The greatest delight the fields and woods minister is the suggestion of an occult relation between man and the vegetable. I am not alone and unacknowledged. They nod to me and I to them. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
When the opportunity arose to present a paper in Washington, D.C. last fall, the first thought that popped into my food-lover head was Minibar, I must eat at Minibar. Minibar is the mystical, mythical six-seat dining experience from chef-extraordinaire Jose Andres located within his famed Cafe Atlántico restaurant. Jose Andres mentor is Ferran Adria of el bulli in Spain, the legendary birthplace of molecular gastronomy. At Minibar, the food is not only delicious and impeccable; it is art, beautiful, gorgeous, culinary art. You may have seen the restaurant featured on Bourdains No Reservations, D.C. episode, in which Bourdain was taken away by Andres' playful takes on classic dishes.
Reservations to Minibar are known to be extremely hard to get, and as I would be requesting a reservation for a party of one, I feared that I would not be able to get in. I researched the reservation guidelines and discovered that Minibar accepts reservations exactly 30 days prior to the dining date, beginning at 10 a.m. I would be in D.C. the final week of October, so I called on September 29th. I called and the line was busy, hung up, and quickly redialed to no avail. The reservations were full within five minutes. The next morning, determined to try again, I began calling at 9:56 am. A woman answered at 10:02 and put me on hold. I sat at my desk in a full state of panic, wondering if she would return to the line. She did, finally, and graciously awarded me with a reservation for one. My heart literally skipped a beat. In one month, I would be dining at Minibar.
The food was exquisite. There are no words that can aptly give deference to the wondrous meal that I had. Twenty-six courses of pure luxury and imagination.