One visit to Barcelona Wine Bar makes you eager to return.
By Hope S. Philbrick
Tortilla de patatas (aka tortilla Española) ranks high on the list of foods I love. First introduced to the dish in Barcelona during the 1980s, my adoration proved to be no passing infatuation but a lifelong passion. One bite and I was sold: After that introduction I ordered the dish nearly everywhere I went on that summer trip and, even all these years later, if I see it on a menu it always catches my eye.
So when my husband and I recently visited Barcelona Wine Bar at its Atlanta Westside Ironworks location for the first time (which opened April 2016), I placed an order for what the Barcelona Wine Bar Menu lists as its “Potato Tortilla” before I even finished reading the menu. I knew I had to have it, why wait?
“Have you ever had one before?” the server asked politely. I explained that I had, in Spain.
“Oh, good, then you won’t be surprised,” she said. “Many people expect something like a taco and are disappointed that it’s more like a quiche—although Chef Helton DaSilva says never to call it a quiche because he says that a quiche is a lot easier to make!”
Indeed, Spain defines a tortilla differently than Mexico. This is no corn or flour wrap; it’s an omelet—though not in the French style. It’s made with eggs and potatoes, sometimes also with onion, cooked in oil, and often served at room temperature as a tapa (snack)—but it’s delicious at any temperature.
Served with a slight chill and a side of chive sour cream, this wedge of soft potatoes layered with airy eggs transported my taste buds straight back to Spain.
I could have ordered several more slices and been as happy as could be, but the Barcelona Wine Bar menu has many temptations. I opted for items that sounded most authentically Spanish. Because, after all, this place is named for Barcelona! And, except for the soundtrack, the vibe inside the restaurant is very authentic Spanish neighborhood bistro with warm woods, cozy surroundings, welcoming servers, and aromas wafting through the air that make your mouth water.
Knowing the limits of ours stomachs and in favor of prepared dishes, we skipped the charcuterie and cheese, though there were many tempting options including jamón serrano, aged Manchego, and Drunken Goat, among others.
Albondigas are spiced meatballs in ham-tomato sauce. Move over Italy, these meatballs are soft and melt-in-your-mouth amazing examples of how to define serious yum.
Chorizo with sweet and sour figs in balsamic reduction hits different notes that play across the tongue like a catchy tune that makes you want to keep hitting replay.
Rabbit Fideos is a combination of succulent rabbit, pasta (that suggests spaghetti broken into pieces), piquillo peppers, charred scallion, and shishito. Smoky heat balances the sweet meat in this impressive dish.
I’d ordered one glass and then a second of the 2018 Mencía Liquid Geography rosé from Bierzo, Spain. Dry and food-friendly, it paired well with every dish we devoured.
For dessert we swooned upon seeing a dish that name dropped dulce de leche on the menu. “Do you like sweet?” our server asked. We stuck with our order, though after one bite I understood why she’d asked that question. When she returned to fill our water glasses I said, “You’re right. Europeans wouldn’t like this. It’s super sweet!”
“Yes,” she said. “But we have to balance the fact that we’re trying to be Spanish with the fact that we’re in the South.” Southerners do love sweets! The dessert was tasty but, after feeling immersed in Spanish cuisine and ambiance, it was a bit of a jarring reality to be swooshed back to the sugary South in one bite. Next time I’ll try the olive oil cake or flan.
For relaxed dining that delivers high-quality authentic Spanish fare with attentive, friendly service, head to Barcelona Wine Bar.
@21plusTravel Tip: Order a “Potato Tortilla” to go—keep it in the ‘frig overnight and heat it up in the microwave the next day for a delicious breakfast, lunch, or snack. You may need more than one: I planned to save mine until lunch and made it to 10 a.m. before giving into temptation.
Barcelona Wine Bar Westside Ironworks
1085 Howell Mill Rd NW
Atlanta GA 30318
Monday – Friday, 4 p.m.-late
Saturday & Sunday, Brunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Dinner 3 p.m.-late
Credit/Debit only, no cash (except tips & valet)
– Photos © HSP Media LLC
Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion. Thanks to Barcelona Wine Bar for hosting our visit.