Best Restaurant for People Who’ve Already Been Everywhere

855 E St. NW, (202) 393-0812
If you’re lucky enough to dine out often, it’s easy to become jaded. But if it’s truly surprises and whimsy you’re looking for, consider an investment in Minibar. (At $275 per person plus alcoholic drink pairings starting at $95, it’s not a small one.) The 12-seat José Andrés restaurant is all about edible magic. Leaves served in an actual section of rain gutter? One is made of melt-in-your mouth black garlic, while the other is a parmesan cracker. Those things that look like purple and white jelly beans? They’re capsulated liquid gnocchi in an Iberico ham broth. Is that a caterpillar crawling on the plant in front of me? Nope, dessert. From often changing dishes like clear fusilli “noodles” injected with pesto to dehydrated asparagus dipped in white chocolate, the “aha!” moments go on. A Simpsons-themed Russian nesting doll is presented at the end of the meal. Buried inside, you’ll find the biggest surprise: the check.