Nestled in the heart of New Haven amidst an abundance of restaurants, Barcelona stands out as a quaint, yet trendy establishment. Exuding intelligence in its menu options, Barcelona’s philosophy is that superb ingredients and quality service will keep customers coming back for more.
The Barcelona concept began as an underground idea modeled after the Prohibition era speakeasies. The idea was to create a secret hideaway or an exclusive location in which those in the know could find. Nine years later, still no sign needed outside of the restaurant; word of mouth has maintained Barcelona’s reputation. When you have a taste of a good thing, you make it a point to come back and tell your friends.
Some evolved being once said that eating a variety of delicious plates and wine affected the happiness factor in one’s life. In fact, legend has it that the birth of tapas began with Alfonso X, the King of Castilla in the 13th century. As a treatment for an illness, he was instructed to eat small amounts of food between meals accompanied by wine. After recovering from his illness he made it a law that wine could not be served without being accompanied by food. Who are we to disobey a law?
The social aspect of eating is reflective in the tradition of tapas. This small plate concept allows guests to share a variety of different options as opposed to a single entrée. Barcelona is the perfect venue to engage in the experience of enjoying typical Catalan cuisine in a cosmopolitan setting. The eclectic menu offers a sampling of distinctive tastes and imaginative Mediterranean style creations. Barcelona’s menu is comprised of core items that are always available, in addition to specials that change daily.
Barcelona presents patrons with an extensive twenty page wine list showcasing only the finest wines from around the world. Wine enthusiasts choose from Vinos Rosados, Tintos and Blancos (Rosé, Red and White wines) grouped by region and served by the copa (glass) or botella (bottle).
Start with Charcuterie & Cheese, an assortment of meats and cheeses. Barcelona has an impressive variety of meats and cheeses to choose from. The best recommendation is to order a few and experiment with finding your favorite palate pleaser. Some favorites are the Jamón Serrano, a dry-cured Spanish ham presenting a woody flavor comparable to Prosciutto. The Mangalica is another cured meat from the Hungarian pig. The Mahón is a cow’s milk cheese similar to parmesan. The Ibores is made with goat’s milk and pimentón or paprika. The Whipped Sheep’s Cheese is served with pimentón and pistachios. It can be spread over warm, crispy bread. The smooth cheese paired with the crunch gives the dish an appealing texture.
Begin your tapas expedition with the Chorizo Sweet and Sour Figs in a balsamic glaze. This dish combines sweet and savory ingredients to create unique flavors. The Grilled Hanger Steak with truffle vinaigrette is another favorite. Always served medium rare, the steak is perfectly cooked and complimented by the sauce. Many items on the menu are cooked la plancha or on the flat iron grill. One item you won’t want to miss are the Clams a la Plancha prepared with lemon and olive oil. For a vegetarian option, try the Spicy Eggplant Caponata served cold with sweet pepper, basil, balsamic vinaigrette, honey and chili flakes. Try the Jamón and Chicken Croquetas with Aioli sauce. These lightly breaded balls are bursting with flavor. A classic Spanish tapa is the Potato Tortilla served with chive sour cream. The Potato Tortilla is always delicious and can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Spice it up by ordering the Gambas al Ajillo. These tender shrimp are served with garlic and Guidilla pepper that gives the dish a perfect kick.
A visit to a Spanish restaurant is never complete without the proper dessert. Order a little something sweet like the classic Flan Catalán or try a twist on traditional Churros served with a spicy dark chocolate dipping sauce.
Life is short. Eat tapas, drink wine and be merry at Barcelona New Haven.
For reservations call: (203) 848-3000 or visit:http://www.barcelonawinebar.com/newhaven.htm