Barcelona Wine Bar: A Taste of Spain in Connecticut
|August 15, 2013||Posted by Sarah under Cocktails, Connecticut, Eating Local, Food, Restaurant Reviews|
I don’t know about you, but I often look at a menu and want to order ALL THE THINGS! And while I would enjoy every bite that would just cost a bloody fortune. Enter tapas. It’s the perfect way to enjoy multiple things at a restaurant, but in smaller more affordable portions. My favorite place to get tapas? Barcelona Wine Bar.
Barcelona has six locations in Connecticut (I have been to five of them!), one in in Brookline, MA and one in Altanta, GA. The first restaurant opened in 1996 in South Norwalk where the owners set out to bring the bold flavors and rustic elegance of Spain here to Connecticut. The food is simple, yet extremely flavorful. While many dishes feature products directly from Spain and the Mediterranean region, the menu often changes to feature local and seasonal products from the surrounding area. You know how I love to eat local!
All of the Barcelona restaurants have a different feel to them and I think I enjoy the location in New Haven the best. This is partly because it’s close to my home, but mainly because I love all of the natural elements that are brought into the space, along with the open kitchen behind the bar. It would be super cool if they created a chef’s counter where guests can enjoy a longer meal and interact with the chef’s. Hint hint Barcelona.
My most recent visit to Barcelona in New Haven was with my mom when she came to visit a few weeks ago. We went straight here after I picked her up from the airport and had an incredible meal. We started with a few cocktails (of course!) and decided to try the Summer St. Sling, which is Chamomile Infused Tito’s Vodka, Fresh Pink Grapefruit & Lemon Juices, and Bitter Truth Grapefruit Bitters. I’m actually surprised I ordered this because I’m not a huge grapefruit fan, but I am a big Tito’s Vodka fan so I went with it…delicious!
Barcelona has a great cocktail menu. Everything is extremely innovative and all of the juices are hand-squeezed. I love creativity on a cocktail menu.
The menu is pretty extensive and it usually takes quite a bit of discussion to decide what to get. The waitstaff typically recommends 5-6 tapas dishes per person. It might not seem like a lot of food when the small plates start arriving, but trust me, you will be full. And if you’re not, they are happy to put in additional orders throughout the meal.
Besides tapas, there is an extensive meat & cheese selection, a few entree-sized dishes, and a variety of sharing options. On this visit, we stuck with the tapas, but I’ll touch upon the Mixed Grill later…it’s like meat heaven! Here’s what we decided on:
Are you drooling yet?? It’s was hard to pick a favorite dish here, but the Grilled Hanger Steak is always one of my top choices. That Black Truffle Vinaigrette is to die for. This was the first time I’ve tried quail and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it! The dish actually came with a complimentary glass of sherry that paired very nicely. I don’t know much about sherry and according to Barcelona, not many people do either. So they are offering sherry pairings with a few of their dishes to showcase some of their favorites. Pretty cool!
We also ordered a couple glasses of wine during the meal (it is a wine bar after all!), red for me and white for mom, and enjoyed some of their uh-mazing bread that is perfect for soaking up all of the delicious sauces. I actually restrained myself from the bread this time (shocking!) but I know how good it is…Mom confirmed.
Now a meal like this wouldn’t be complete without dessert and some coffee, right?
After all that, you pretty much had to roll us out of there. Such a great meal with a wide variety of flavors…right up my alley! To say I indulged is an understatement…
Now remember that Mixed Grill I mentioned earlier? If you’re a fan of meat, this is something you must try. I was here with a friend a few months ago, who also likes to eat Paleo most of the time, and we shared the Barcelona Mixed Grill…meat heaven! Perfect with one or two of the vegetable tapas.
I’m lucky to have one of these locations about 10 minutes from home, but the various locations are spread out across Fairfield County and there is one up in West Hartford. If you get a chance to stop by and enjoy a glass of wine and some small plate, do it! You won’t be sorry 🙂
Have you been to one of the Barcelona locations? What do you think about tapas?