By: Cris on a Mission
When you walk in to this restaurant, the setting is romantic. The candlelight sets the tone for relaxation after a long day of work. It’s the perfect place to go if you genuinely enjoy relaxing with a glass of wine in your hand. It’s a nice place to go if you genuinely enjoy relaxing with a glass of wine in your hand and want to feel like you’re vacationing in Spain.
Happy hour is Monday through Friday, five to seven p.m. and it’s worth the price. The “spicy” bartender is at your service, ready to refill your glass with the wine of your choice, and you get the pleasure of tasting it first to make sure it’s the right wine for you.
I decided to try Barth Allüre German Riesling ($6). It was a light, crisp wine that bites your taste buds. The wine was also served chilled at the perfect temperature. It wasn’t so cold that you couldn’t taste the flavor of the wine; and if you’re ever served wine with ice, that’s a sacrilege against wine! Don’t worry; you don’t have to worry about that at Barcelona.
I sat on an attractive marble-topped bar. Right across from me were stacks of wines, rack by rack, and it was glass-encased (to preserve the wines at the precise temperature). If wine isn’t something that you prefer to drink, that’s okay. There are a variety of drinks you can choose from. The Spanish mixers that they’re known for are mojitos, margaritas, and sangrias. But if you do want Spanish wine, you may just settle for a glass of Rioja or Tempranillo or even a blush rosé.
They had a great variety of wine; this is the place you come to if you want a wide selection of wines. I started out with a Riesling ($8), and loved it so much that I got a refill. Another variety of wine they have is called Viogner ($8); it’s very similar to Riesling, but it’s not as sweet. Yet, Viogner is a great alternative to that. If you’re craving a “smooth” and rich red wine, then order the Prima Toro 2011 Tempranillo imported from Spain ($9). This red wine is very strong and has a higher alcohol content than most wines (14.5% a/v). That wine is so strong that you’ll see the legs gently seep down the body of the glass very clearly after you take a sip.
Because it’s a Spanish restaurant, they serve the warm bread with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The first tapas I ordered, called albóndigas ($5) are basically Spanish meatballs. They were served in a small ceramic dish and doused in a fresh, chunky tomato sauce. They had a good amount of flavor, and swiping the plate with the bread is the best part of that experience. Then, I ordered the olives ($5). They were good, but a bit too spicy. The moment you pop the olive in your mouth and start chewing, a burst of fire just explodes in your mouth. It even burns after you swallow it. Although, if you like spice, then this plate is for you! The heat completely obliterated the flavor of the olives. They were also too salty as well. I suggest they serve a more flavorful and less spicy olive like the Castrelvetrano variety. Now that’s a delicious olive, and you can buy it at Fairway.
The only issue is there was French music playing at a Spanish bar. I was expecting some romantic and relaxing guitar music, but it was French café music. This gives the impression that I’m at a Parisian café Français. The service also wasn’t bad, but I prefer going on Friday’s rather than Thursday evenings because the service is a bit better. Although, for Happy Hour, it’s a great deal you shouldn’t miss. Enjoy.