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Restaurants & Bars

Minibar Review. Bad and long!

Clare K. | May 2, 200505:39 PM

Went to Minibar Saturday night with two friends and I can say that I will probably not be going back any time soon.

The good thing is we were seated exactly at our reservation time (made via The waiter brought us a free shot glass of champagne, which was a nice and unexpected touch. He was friendly and helpful as he went over the specials and handed us the menus. My friend ordered the pomegranate mojito, which was excellent, and my sister and I had red wine - cote du rhone and syrah. Both good.

Because my sister (Tokyoastrogirl to you 'hounds) had read a review that stated how "substantial" their portions were, we started off with three plates. The Duck Confit Eggrolls should be called "One Duck Confit Eggroll Cut Up into 5 Tiny Pieces." It was literally one eggroll, and it was relatively flavorless, though the peanut and mustard dipping sauces were quite good. The Yucca bread was next. They looked like five little tatot-tots, but were actually bread filled with a goey cheese. Good, but not great. The veal meatballs, which were quite small, were juicy and meaty and flavored just right. We wished we had more.

We quickly realized that three plates was not enough, so we ordered three more. The braised short ribs were by far the best thing we had that evening. Tangy and sweet, the meat fell right off the bone. Sadly it went downhill from there. The brochette of flatiron steak rolls filled with cheese was nothing special. Bland steak filled with bland cheese. The hummus plate with pita chips was also disappointing. The eggplant hummus was watery and flavorless, and the regular hummus was bland as well. The only redeemable thing about the dish was the fresh avocado salsa, which was fresh and creamy.

I suppose we should have stopped there, but we went ahead and ordered two desserts: the cafe con leche which was described on the menu as "chilled coffee-caramel pudding," and the guava mascarpone cream-cheesecake. The cafe con leche was a joke!! It was, and I kid you not, a cup of whipped cream flavored with what tasted like instant coffee. To add insult to injury, they topped it with crushed espresso beans (not the chocolate covered variety, just plain ones). Blech! We dug around the whipped cream, certain that there would be something resembling pudding in there, but found nothing of the sort. The cheesecake was good, though a tad too sour, and it was served with a side of - you guessed it - the weird coffee whipped cream. As if!

We sent the cream back and the kitchen sent out a chocolate souffle which was pretty good, but nothing special. When we got the check, we noticed they overcharged us for two of the wines (they were priced at $7 on the menu and they charged us $9) and it took a couple of back-and-forths to get them to straighten out the check.

I think minibar is great for cocktails and maybe a plate (or two) of the braised short ribs for a snack, but if you're hungry, forget about it. I have to say that the service was good and I loved the atmosphere, but I will probably not eat there again.

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