BARCELONA WINE BAR & RESTAURANT
BARCELONA WINE BAR
240 N HIGHLAND AVE NE, ATLANTA, 30307
Again, welcome to the brand new Hungry Lens 2.0! I am so excited to officially be at TheHungryLens.com now! With that being said, let’s kick of the next restaurant blog! My friend suggested I check out Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant located in the heart of Inman Park. Barcelona features an extensive wine list and traditional Spanish style tapas. I had been to Barcelona once before a few years back and remember it being an awesome experience, but since Barcelona is always changing their menu and adding new items I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to check it out for The Hungry Lens.
ATMOSPHERE: Located in the center of the Inman Park neighborhood, Barcelona is such a charmer. The night my friend and I went it was PACKED. This is no surprise though, since Barcelona is a favorite spot for many Atlantans. I highly suggest making reservations in advance! Barcelona is a rather large restaurant with a chic, modern feel. The walls are covered in rich wooden panels and brick. The main dining room features a U-shaped bar with a light up counter top. It looks so cool at night when the lighting is low and the bar is literally glowing. Behind the bar is a chalk board with some of Barcelona’s menu highlights adding to the rustic feel of the restaurant. While transitioning to the second room, diners can get a sneak peek into the kitchen and observe fresh cheese and meat platters being assembled. This was definitely one cool feature of the restaurant. The second room features round tables covered in white tablecloths and sturdy wooden chairs. The main feature of this room is the gorgeous wine display behind the tables. It really is a statement piece. One of the best features of Barcelona is the amazing outdoor seating. There are patios lining the entire outside of Barcelona facing the main street. And with outdoor heaters and a fireplace, it makes the patio a year-round dining experience! While dining on the patio you feel one with the community, being able to watch neighborhood regulars walk their dogs, run errands, and converse with one another. I love the neighborhood unity feel you get at Barcelona. I really enjoyed the atmosphere.
The beautiful bar at Barcelona
Meat and cheese station
Beautiful wine display
The service at Barcelona was outstanding. I called ahead of time and made a reservation and requested to be seated in a well-lit area in order for my pictures to be the best quality. The manager, Brad Bernardo came over several times to check on us as well as Rob, the hostess. Our server was also very attentive and polite. The food came out rather quick for how busy they were. Overall, all of the staff went above and beyond to not only provide us with excellent service, but all of the diners seemed to appreciate the special experience.
Barcelona mostly serves Spanish tapas along with a few large plates. The menu is so diverse and regardless of your taste, you are sure to find something you like. My friend and I tried so many amazing dishes! Let’s get started…
We started off with the ham croquettes. These little balls of fried perfection were so delicious. They were golden on the outside and when you broke into them it was a fluffy, soft pillowy inside with a hint of smoky, salty, ham flavor. But by far the best part of the dish was the creamy, rich, garlic and lemon aioli served underneath the croquettes. This sauce was so addicting, I found myself dipping everything in it! You could have dipped a dirty shoe in this stuff and I probably would have still eaten it. The ham croquettes are a must try!
Barcelona features so many amazing cheeses and meats to choose from to create your own meat and cheese platter. I tried the Soria, a pimenton cured pork sausage (basically pepperoni) and their six month aged Manchego cheese. The Soria was so fresh with a deep salty meaty flavor you can only find from curing your meat the right way. The Manchego cheese was the perfect accompaniment with its rich, salty and nutty flavor. The olives added a nice bright vinegar kick to the mix. Overall I loved the meat and cheese plate.
Next, we tried the grilled hanger steak. The steak was cooked to a PERFECT medium rare, with a seared outside and juicy red inside. If you like your meat cooked more on the well-done side I would suggest either mentioning this to your server, or opting out of this dish. The beef was so juicy, succulent, and tender. It literally melted in your mouth. The best part of the dish was the black truffle vinaigrette drizzled on top. First of all, you can never go wrong with black truffle anything, but this vinaigrette was so bold and had a rich earthy flavor, it was the perfect match for the hardy steak. The vinaigrette was probably one of my favorite parts, if not my favorite part of the entire meal at Barcelona. You MUST try this dish!
The potato tortilla was next. It is basically the Spanish version of a cheesy potato casserole. After tasting it, it reminded me of my own potato casserole I make at home, it was simply delicious. It was the perfect balance of potatoes, cheese, onions, and sour cream. It was light and fluffy yet creamy. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The grilled asparagus was also pretty tasty. It had an intense charred smoky flavor from the grill, and was cooked perfectly – tender, yet still had a firm snap to it. The black truffle chimichurri was an excellent accompaniment with its earthy tones and fresh kick of flavor from the cilantro.
Next came the lamb a la plancha (grilled lamb). The lamb was tender, juicy, and perfectly cooked. The artichokes and mushroom added a beautiful harmonious flavor to the dish. The lamb was the main focus of the dish letting its rich gamey flavor shine through. The entire plate was very well seasoned and delicious.
Lamb a la plancha
Pulpo gallelo, or octopus was up next. This dish featured potatoes, celery, and of course octopus. The potatoes were tender and very flavorful with traditional Spanish flavors of pimenton. The octopus reminded me of a charred piece of bacon, but with a seafood flavor to it. If you enjoy seafood I highly suggest you try this interesting dish.
Now, comes the dessert! The dessert menu at Barcelona is simply amazing and I could not decide on just one, so I got three!
First the traditional churros with warm chocolate sauce. First of all these churros were HUGE! They were overflowing from the basket and smelled of rich, warm, fried perfection. They were golden on the outside, with a warm fluffy inside. The cinnamon sugar coating was simply delicious when you dipped it into the warm, gooey chocolate sauce. The only suggestion I would have for this dish would to make the chocolate sauce thicker so it could really stick to the churro and coat it.
Churros y chocolate
Next was the warm chocolate hazelnut indulgence. This dessert featured a chocolate hazelnut cake topped with coconut ice cream. The cake reminded me of a brownie with its rich, deep, chocolate flavor. The coconut ice cream was the perfect balance with its light creamy flavor.
Lastly, was the outstanding crepas salguero, or dulce de leche filled crepes. Sitting here writing this review, my mouth is watering just thinking about them. The crepes were light and fluffy and filled with gooey rich dulce de leche sauce and light fluffy whip cream. The chocolate sauce on top was the perfect balance to bring the entire dish together. Warning, this dessert is extremely rich and not for the light hearted, but I LOVED it. This was by far the best crepe dish I have had in my entire LIFE. If you are someone who loves rich, indulgent desserts, you must try the crepas salguero! It was the perfect ending to a fantastic meal.
The price at Barcelona is reasonable compared to other tapas bars in Atlanta. Most tapas range from $5-10 each and are easily sharable. Depending on how many tapas you order, your total will most likely come to $15-25 per person. For me, it was a bit more because let’s face it, A GIRL CAN EAT.
Based on all of the following criteria discussed above I give Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant an A+! That’s right, the first A+ in the history of The Hungry Lens! If you ask just about anyone they are sure to give you an outstanding review of Barcelona. That’s because the service is excellent, the atmosphere is thoroughly enjoyable, and to simply put it, the food is OFF THE CHAIN. You need to stop everything you are doing right now and call and make a reservation at Barcelona, I promise it will not leave you disappointed!