Barcelona Wine Bar: The Rise of a Tapas Empire
Straight chillin in Boston's South End, Barcelona Wine Bar is located near some of my favorite and most memorable Boston food adventures, including Bar Mezzana, Myers+Chang, and Wink & Nod. Barcelona Wine Bar specializes in small Spanish tapas with an excellent wine list.
First things first, the atmosphere is relevant, rustic, and spacious. Steph and I sat outside on the patio, which was super refreshing. If you want to enjoy the outdoor seating, take note that not all seating will have shade and the sun may be too potent for some. At one point during our meal, we had to move inside because I started getting too burnt.
If you decide to sit inside the restaurant, there's still a lot of natural light entering from the tall windows!Since 2006, Gretchen Thomas has been at the helm of the entire restaurant group's wine offering as their wine and spirits director. Their wine list is ever-changing with a focus on Spanish and South American wines. P.S. They have a couple different sangrias as well as a DIY-Bloody Mary Bar.
The food is awesome and the menu changes frequently to keep things exciting. We went for brunch and had a lot of fun with the Crispy Valencia Rice with Mushroom Ragu. If you visit for dinner, you might find solace in their slow-roasted pork butt, bacon-wrapped dates (w/ Valdeón mousse), grilled hanger steak (w/ truffle vinaigrette), or the Rabbit Estofado (stew). Don't forget to pair your wine with their vast selection of cheese and cured meats!
FUN FACT: If you're planning on visiting Spain, peruse some of our reviews from Barcelona! #shamelessplug But, you should also check out the dining and travelling guide available on their website.
Anyway, I'll be back soon! I'm going ham on that crazy wine list and that rabbit stew.
At Barcelona Wine Bar, you're greeted by their very own Make-Your-Own-Bloody-Mary Bar, which comes will all the usual supplements. For $13, this would please any and every Bloody Mary lover.
Most of the dishes at Barcelona Wine Bar are served tapas style. These small plates are shareable. First, we ordered the Crispy Valencia Rice with Mushroom Ragu per Steph's recommendation. The crispy rice was reminiscent of the best part of a paella, which is the socarrat - the burnt and crispy part of the dish that has had extended contact with the pan.
The mushrooms were also nice and juicy. I liked this! [$11.5 USD]
So, Migas actually has a lot of different variations. It's usually a dish made with various leftovers, specifically leftover bread. The bread is then soaked in spices and oil then baked until crispy.
Barcelona Wine Bar topped the migas with some chorizo and a fried egg. Perfect for breakfast/brunch! [$7.5 USD]
The Mushrooms were delicious. Barcelona Wine Bar really knows how to make their mushrooms. These were succulent and tasty. It was flavored with a Balsamic Reduction and topped with Herbed Goat Cheese [$8.5 USD]
Spanish food is, in general, on the salty side. It's nice to cut through some of that salt with something sweet and boozy like sangria. Steph voted for the White Wine Sangria, mixed with Pineapple Juice, Rum, Brandy, and Orange Liqueur.
For their white wine sangria, you could actually get it one of two ways: traditional or (with) seasonal herbs. The traditional sangria will be made with citrus, fresh fruit, and sugar. The seasonal herbs sangria will come with lavender, sage, and rosemary!
For a full pitcher, you'll be set back $26.5 USD.
I love a good set of assorted tomatoes. As I have gotten older, I think my body is just constantly screaming for vegetables given how much meat and alcohol I consume. Whenever I eat tomatoes, it's just the most refreshing and rejuvenating experience.
These Heirloom Tomatoes (from Eva's Farm, MA) were simply garnished with with Garlic Oil. [$6.5 USD]
The Albondigas are exactly what you think they are. They're meatballs. At Barcelona Wine Bar, they're drenched in a Jamón Tomato Sauce. I liked these because the center of the meatball was very moist. I cringe when I have meatballs that are dry in the center. [$8.5 USD]
Patatas Bravas are always needed. I also don't have the strength to resist ordering this dish when it's on the menu. It's a bit spicy and very garlicky. You can never go wrong with this. [$6.5 USD]