House of Skip

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Barcelona Wine Bar

When I began doing research for our trip, Barcelona Wine Bar stood out from the beginning. Great reviews on Yelp and Trip Advisor, sealed the deal for a place that sounded good from the looks of the website.

We arrived for our reservations and found ourselves in a loud, dark and very busy restaurant. We had to wait for just a minute until they cleared a table for us. The bar was packed and so were the surrounding tables we sat at. After a few minutes our eyes adjusted to the darkness and you could tell this was a hip hangout for locals and visitors a like.

The tables are fairly close together and it has a very intimate feel. We did not feel intruded upon by anyone seated near us and our waiter did a great job of leaning in so we could hear him and he could hear us of the hum of noise in the background. Some people might complain about a loud restaurant, but in this place it was part of the vibe and the buzz going on around us was exciting.

We had a very nice waiter who started us off with a great red wine. We told him what we were looking for and he brought us a lovely Spanish Pinot Noir, yes you read that correctly, it's not just about France. It was a lovely wine that was sure to pair well with all the tapas that were about to hit our table.

Oh, did I forget to mention that Barcelona Wine Bar was a tapas place? Yes, that was part of the appeal for us. Wine and tapas are so much fun (see previous post- Despana, Princeton) and we couldn't wait to try out a new place.

We ordered like 4 tapas and figured that would be plenty for a meal. We were not wrong. We started with a meat and cheese board- they had a variety of meats and cheeses to chose from and you could order just one or you could pick three for a board.
meat and cheese board
We picked three- jamon serrano, coppa and Idiazabal- which was a raw, smoked Sheep's milk cheese. We also had grilled octopus, an arugula salad and figs with sweet and sour figs.

The tapas came out at a nice pace, we didn't want everything all at once, but we also didn't want to wait in between each. The meat and cheese board came first and then all the others came out shortly after. We were not quite done with one before the next arrived which was good because we could pick at them all while we enjoyed our wine. The octopus was
perfectly grilled and seasoned with just the right amount of garlic. The chorizo and figs were sweet, tangy and spicy and the flavors contrasted each other in a beautiful way. The arugula salad was a great choice because the fresh, crisp salad was the perfect thing to cut through the richness of our other dishes.
Chorizo and figs

 In addition to our waiter coming by to check on us (not too much, but just enough to make sure we were good with wine and didn't need anything else) we were also greeted by the manager who came to our table once during our tapas to see if everything was okay and then again before we left to say thanks for coming in and to ask if our waiter did a good job- of course we had nothing but great things to say about the food and service.

Since we had several small plates and not a full meal, we thought we had room for dessert and decided to share something. We ordered the warm apple crisp, it was a tough choice as the menu had some really lovely sounding desserts. But it was a somewhat chilly night and a warm apple crisp sounded yummy, we were not disappointed. It was a lovely presentation with a generous scoop of cinnamon ice cream on top. The apples were fresh and sweet, the topping crispy and crunchy (as a crisp should be), but as good as that was, the star was the ice cream. We volleyed back in forth with bites, trying to savor this dessert for as long as possible, while each searching for the perfect bite, trying to get the best ratio of crisp to ice cream.

We left Barcelona Wine Bar with full bellies and big smiles, but with a little sadness that we did not live closer to this gem of a place. My companion and I agreed that if we lived in the area we'd be there frequently. How could you pass up that sophisticated atmosphere, delicious food and courteous service?

18 West Putnam Ave.
Greenwich, CT 06830
Tel: 203.983.6400

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