The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Obama picks Minibar for romantic Valentine’s Day dinner

It's the hardest reservation to snag in all of D.C. -- but not if you're the president. POTUS and FLOTUS had their Valentine's Day dinner at Minibar, Jose Andres' super-exclusive restaurant in Penn Quarter (now joined by its sister bar experience, Barmini). There's no word on what the president ate, but past menus have included such items as braised pig tail, beans and clams with edible shells, and a semi-frozen marshmallow. The restaurant didn't impress our critic, Tom Sietsema, who wrote: "Minibar is like watching a bunch of trailers when you’re hungry for a movie. It’s not that I’m against novel approaches to cooking but, rather, food that places the intellectual above the delicious -- the head before the heart."

So, how is the president's V-Day pick playing out among his constituents?

Republicans are all too happy to point out the extravagant cost of the Obamas' meal. Conservative blog White House Dossier estimates that if the Obamas splurged for the $200 wine pairing with the $225 meal, with tax and tip their bill would come to about $900. "Each bite probably costs about $10," wrote Keith Koffler.

Foodies are pretty pleased with Obama's highbrow choice. "Clearly, the Obamas have been reading their Todd Kliman," wrote Washingtonian, whose food critic gave the restaurant higher marks than ours. Obama Foodorama notes that chef Jose Andres is a favorite of the first couple -- he has worked with Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" program. The blog also writes that it's the only Valentine's Day the Obamas have celebrated outside of the White House on the holiday's actual date.

Everyone else is just annoyed that the president's motorcade closed streets in Penn Quarter last night, snarling traffic as people were trying to make their way to their own Valentine's Day dates.

Earlier this week, Michelle Obama ate at another Penn Quarter restaurant, Fiola. See all of the spots where the Obamas have dined in the gallery below.