Bars , Cocktail bars Penn Quarter
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(1 user review)
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Photograph: Ken Wyner

For local foodies, José Andrés’s Minibar is the Moby Dick of DC dining reservations: available to those truly dedicated diners who pursue it for months. For the rest of us, there’s Barmini, the adjacent “cocktail lab” that lets you try Andrés’s creations without half a year’s lead time. Reservations aren’t required—on a recent Wednesday night visit we were seated immediately—but on weekend nights they're a good precaution. Press a button outside, which causes a light to flash over the door inside, and a hostess leads you into a space where the drinks are as surreal as the decor. The novel-thick, silver-covered drink menus are divided by spirits; options include classic cocktails as well as Wonka-esque creations served with beakers of vapor or puffs of cotton candy. The food comes in small but powerfully flavored portions; think crispy, melty, truffle-laced grilled cheese and a mini lobster roll covered in buttery foam. As you might imagine, a night here isn’t cheap—but for cocktail lovers and seekers of imaginative dining experiences, this is a must-visit.

Venue name: Barmini
Address: 855 E St NW
Washington, DC

Cross street: at 9th St NW
Opening hours: Tue–Thu 6pm–1am; Fri–Sat 6pm–2am
Transport: Metro Center Metro
Price: Cocktails: $14–$20; bar snacks: $5–$16

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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2 people listening

I definitely agree that this is one of the best places for cocktails in town.Hard to fault any of the cocktails that I've tried.