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There was plenty of buzz yesterday about the $250 price tag (including drinks, tax, and tip!) at Pineapple and Pearls, the forthcoming fine dining spot from Rose’s Luxury‘s Aaron Silverman. But lost in the chatter was another revelation: Minibar increased the price of its avant-garde tasting menu from $250 to $275 per person this year. And no, that does not include tax, tip, or drinks.
There’s also been some fluctuation in the drink pairing price. The cheapest option—the “experience pairing”—has jumped from $85 to $95 per person. (It was $75 when Minibar reopened in its current location in 2012.) The “celebration pairing,” the next level up, remains at $115 per person. And guests now save five bucks when they splurge on the premium “Jose’s pairing,” which decreased in price from $200 to $195. A non-alcoholic pairing stays at $55 per person.
If you go for the cheapest alcoholic pairing and factor in tax and a 20 percent tip, that’s $488 per person. It’s far and away the most expensive prix-fixe meal in D.C., but cheaper than some other elite restaurants around the country.
“We regularly conduct reviews of the pricing for all of our restaurants and made the decision to increase the Minibar pricing for 2016. We take into account the competitive landscape and rising costs to attract the best talent and source premium ingredients to deliver an extraordinary culinary experience,” explains ThinkFoodGroup Director of PR Margaret Chaffee in an email.
When Minibar first opened in 2003 as a counter inside the now-defunct Cafe Atlantico, dinner only cost $65 per person. In 2014, we compiled a graph of the restaurant’s price changes over the years:
Photo by Ken Wyner. Graph by Carey Jordan.