Barmini: Foieffel

Barmini cocktail

For a Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory meets Jose Andres kind of night, book some seats at Barmini. You’ll work your way through custom cocktails that incorporate everything from smoke, pumpkin and egg whites to cotton candy and edible flowers. The food at this Latin inspired drink den/speakeasy packs just as much creativity and whimsy.

Barmini Foiewaffle

Though it is nearly impossible to choose, the Best Thing on the Menu is the FoieffelA palm-sized waffle stuffed with the silkiest foie gras we’ve ever experienced. It oozes out at the perfect temperature upon the first bite. Then throw in the fact that it’s topped with chocolate and peanut butter. You’ll wish you came with someone who hates (or is morally opposed) to foie gras, because sharing this bad boy is as painful as a flight cancellation, or baby shower.

Barmini Chicken Skin

A very close second is the fried chicken skin that you dip into a Buffalo-Tzatziki lagoon. It’ll make you forget crackers ever had a purpose. The skin is dotted with rotisserie salt and spices, making it delicious all on its own. But with that sauce. OMGet yourself to Barmini. Special thanks to our bar tendress and cocktail wizard Carlie for making sure we didn’t miss out on this dish. Oh and for the ridic cocktails, especially the sherry-based Adonis.

Click here for more photos.

If our evening at Barmini is any indication of what life is like on the other side of the glass at Minibar, we’re going to start saving up.

Foieffel not your BTM? Post your favorites in the comments section.

BTMMY Award Winners

We’re pleased to present the winners of the first ever BTMMY awards. Not to get foodie sentimental, but this has been such a fun year of openings, trends, expansions and events. We’re really lucky to be District diners. Thanks to everyone who voted for their favorite restaurants, bars, chefs, etc.

Now, for the winners:

BTMMY Best Restaurant

Best Restaurant— Rasika

It seems we are curry craving, truffle nan hoarding, palak chaat junkies that can’t get enough of upscale Indian with a twist courtesy of Ashok Bajaj’s culinary empire. Congrats to Executive Chef Vikram Sunderam and his team for churning our consistent, flavorful food that has found a home in the hearts of DC foodies.

Here’s what to get when you go.

BTMMY New Restaurant

Best New Restaurant— Roses Luxury

DC can’t get enough of this Barracks Row newcomer that doesn’t take itself too seriously—between bold instructions on the menu to uncommon food combinations like strawberry pasta—it’s a blast. But, make it a Monday/Tuesday kind of thing because with all the accolades pouring in, and a no reservation policy, it’s bound to be packed. Order the octopus and the brisket. Better yet, bring a group of four and see if you can conquer the whole menu.

BTMMY Best Chef

Chef that is Absolutely Crushing it—Bart Vandaele

Yes, DC is a sucker for celebrity chefs. But we’re willing to bank on Bart Vandaele gaining your votes for other reasons—like his pulled pork stuffed cornbread waffle topped with avocado and a fried egg at B TOO or his Hoegaarden mussels at Belga Cafe. Fun fact, B TOO now does breakfast, just dodge the morning construction taking place out front.

Here’s what to get when you go B TOO.

BTMMY Cocktails

Best Cocktails—The Passenger/Columbia Room

Derek Brown is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to what’s in his shaker. From unique creations to a knack for personalizing cocktails with a guest’s preferences in mind, he continues to come out on top of the imbibing scene. His bar bartending team at The Passenger/Columbia Room is top notch. Make a reservation for the cocktail tasting menu so you can check an item off your DC imbibing bucket list.

BTMMY Beer Garden

Beer Garden— Biergarten Haus

H Street wins out in this category. Biergarten Haus decidedly came in as the beer garden you spent your summer at. And, it doesn’t have to end. The patio is open all year long, thanks to some sturdy heaters. So make your way through some Paulaner, Hofbräu, Franziskaner and other favorites.

BTMMY Sandwich

Hangover Curing Sandwich—Taylor Gourmet

Want to reverse the damages from last night and set yourself up for a great ‘lil Sunday? Start your day with a breakfast hoagie, or just about any hoagie, from Taylor Gourmet. There’s just something special about a sloppy, saucy sandwich with Philly roots that gives you back the spring in your step.

Here’s what to get when you go.

And finally, special congratulations to Julia H. for winning the random drawing for the $200 gift card to Jose Andres restaurants. Next year we’ll be back with bigger and better prizes. Thanks again to everyone who voted.

Graphic design by Curtis Rogers. 

BTMMY’s: Cast Your Vote to Win!

The first annual BTMMY’s are here! Cast your vote for a chance to win $200 to the Jose Andres restaurant of your choice. The year 2013 was terrific for eating and drinking in the District, and we can’t wait to hear your favorites.

*To be entered into the drawing to win, be sure to submit your e-mail address in the “other” line of the final poll question.

BTMMY winners will be announced after Turkey Day, so will the winner of the Jose Andres restaurant raffle!

Oyamel: Breakfast for Dinner

Oyamel Fried Egg

Oyamel could be the underdog when it comes to ranking Jose Andres’ restaurants in DC.  Jaleo behaves as the flagship of the operation, minibar is elusive and mysterious and Zaytinya continues to produce memorable meals time after time.  It turns out that unassuming Oyamel is underrated. Sure, the butterfly decor is a little like a science museum, and the clientele seems to be mostly tourists. But, as is always the case with Best Thing on the Menu, it’s the food that counts.

A while back we double ordered the Best Thing on the Menu at Kapnos. Well, we had another repeat BTM order at Oyamel, and this time it was breakfast for dinner. The Best Thing on the Menu is most certainly Huevos Enfrijolados. This dish is composed of a fried organic egg with black bean sauce, house made chorizo, salsa verde and a corn tortilla. This brunch munch is perfectly balanced and delicately composed. We didn’t even know you could fry an egg like that.

Oyamel also knocks it out of the park when it comes to tacos. At most DC taco haunts you pick your protein: beef, pork, chicken or fish. But at Oyamel, there are four different types of pork tacos alone, plus adventurous folks can try Chapulines (grasshoppers!) an Oaxacan classic. Learn more about them here.

Don’t rule out Oyamel next time you’re in Penn Quarter. It’s a little easier to get a table, the food comes out fast and fresh and you can order two of anything.

Huevos Enfrijolados not your BTM? Post your favorites in the comments section.