all words: Svetlana Legetic
all photos: Stephanie Breijo
Somewhere in the midst of 100,502 (approx. number) new restaurants opening on 14th street NW this year and the seemingly endless press hubbub surrounding it (hey, EVEN Ian MacKaye noticed), the team behind Barcelona Wine Bar quietly went into the old Gold’s Gym space next to Miss Pixie’s and in what seemed like mere weeks executed one of the prettiest additions to the corridor we’ve seen all year.
Local businesses will be quick to point out that Barcelona is not a homegrown operation (they own several restaurants in Connecticut, Atlanta and Boston already) but much like Le Diplomate, Boqueria or Hill Country, a well-executed concept from a national joiner to the DC restaurant party goes a long way to find its way into the hearts of Washington’s diners and imbibers. And Barcelona is nothing if not well executed.
On foot since 1995, as a brainchild between Sasa Mahr-Batuz and Andy Pforzheimer, the restaurant is designed to “resemble the look, taste and feel of a night spent in the Ramblas”. Sherry and wines by the glass flow freely (ranging in price from $5 for a glass of Fino en Rama sherry to $12.5 for the priciest wine on the by-the-glass list) and all are available in both taste sizes and as bottles. The menu, curated by longtime Barcelona chef Pedro Garzon, is a combination of well worn tapas favorites (with a sturdy MEAT+CHEESE section too) but on top of Gambas Al Ajillos and Patatas Bravas, you can also spot Bone Marrow with Short Rib Marmelade and Sweetbreads a la Parilla for the more adventurous tapas eater. In the mood for something sturdier? Barcelona also offers Paellas, whole fish and mixed grills for the table, meant to be shared and ordered by quantity of people in the party.
The space itself is nearly spectacular. You approach the restaurant through the garden (a strong contender for a must-visit spot in next year’s OUTDOOR DRINKING GUIDE) which is nestled around a fireplace (cool weather bonus: there WILL be fleece blankets on hand once October turns ACTUALLY into October this year) and then it is all reclaimed wood, impressive volumes and airiness once inside (photos will speak to this way better than any words will, and a visit will speak even further).
For now, Barcelona opens nightly around 4:30 for drinks and dinner (the cocktail list is simple but effective – with a Barcelona GinTonic and Brookline Sours high on our list) but keep an eye out for brunch plans in the near-ish future.
Barcelona Wine Bar is located on 1622 14TH Street NW. More details here.