After some obsessive tracking, José Andrés' team officially announces today that the Minibar reservations line reopens again tomorrow at 10 a.m. — meaning the restaurant will resume dinner services on November 2. And while, sure, the restaurant is reopening in an entirely new space, there are a few other key changes for longtime Minibar-stalkers to note:
1) While reservations will open at 10 a.m. as in the past, they are now only available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. According to a release, these will be accepted in the order in which they are received and those who get through will receive confirmation and be contacted for more information.
2) Well, the bad news is that the prices have gone up to $225 per person for "more than 20 tastings," while wine pairings are priced at $75, $120 and $200. Minibar was previously priced at $150.
3) The ThinkFoodGroup has added new seatings at Minibar at 6, 6:30, 8:30 and 9 p.m., with six open slots per seating. There's a total of 12 seats in the new space, so those seatings will obviously allow overlap.
4) Juli Capella, the designer behind the Jaleo renovation, is responsible for the look of the new Minibar, which the release explains "is inspired by the duality of life — from the ultimate technological sophistication of the kitchen to the domestic comfort of the furniture. The space will represent a subtle contrast between the hard and soft surfaces, a compliment between a single piece and a group of objects, a comprehensive play of vibrant colors and black and white austerity."
5) A rep tells Tom Sietsema: "Diners will start the evening with a drink in the bar, move on to a dining room with an open kitchen and end the night with something sweet in a study with a see-through fireplace — 'just as if you were in Jose's home.'"
UPDATE: In response to an inquiry, a ThinkFoodGroup rep semi-explains the price hike: "The reason is that we have a created a truly unique, intimate experience at this new home of minibar by jose andres. The culinary offerings, the service and setting provide an experience unmatched by any other dining destination and the menu pricing reflects that extraordinary culinary performance we will offer every night."