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Barmini, Cocktail Bar Attached to Minibar with Beautiful, Modern Decor, Great Cocktails, and Excellent Bar Snacks


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1) That actually sounds gross

2) Where's the rye whisky?

Here's a more comprehensive list, that drink does indeed include whiskey...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/going-out-guide/wp/2013/02/05/inside-barmini-jose-andress-cocktail-lab-next-to-minibar/

Rye Here – rye, lemon juice, maple syrup, kasteel cherry beer, barrel-aged bitters

Have to say, I like how comprehensive the menu is and it includes a lot of the classics I love. Old Pal? Yes, please.

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How 'bout you get a still very lovely couch for about $2000 instead of the price of a car and knock those cocktail prices down to a "reasonable" $10-14 in keeping with other local spots where there's an emphasis on mixology. Seriously, $20 for a cocktail?! Just because it's at Minibar? No thanks.

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How 'bout you get a still very lovely couch for about $2000 instead of the price of a car and knock those cocktail prices down to a "reasonable" $10-14 in keeping with other local spots where there's an emphasis on mixology. Seriously, $20 for a cocktail?! Just because it's at Minibar? No thanks.

Couldn't agree more.

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Couldn't agree more.

Me, too. if Chef Andres wants to brag about exorbitant cost of the bar's furnishings, that's his right. It's kind of a turn-off for me given the price point of the drinks, to the point that I wouldn't care to go. But I know some people will want to go BECAUSE of things like that sofa, so I am sure the place will be a raging success.

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Me, too. if Chef Andres wants to brag about exorbitant cost of the bar's furnishings, that's his right. It's kind of a turn-off for me given the price point of the drinks, to the point that I wouldn't care to go. But I know some people will want to go BECAUSE of things like that sofa, so I am sure the place will be a raging success.

Well, I spend faaaaaaar more money on cocktails than I probably should, and I highly doubt I'll ever set foot in Barmini, so I'm doing my part to vote with my pocketbook. Which is too bad, because D.C. could use more good cocktail places. Just not cocktail places with this level of pretension and pricepoint.

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Looking at the picture of the bar at the Washington Post link my first thought was that it looks like the living/kitchen area of one of those window-filled apartments that you see on Selling New York on HGTV. My second thought was how many beverages I could make on my own at home for the cost of a cocktail there.

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I can't believe i'm writing this, because the ridiculous prices of cocktails here (esp in the last few years) has long been a pet peeve of mine.

But i'm a bit surprised by the consistent criticism of the prices. the menu says the cocktails will range from $14-20. I'll give you that $20 seems rather high. but the last time i went to the round robin, i think drinks were $15, and at the gibson, and proof i'm pretty sure i've had some $14-$15 drinks. and isn't the columbia room $70 for 3 drinks with a small plate of food? that's probably about $20 a drink. So, i'm not saying that the drink prices are entirely justified, but with the exception of the $20 drinks, they don't seem to be that much higher than the drinks at a lot of places in town, and presumably at least some of the drinks will use some of andres' molecular gastronomy wizardry, and thus deservedly cost more than a more standard drink.

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I can't believe i'm writing this, because the ridiculous prices of cocktails here (esp in the last few years) has long been a pet peeve of mine.

But i'm a bit surprised by the consistent criticism of the prices. the menu says the cocktails will range from $14-20. I'll give you that $20 seems rather high. but the last time i went to the round robin, i think drinks were $15, and at the gibson, and proof i'm pretty sure i've had some $14-$15 drinks. and isn't the columbia room $70 for 3 drinks with a small plate of food? that's probably about $20 a drink. So, i'm not saying that the drink prices are entirely justified, but with the exception of the $20 drinks, they don't seem to be that much higher than the drinks at a lot of places in town, and presumably at least some of the drinks will use some of andres' molecular gastronomy wizardry, and thus deservedly cost more than a more standard drink.

I think the prices are too high at the Gibson as well, and I've never been to the Columbia Room precisely because I can't help but compare its price to the late, lamented "seven cocktails and seven food pairings for $77" thing that Gina used to do at PS 7.

Though D.C. can always use more thoughtful cocktail spots, there are plenty of places serving good to great cocktails largely in the $10 to $13 range, including Passenger and Hogo. And talking about molecular gastronomy, my recollection is that even Booker and Dax in NYC (Dave Chang and Dave Arnold's place) prices its cocktails at $14 pretty much across the board, and those are molecular-intensive in an extremely high-overhead neighborhood. (To say nothing of all of the amazing cocktail places in other cities -- hi, Portland; hi, Sable in Chicago -- where the price point for their cocktails is more like $9 to $12; I recognize that's comparing apples to sidecars.)

Bottom line: if the cheapest cocktail on your menu is $14 and you're bragging about a couch that cost more than a car, I'm going to hazard a guess that you're not pricing your drinks commensurate with what they're "worth" to me, and I won't be patronizing that establishment because I will, personally, feel ripped off. Everyone else's mileage might certainly vary, and I have no doubt that Barmini will be packed to the gills.

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I can't believe i'm writing this, because the ridiculous prices of cocktails here (esp in the last few years) has long been a pet peeve of mine.

But i'm a bit surprised by the consistent criticism of the prices. the menu says the cocktails will range from $14-20. I'll give you that $20 seems rather high. but the last time i went to the round robin, i think drinks were $15, and at the gibson, and proof i'm pretty sure i've had some $14-$15 drinks. and isn't the columbia room $70 for 3 drinks with a small plate of food? that's probably about $20 a drink. So, i'm not saying that the drink prices are entirely justified, but with the exception of the $20 drinks, they don't seem to be that much higher than the drinks at a lot of places in town, and presumably at least some of the drinks will use some of andres' molecular gastronomy wizardry, and thus deservedly cost more than a more standard drink.

I didn't know about Barmini when I wrote this post six weeks ago. I have felt this resentment smoldering for quite awhile now, and I think it took something "like this" to flush it out (the public outrage will fade quickly, and this bar will be frequented mostly by tourists). If the market would support $25 cocktails, that's how much they'd cost. Quite frankly, the only reason I spend $12 on a cocktail these days is to avoid spending $11 on a crappy glass of Albariño or $8 on a mass-produced beer. Name your method of execution.

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I'd never go a place like this. Then again, the gin-based "Halle Berry" I ordered at R24 this week (which I think might have been $12?) was both very good and the first cocktail I've gotten anywhere in quite some time. More wine than spirits for me but, even that I tend to have wine in more often than out.

I think a Cooper Mini (er, Mini Cooper) or ipad minis, while also fully priced, are better deals than anything in a glass from a spot called Barmini. :)

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Let me add Graffiato and Dino to the list of places with extremely good cocktails for extremely reasonable prices (nothing on Dino's menu is more than $11, and Graffiato's sixteen listed cocktails are almost exclusively $11).

In fact, I think I'll head over to Dino after work today to partake of their wonderful happy hour, where all cocktails are $3 off at the bar and there are delicious and complimentary pickled things to boot!

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But i'm a bit surprised by the consistent criticism of the prices....

sandynva said just what I was thinking. I didn't think the prices were that far beyond alot of other places, though I also agree that cocktails are overpriced in many places.

I can understand what everyone has said about why they don't want to go to Barmini. I'm up for trying new places once, and it sounds like Barmini may have some unique cocktails. As I mentioned above, I tried emailing them for a reservation. Apparently they aren't taking requests until 2/15. If I do end up going, who knows, maybe I'll like it, maybe I won't. (And I guess I should report back.)

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Ok, I know some posters have already decided they won't be going to barmini, but here's my report from my visit this week.

Reservations are made online only. You ring the doorbell, and someone lets you in. You enter a foyer (where you can check your coat and where the restrooms are located) and then go through a door to the main space.

Soon after being seated, I received a delicious mini "amuse" type cocktail of whiskey, ginger, spices, and water. The staff said there are 106 cocktails on the menu. I ordered:

  • Rapid blinker - rye, grapefruit, elderflower, raspberry
  • Veruka salt - peanut rum, drambuie 15, pineapple grog, simple syrup, salt
  • Jersey lightning - peach brandy, applejack, egg, lime, sugar, seltzer

If I recall correctly, my cocktails were $14 or $15 each. Yes, pricey, and they weren't large cocktails. The alcohol and flavors were well balanced and tasty, and I thought they were all great. I'd order each one again.

The menu also has 10 savory snacks and 4 dessert type snacks. I had:

  • Grilled cheese sandwich - buttery toasted bread with 3 cheeses and truffle plus a dollop of honey mustard on the side
  • Banh mi miniburger - juicy short rib burger, bone marrow (which I didn't notice), vegetables. It came in a cute mini cardboard burger box

I was impressed, and I'm planning to go again to try other cocktails. I know, some of you aren't going. :P

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Went to Dead Rabbit in NYC this week. Absolutely amazing. They don't take reservations; they have a list of 75 incredibly cool classic cocktails (see here: http://www.deadrabbitnyc.com/menus/drinks/parlor/mixed-drinks/) that goes waaaaaaaaaay beyond the standards but still has its feet firmly planted in history (with all cocktails tied to a particular provenance, being it Jerry Thomas in 1862 or William Boothby in 1891), utilizing really interesting ingredients like sherbets.

Everything I had there was delicious and pleasingly proportioned, and they were each all $14.

All $14! They were easily worth it.

I'm still not going to Barmini. :)

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A Rogue 24/Hogo/Passenger bar crawl will get you incredible drinks, the chance to experience vastly different crowds/vibes, large cocktails (albeit around $12) that will get you where you want to be, and good-to-great food if the mood strikes you.

And no bullshit to experience any of them.

I was just in Philly this last weekend and experienced the ridiculousness of Hop Sing Laundromat. The drinks were really good and it was fine for one visit, but more than anything it made me really really happy that DC has moved along enough that 'a place pouring damn good drinks' is enough of an angle for a bar to open and thrive now. I'm sure you can have a really great time at barmini if you're game to play the reservation roulette and pick the right things off their Cheesecake Factory sized menu. I'll happily go if someone else takes the time to pull the strings. In the meantime I'll take advantage of how far the other options have come.

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25 posts on this thread

24 negative

1 positive, from the only poster who's actually been there

I think there's a big difference between "negative" and "dismissive".

I'd like to think that restauranteurs read these occasionally to get a feel for what people like/don't like, and if I was one of those restauranteurs, I'd be interested in knowing that so many people wouldn't even consider going to a place like this due to the prices.

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I didn't know about Barmini when I wrote this post six weeks ago. I have felt this resentment smoldering for quite awhile now,

Just to document past prices, I ran across your Oct 2007 post at the Hudson where they served $14 cocktails.

Oh, and as an incidental aside: you'd be amazed at how many cocktails (of the -tini, -jito, and -rita variety!) are $15 at the Lucky Strike in Gallery Place. The answer is more than four. It's pretty unconscionable.

To me, $15-$20 cocktails are only offensive when you link it to a clear lack of value. This qualifies. Lamenting the price alone, without digging much deeper into the glass, is kinda lame IMO. Although pricey furniture in this case is a turnoff, for me.

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I'm not really sure that I understand the antagonism toward barmini here. The price of a cocktail in this town (and most other towns, for that matter) is entirely divorced from any reasonable relation to the cost of its ingredients. A beer costs about the price of six; a glass of wine costs about as much as the price of a bottle retail; and cocktails are usually an even worse deal. At most decent restaurants, a "craft" cocktail now costs $12-$14. That usually means (slightly) fancier ingredients, but not much more work. And most of those places are planning for you to buy a full dinner, too (which they make money on). It would seem that, considering all that, barmini's prices aren't that unreasonable. Am I missing something here? And how many cocktails are y'all planning to drink? Let's say you have three. Is the extra $9-$15 not worth a fun, unique (or at least different) experience?

I plan to go. I think it'll be fun to try. If not, so what? They're freakin' cocktails. The extra cost is, like, the price of a movie ticket.

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I'm not really sure that I understand the antagonism toward barmini here. The price of a cocktail in this town (and most other towns, for that matter) is entirely divorced from any reasonable relation to the cost of its ingredients. A beer costs about the price of seven; a glass of wine costs about as much as the price of a bottle retail; and cocktails are usually an even worse deal. At most decent restaurants, a "craft" cocktail now costs $12-$14. That usually means (slightly) fancier ingredients, but not much more work. And most of those places are planning for you to buy a full dinner, too (which they make money on). It would seem that, considering all that, barmini's prices aren't that unreasonable. Am I missing something here? And how many cocktails are y'all planning to drink? Let's say you have three. Is the extra $9-$15 not worth a fun, unique (or at least different) experience?

I plan to go. I think it'll be fun to try. If not, so what? They're freakin' cocktails. The extra cost is, like, the price of a movie ticket.

It's all a matter of priorities - it just means that you might not have a problem paying an "unthinkable" $250 to go see Kenny G, André Rieu, or John Tesh.

There's nothing wrong with this, and great art truly has no price. I'm not sure I'm making any sense, but to illustrate, if you watch this from the beginning, the 1:47 mark just might bring tears to your eyes.

God. The change in texture at 4:26 just ... I'm sorry to be so vulnerable, and maybe it's the couple glasses of wine I had earlier, but it almost makes me, I don't know, it almost makes me want to cum, and I just wanted to share that. Not in any sort of sexual way, but just, i don't know, spiritually. Oh God, the rubato.

Music is such a personal thing, but to me, this conjured up the beautiful fawns in this moving painting by the great Thomas Kinkaide. I don't know - I'm trying not to get overly emotional here, but sometimes it's difficult for me.

kinkade-2010-bambis-first-year-1st-art-d

Cheers, love, and blessings to all,

Rocks

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It's all a matter of priorities - it just means that you might not have a problem paying an "unthinkable" $250 to go see Kenny G, André Rieu, or John Tesh.

There's nothing wrong with this, and great art truly has no price. I'm not sure I'm making any sense, but to illustrate, if you watch this from the beginning, the 1:47 mark just might bring tears to your eyes.

God. The change in texture at 4:26 just ... I'm sorry to be so vulnerable, and maybe it's the couple glasses of wine I had earlier, but it almost makes me, I don't know, it almost makes me want to cum, and I just wanted to share that. Not in any sort of sexual way, but just, i don't know, spiritually. Oh God, the rubato.

Music is such a personal thing, but to me, this conjured up the beautiful fawns in this moving painting by the great Thomas Kinkaide. I don't know - I'm trying not to get overly emotional here, but sometimes it's difficult for me.

Cheers, love, and blessings to all,

Rocks

The problems with this analogy are that a cocktail at barmini doesn't cost $250 and, more importantly, those cocktails are being judged here solely by their price. Only one person has posted anything here about barmini that is based on personal experience, and that post was positive. So the complaints can't be that barmini's cocktails aren't worth $15-$20, it's that they can't be worth that much. My response is: why not? Is there nothing that can be done to a cocktail that would justify charging 30% ($3-$5) more than average? And how should the experience/setting factor into any assessment of the price?

Barmini doesn't sound any more expensive than Columbia Room, which I thought was fun. Why not give barmini a shot? Aside, maybe, from people prejudging the place because Jose Andres owns it, what am I missing here?

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Aside, maybe, from people prejudging the place because Jose Andres owns it, what am I missing here?

I agree. I have had very good and very bad experiences at Jose Andres' restaurants in my life. In addition to that, I almost feel that he has become a caricature of himself (not in the most flattering way). But, with that being said, I think that it is generally unfair to criticize a place before going to it, especially when people are criticizing it for having high prices when their prices, for the most part, are in line with their competition. Yes, if you get the most expensive drink at Barmini it will cost you $20 and maybe the least expensive cocktail at Blah Blah Blah is $12, but when you average it all out, you are likely going to pay $14 to $16 for a cocktail at a more upscale place in DC whether it is Barmini or somewhere else.

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Agree almost completely with RWBooneJr on this. I will try Barmini, although not until early April as that's as soon as I was able to get a reservation (and even then through a friend). But given my experience at Bar Centro in Miami, I expect very good cocktails and a fun time. We'll see how it goes. I'm keeping an open mind.

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It's about relative value. To me, there are many great cocktail places that have drinks for less -- oftentimes much less -- than the price point set by barmini, so their approach to pricing rankles me.

Also, see my posts about Booker and Dax and Dead Rabbit. Both in extremely high-overhead locations, both doing CRAZY and amazing and innovative things in pursuit of cocktail deliciousness, and yet their drinks are only $14, no more. Maybe it's because they don't have a consarn couch that costs as much as a car.

(I find the reservations-only model for a cocktail place personally annoying as well, as a guy who loves to be able to drop in somewhere after work or on a whim to have a great drink.)

I agree. I have had very good and very bad experiences at Jose Andres' restaurants in my life. In addition to that, I almost feel that he has become a caricature of himself (not in the most flattering way). But, with that being said, I think that it is generally unfair to criticize a place before going to it, especially when people are criticizing it for having high prices when their prices, for the most part, are in line with their competition. Yes, if you get the most expensive drink at Barmini it will cost you $20 and maybe the least expensive cocktail at Blah Blah Blah is $12, but when you average it all out, you are likely going to pay $14 to $16 for a cocktail at a more upscale place in DC whether it is Barmini or somewhere else.

This last sentence simply isn't true. Take Hogo, for instance. There is no way the cocktails in most DC cocktail places average $14 to $16. No way.

Room 11 is another example. Society Fair. Passenger. Graffiato. I could keep going once I took a look at menus; probably Proof and Estadio and etc.

Dino, Ripple.

Hanks, Buffalo and Bergen.

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The problems with this analogy are that a cocktail at barmini doesn't cost $250 and, more importantly, those cocktails are being judged here solely by their price. Only one person has posted anything here about barmini that is based on personal experience, and that post was positive. So the complaints can't be that barmini's cocktails aren't worth $15-$20, it's that they can't be worth that much. My response is: why not? Is there nothing that can be done to a cocktail that would justify charging 30% ($3-$5) more than average? And how should the experience/setting factor into any assessment of the price?

Barmini doesn't sound any more expensive than Columbia Room, which I thought was fun. Why not give barmini a shot? Aside, maybe, from people prejudging the place because Jose Andres owns it, what am I missing here?

well said. and the other problem with the analogy is comparing it to John Tesh and Kenny G. It's my understanding that Mr. Tesh and Mr. G (sorry if i'm offending any fans here) generally poorly regarded, and that liking them is seen as a sign of poor taste. Comparing the drinks at Barmini to them, especially if you haven't had the drinks, is quite dismissive. Same for the cheesecake factory reference.

The drinks cheezepowder had were $14-16, which is maybe, at most, a dollar or two above what i've paid at other places lately. And i don't think the contrast to hogo and passenger is fair in that 1) they're not located in a prime spot at penn quarter 2) they're at a whole other level of service and ambiance. am assuming that at barmini i won't have to a) wait forever/hover for a bar spot or table 2) said table and its chairs will be nicer than formica and 3) service will be more attentive. not that i'm taking away from hogo or passenger--i quite like the former and used to go to the latter all the time--but the atmosphere is different. it's like complaining that the palak chat at rasika is so much pricier than the palak chat at indaroma. True, but they are different experiences.

i haven't been to barmini, and the drinks may be entirely not worth it. but i'm willing to give it a chance and don't really get all the negative posts.

Also, a random thought--it seems that people are more tolerant of a big discrepancy between food costs and cost of restaurant food than they are of discrepancies between the costs of cocktail ingredients and drinks. for example, many of the vegetable dishes around town are really a poor value if you think about it. i love the shishitos at estadio and get them all the time. but i can, and do, buy the same peppers at hmart for $0.75 and replicate the dish in about 2 minutes (it's shockingly easy!). yet, i don't mind paying for them at estadio, and i haven't heard anyone else here grumble about the prices of vegetable dishes there either. why then is it different with cocktails? is it that we're just used to a smaller profit margin on drinks?

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Also, a random thought--it seems that people are more tolerant of a big discrepancy between food costs and cost of restaurant food than they are of discrepancies between the costs of cocktail ingredients and drinks. for example, many of the vegetable dishes around town are really a poor value if you think about it. i love the shishitos at estadio and get them all the time. but i can, and do, buy the same peppers at hmart for $0.75 and replicate the dish in about 2 minutes (it's shockingly easy!). yet, i don't mind paying for them at estadio, and i haven't heard anyone else here grumble about the prices of vegetable dishes there either. why then is it different with cocktails? is it that we're just used to a smaller profit margin on drinks?

This is a good point, and one that makes me reconsider my aversion to the prices... Interesting train of thought!

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The drinks cheezepowder had were $14-16, which is maybe, at most, a dollar or two above what i've paid at other places lately. And i don't think the contrast to hogo and passenger is fair in that 1) they're not located in a prime spot at penn quarter 2) they're at a whole other level of service and ambiance. am assuming that at barmini i won't have to a) wait forever/hover for a bar spot or table 2) said table and its chairs will be nicer than formica and 3) service will be more attentive. not that i'm taking away from hogo or passenger--i quite like the former and used to go to the latter all the time--but the atmosphere is different. it's like complaining that the palak chat at rasika is so much pricier than the palak chat at indaroma. True, but they are different experiences.

So Hogo and Passenger aren't true Scotsmen. Got it. ;) Same with all the other ones I mentioned, I'm sure. The bottom line as well is that the more business a place that charges $14 to $20 for cocktails gets, the more likely it is that charging $14 to $20 for cocktails will become the norm, no matter the quality of the cocktails (or the cost of the couch!). Which, personally, I think would be a shame, because it isn't the norm now.

(And thanks, Rocks, for merging my quadruple post earlier into a coherent whole. That's what I get for posting by phone while walking to work.)

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25 posts on this thread

24 negative

1 positive, from the only poster who's actually been there

I think there's a big difference between "negative" and "dismissive".

I'd like to think that restauranteurs read these occasionally to get a feel for what people like/don't like, and if I was one of those restauranteurs, I'd be interested in knowing that so many people wouldn't even consider going to a place like this due to the prices.

I'd like to put in a kind word for the uncounted "dismissives" of which I'll declare myself a member when it comes to Barmini. I stand by my "wouldn't go there" statement but feel a bit wronged by being labeled one of the 24 "negatives" who hadn't even been there. :P After all, in my alleged "negative" post which I think was actually "dismissive," I used a smiley emoticon and explained I don't really know much about cocktails because they're not really my thing. Is kind of funny though, how after cheezepowder (who deserves definite credit for taking a lonely stand, sticking by it and then supporting it!!!!) reported on her visit, the barmini supporter floodgates opened in many of the posts that followed. Neither here nor there but interesting from a social science kind of perspective. :)

I agree. I have had very good and very bad experiences at Jose Andres' restaurants in my life. In addition to that, I almost feel that he has become a caricature of himself (not in the most flattering way). But, with that being said, I think that it is generally unfair to criticize a place before going to it, especially when people are criticizing it for having high prices when their prices, for the most part, are in line with their competition...

mtureck and jiveturk make excellent points above imho. I also feel it very unfair to knock a place's food, drink, service, venue, etc without having been there. I generally try to visit a place at least twice if I'm going to criticize it (hopefully always constructively). But jiveturk's post reminded me I also think it okay for us to share why we might not visit a place if, in fact, we wouldn't. That's not quite the same as criticizing something with which one has had no experience and it might--if substantive and constructive--be useful to a proprietor.

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But jiveturk's post reminded me I also think it okay for us to share why we might not visit a place if, in fact, we wouldn't. That's not quite the same as criticizing something with which one has had no experience and it might--if substantive and constructive--be useful to a proprietor.

Ok, but I think we can all agree that in this case, the proprietor, who is booked thru the next several months and will probably continue to be booked, will not find griping about his prices useful feedback. And what reasons are there to not visit a place that you haven't experienced before? Prices, ethnic signature of the cuisine, trite menus, and/or Roberto Donna? I guess I can't see any "substantive and constructive" way to criticize a place at which I've never eaten.

Of course, darkstar965, ye of 5 stomachs and unlimited resources and curiosity, I can't imagine that you would avoid any given restaurant for any given reason! Kudos for standing up for others.

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Ok, but I think we can all agree that in this case, the proprietor, who is booked thru the next several months and will probably continue to be booked, will not find griping about his prices useful feedback. And what reasons are there to not visit a place that you haven't experienced before? Prices, ethnic signature of the cuisine, trite menus, and/or Roberto Donna? I guess I can't see any "substantive and constructive" way to criticize a place at which I've never eaten.

...

Lots of reasons I'd imagine we all avoid certain places, no? Location, reputation, type of food, experience with the same chef elsewhere, parking, schedule, personal preference (i.e., I'm personally not much of a cocktail hound, as I'd explained), etc, etc. I think prices are valid too. How many avoid certain restaurants because they know they can't have dinner for less than $100/person or whatever? Of course, many do. My point was the same as what I think mtureck posted. Avoiding (dismissing) a place is done by all of us all the time for whatever reasons. Criticizing a place's food, service or whatever shouldn't be done (if someone wants to be fair about it) without some firsthand experience imho.

...Of course, darkstar965, ye of 5 stomachs and unlimited resources and curiosity, I can't imagine that you would avoid any given restaurant for any given reason! Kudos for standing up for others.

Other than reminding that I'm avoiding Barmini (and of course avoid lots of other places as we all do), not sure how to reply to the above other than saying you make some assumptions that seem a bit over the top. Kudos for standing up for myself, eh? ;)

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Ok, but I guess I don't know how a proprietor is supposed to respond to all of those factors you mention? Change from an ethiopian menu to Italian? Move to the other side of the city? I guess it makes sense for a restauranteur who hasn't opened and is just fishing for concepts.

Other than reminding that I'm avoiding this one (and of course avoid lots of others as we all do), not sure how to reply to the above other than saying you make some assumptions that seem a bit over the top. Kudos for standing up for myself, eh? ;)

I'm a little taken aback by this, you must be one of the top posters on the board in both volume and quality. The posts speak for themselves. Sure, I was exaggerating in a somewhat playful way, but I guess I don't know how to reply to this either.

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Ok, but I guess I don't know how a proprietor is supposed to respond to all of those factors you mention? Change from an ethiopian menu to Italian? Move to the other side of the city? I guess it makes sense for a restauranteur who hasn't opened and is just fishing for concepts.

I'm a little taken aback by this, you must be one of the top posters on the board in both volume and quality. The posts speak for themselves. Sure, I was exaggerating in a somewhat playful way, but I guess I don't know how to reply to this either.

Ah, I gotcha, dariv. No worries at all.

On how a proprietor should respond, that's of course up to them but I was speaking generally (not barmini specifically) with those other factors. In my own case wrt to barmini, I'll avoid the place because a) I'm not a big cocktail guy and B) if others who know cocktails much better than I do say it's too expensive, that's good enough for me so that next time I have a meeting or confab with someone jonesing for a cocktail, I might pick a more moderately priced spot. Barmini probably won't care about my or anyone's feedback here but, if they did, they might introduce some lower priced options along with the premium ones. They could also market themselves to cocktail neophtyes if they thought it worthwhile (I'm probably not alone there).

On you being taken aback, kind of funny actually. I was taken aback at what you'd written which is why I responded with "over the top." The only part that triggered that reaction was your "unlimited resources" and the charge that I'd never avoid any place for any reason. Neither is true of course and sounded a bit like a slams in a way I realize now you didn't intend. Good example of where online sucks relative to what used to be more common--talking to people face to face when you can also consider tone, facial expression, etc. My apologies for replying as I did. Hopefully this explains it. Appreciate the kind words and look forward to meeting you offline at some point. Based on your posts, I'm guessing you're a pretty cool dude--no joke there. :)

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I tried Barmini with a few friends, several of whom are real cocktail experts. We enjoyed it. Yes, the drinks are on the pricey side. And yes, DC has MANY other good cocktail options (not just bars but also at many restaurants). But it is enjoyable. And I'm really impressed by the depth of their menu -- over 100 drinks, and the bartenders seem quite adept at experimenting off menu. I should add that many of the bar snacks are excellent. A great grilled cheese. A great uni sandwich (though it'd be better with less aioli). Definitely worth trying.

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Interesting piece in the Post today by Fritz Hahn about the new title-holder for most expensive cocktail in the city. And it isn't at barmini.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/going-out-guide/wp/2013/04/03/the-most-expensive-manhattan-in-washington/

I love Derek Brown's line about $14 being a reasonable price point for a cocktail in DC, including tax and tip, and that anything over that had better be a damn good drink (paraphrased by me). I'd certainly be willing to drink the barrel aged Manhattan Rye Bar made, but there's no way I'll pay $22 for it. Having said that, enough people DID pay that the barrel was drained in a few days, so good for Rye Bar.

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