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.

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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.

Mockingbird Hill: Manchego, Honey and Chocolate Covered Corn Nuts

Mockingbird Hill Manchego

Sherry and food pairing may be a new frontier for DC, but Mockingbird Hill, that Shaw Sherry bar, has you covered. This is especially impressive because Sherry has more aromatic compounds (307!) than regular old wine. You can expect to taste notes of everything from hazelnuts and lemongrass to oyster shells and hay. So our number one snack, a.k.a. The Best Thing on the Menu? Manchego cheese that you slip and slide through honey and finish off with a dip into chocolate covered corn nuts. Classy and corn nutty all at the same time.

Mockingbird Hill Pork

A close second is their pork rillette. Who doesn’t love rich, luscious spreadable meat? It’s served with buttery toast and pickled vegetables and goes great with any variety of Sherry – Amontillado (Edgar Allen Poe’s fave), Oloroso, Palo Cortado, Amoroso, Fino, etc. See, there’s way more than Manzanillo! Obviously, since it’s a Sherry AND ham bar, you can’t go wrong ordering a ham sampler, our favorite of which was the lomo.

Mockingbird Hill Sherry Flight

Probably the best way to experience Derek Brown’s Mockingbird Hill is by ordering a flight. It comes with snacks, and premium Sherry education. Sherry wizard Chantal Tseng or one of her handsome young bartenders will explain everything you need to know – like the fact that Sherry can only be called Sherry if it’s from three specific towns in Spain, or that it’s produced using a complex solera system that involves mixing of different vintages to add complexity and balance. Visit their Facebook page for special flight offerings.

Manchego, Honey and Chocolate Covered Corn Nuts not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.

You might also like Cork, Boqueria, or Estadio.