This may sound terribly predictable, but I love tapas. It all started after spending time in Spain. Plus, living near 14th Street, I’m in perfect proximity to Estadio, Bar Pilar, and Bar Barcelona, and I’m always the first to suggest we “just dine somewhere nearby.”
You really can’t beat a great glass of red wine, impeccably prepared Spanish small plates, and a chic ambiance. Naturally, I seized upon Bar Barcelona when it opened, along with everyone else in the neighborhood and in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area.
We were celebrating Diana’s birthday over brunch, so Sophie and I arrived early with a cake, card and flowers. The hostess was incredibly gracious and helpful, allowing us to pick a patio seat and offering to store the cake (and flowers) in the back, should we need it. I’ve had less than pleasant encounters with hostesses at Bar Barcelona in the past, so I was surprised by her demeanor and assistance.
We selected the perfect spot on the patio, which is stunning with dark wooden benches, modern fireplaces, and glamorous outdoor lighting with potted plants and herbs scattered about. The chic patio feels very appropriate for Aspen, and in the winter Bar Barcelona lights the fires and provides complimentary faux fur blankets.
We began with water and coffee while we pored over the tri-fold menu. The coffee was delicious, and our cups were constantly filled. Our waiter was a handsome and friendly Latin man named Sebastian, who made the experience all the more pleasant.
We decided on traditional Spanish tapas to begin, per he birthday girl’s wishes. Diana selected the tortilla espanol and la patatas bravas, filled with jamon Serrano y Manchego. Both appetizers were fresh, well-prepared takes on traditional Spanish cuisine.
For our entrees, Sophie laid claim to the lobster Eggs Benedict. The Hollandaise was perfect, the muffins correctly toasted, and the eggs correctly poached. Most importantly, the Benny was loaded with enormous chunks of fresh lobster. I looked on with envy.
Diana and I both shared the steak and eggs and the honey ricotta pancakes. The steak was a thin, juicy flank topped with authentic chimichurri sauce. The eggs were fresh farm eggs, fried perfectly, and seasoned with olive oil and spices. The enormous chunks of potatoes served with both dishes were an excellent touch.
Then the pancakes arrived. Upon first glance, I inquired as to whether or not they came with syrup or honey, as they appeared barren. The thin, bubbly pancakes were drizzled with honey and accented with strawberries, and ended up providing plenty of flavor.
The servers brought out the red velvet cake, with candles, to conclude the brunch—and were kind enough to toss in some complimentary rosé. The service took a great brunch up a notch, and I was grateful that the popular spot’s ego had gone down a notch.
The Bitches say: A. Given my love of Spanish cuisine and stunning patios, I had a feeling brunch at Bar Barcelona would be lovely. I was right.
Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant
1622 14th St. N.W.
(202) 588- 5500
Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant serves brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.