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Minibar by José Andrés

Washington DC, USA

Modernist master dazzles the senses

In a nutshell: José Andrés' flagship restaurant Minibar is aptly named – it sits just 12 people at two kitchen counters, where diners can watch the chefs create ground-breaking avant-garde dishes designed to thrill the senses.

What to expect: A succession of more than 20 playful, cutting-edge creations that showcase some serious technique and ingenuity. Croquettes of tapioca cooked in ham broth arrive in sculptures of hands, while the shells of steamed mussels are actually made from frozen squid ink. Pink piggy-shaped meringues filled with bacon ice cream can't fail to bring a smile to your lips.

About José Andrés: Andrés was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential people in 2012 and won the James Beard Outstanding Chef Award in 2011. A trailblazer who has elevated small-plate dining to new levels, he runs a formidable food empire of 27 restaurants.

Don't miss: The super-exclusive José’s Table private dining room, which serves the chef's most experimental creations. Expect to pay more than $500 per person for the privilege.

Famous guests: Michelle and Barack Obama visited on Valentine’s Day in 2013 – an experience the former President counts as one his greatest food moments.

Images: portrait Ryan Forbes; corn dish Nate Mook; meringue dish and interior Greg Powers

On the pass

  • José Andrés (pictured) and head chef Joshua Hermias

Style of food

  • Modernist Spanish

Standout dish

  • Cauliflower and caviar