years old Hibiki whiskey straight up. However, I didn’t think Barmini bested the Aviary. Barmini by Jose Andres DC
Lastly, the Aviary’s drinks and snacks were more creative and imaginative. It was a more fun experience due to the ability to sit in the kitchen and the mixologists at the Aviary was a lot more fun. How so? It’s like doing a few lines of blow off a prostitute’s right butt cheek hoping she doesn’t fart cause it would be a waste of blow and hard to sniff through your nostrils. That would totally stink. Pun intended. Barmini by Jose Andres DC
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- Service - 7.5/107.5/10
- Presentation - 8.5/108.5/10
- Flavor - 7.5/107.5/10
- Ambiance - 7/107/10
- Decor - 7/107/10
Barmini provides an escape for DC locals, so they can get away from the politics. It’s a guaranteed good time for anyone who enjoys a lounge environment. It’s an intimate setting but is a lot more lively than meets the eyes. The drinks and snacks are creative and fun.