Barcelona is one of the sexiest restaurants in West Hartford. It’s the perfect place to bring a date or lover or dine with friends. There is something very intimate about sharing a bunch of small plates. It is the perfect opportunity to try a variety of different dishes.
Friday was the first time I’d been back since they renovated. I loved the decor and ambience before but it did seem like more space was needed. Now it’s even better than ever. We arrived sometime between 6 and 7pm and got a table in the outdoor dining area. One of our two waiters brought over a menu and it did not take me long to select the Aviator (Ransom Old Tom Gin, Liqueur de Violettes, Luxardo Maraschino, Lemon Juice) as my beverage of choice.
Shortly after we placed our order we were brought a complimentary watermelon, cucumber, and feta salad from the kitchen. It was light, summery, and refreshing. The official start of summer isn’t for about another week but summer started for me that night in my mouth with the first bite of that salad.
We also shared the spicy eggplant caponata, the kale salad with toasted hazelnuts, grilled hanger steak with black truffle vinaigrette, pork belly a la plancha with mustard, and 12-hour braised short ribs. For dessert – churros with a chocolate sauce for dipping. Everything was terrific My favorites of the night were the multidimensional flavors of the caponata, the tender and flavorful short rib, and the crispy and soft churros, but honestly, I loved it all.
My dining companion commented that the kale salad tasted “healthy, in a good way” – the acidity of the balsamic drizzle was nice against the butteriness of toasted hazelnuts. The pork belly would have been too dry without the wet of the mustard, but together it was good. The hanger steak was an ideal medium rare and the black truffle vinaigrette had a smokey complexity that added depth to the dish. We also enjoyed using the warm, crusty, delicious bread as a vehicle to sop up the sauce from the eggplant caponata.
We had a great time here and I look forward to a return visit soon. I would also love to check out a wine or cooking class in the near future.
971 Farmington Ave
West Hartford, CT 06127