Saturday, October 11, 2008
Peckish but interested in more than just some chips and dip? How about teasing your palate with small yet delicately appointed dishes presented by our Iberian friends as tapas. If you've never had tapas, the concept is simple. They are small appetizer-sized portions of some very sophisticated dishes meant to be ordered in quantity and shared among a table.
It is rare that you can order an entire dish based on artichokes or asparagus. Much less begin moaning when the goat cheese comes out! Thus is the case at Barcelona Tapas.
FLO first visited Barcelona soon after opening in 2007 and found it to be quite wonderful. A refreshing twist on the entire concept of a restaurant not seen elsewhere in Indianapolis. Not only are it's dishes reflective of the Spanish culture's cuisine, but Barcelona Tapas also has the open-to-the-street feel you only find in more old-world destinations.
We were long over-due for another visit and knew the Queso de Cabra al Horno (baked goat cheese in tomato sauce with garlic bread) would be the first of our list of tapas for the evening. Just as with our first visit, Fred wished to bathe in it. If only an Italian restaurant would serve a marinara as exquisite! It was so spectacular that we ended up dipping everything in it.
Along with our Queso, we ordered 3 other tapas:
-- A skewer of fried shrimp in a sherry cream and "caperberry" salsa. Yum! It was the first casualty.
-- Fried artichoke hearts with a Romesco sauce and shaved Manchego cheese. Very very tasty, and the perfect dipper for that baked goat cheese and tomato sauce!!! While the Romesco was good, it just couldn't compete.
-- Last but not least, the grilled lamb chops with sherry alioli and rioja reduction. Oh-mah-gawd. Perfectly tender, perfectly moist, perfectly seasoned. If only they made lambs the size of cows. . . hmm.
And did we mention they have a decent beer selection on tap? Bells Oberon, Stella Artois or Hoegarten? Nice. We forget the other choices, but there was a wide enough range to satisfy most palates.
Ozzy was happy to munch on the complimentary warm bread and enjoy the afternoon sun. While Barcelona does not offer a children's menu, he did not seem out of place nor unwelcome.
Price-$$$-$$$$, Not cheap. But did we mention the sauce?
Atmosphere-****, The garish colors & decor transport you out of the midwest.
Service-****, very attentive and almost too fast service
Fred - A, I know I'm splitting hairs, but our food actually arrived so quickly that we were not ready for it. Gosh what a problem to have!
Libby - A, Any time I can enjoy my meal and feel like I've experienced a taste of the culture, I am very happy.
Ozzy - C, Ozzy seemed to almost understand that Mommy and Daddy needed their private time with the goat cheese. Thank you boy!!!