Well, Sunday was the last day of Restaurant Week, and as much as I love supporting our local restaurants, it couldn’t have come a minute too soon. Whew – I’m so ready for home cooked food it isn’t funny. Not that I didn’t enjoy every minute of Restaurant Week – I did. I’m just burnt out on eating out for at least a few weeks. Good thing I have a couple of reviews saved up to give you guys in the interim.
Word has it that it was so successful for the restaurants and for the patrons that they’re considering doing it again in the Fall. I can’t wait. In the meantime, keep an eye out tomorrow for a “Best of Restaurant Week” post that will talk about the highlights of my week.
So we finished out the week by going to Barcelona, a restaurant on the border of German and Merion Villages that serves traditional Spanish food.
Their special for Restaurant Week was a nine course tapas tasting menu for $30 per person. Here’s a list of the tapas we had tonight.
Bread service at Barcelona consists of a nice hearty white bread paired with olive oil over seasoned and stewed tomatoes. The flavors work incredibly well together.
Our server, Jeff, was kind enough to bring us a taste of cheese from the kitchen. The Rogue River Blue is already one of our favorites, and the aged English Cheddar was fabulous as well.
Once we started tasting, plates came out fast and furious, three at a time. The first course, Almond Gazpacho, reminded me (in texture, and somewhat in taste) of a tahina dressing.
The second plate was an old standby from their menu, the hummus and flatbread. Smooth and flavorful, it went really well with the crunch of the flatbread.
The third course, the Roasted Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella with Basil Oil, reminded me of a smoky Caprese salad. Very pleasant, but not a standout. Flavor was very subtle.
I really enjoyed the next course, the Sauteed Mushrooms and Chorizo. Chopped crimini mushrooms paired beautifully with the house-made Chorizo, which was flavorful rather than hot. I’m not usually a fan of mushrooms, but this dish had a lovely texture to it.
The Chicken and Manchego Croquettas were excellent, with a creamy and extremely cheese filling surrounded by the thin crunch of the breading. We enjoyed these very much, and will probably order them in the future.
The Seared Sea Scallop with Saffron Aioli was slightly more well done than I enjoy scallops, but was nicely seasoned and delicious nonetheless.
The Herb Roasted Salmon Salad was very simple, and probably my least favorite flavor profile. However, my husband is much more of a fan of fishy fish, and enjoyed it very much.
Also mostly enjoyable were the Beef Meatballs with Sundried Tomato Aioli, which paired flavorful, albeit slightly dry, meatballs with a subtle mayonnaise-based sauce.
Not so successful was the Grilled Shrimp and the Asparagus, which had the dual issues of overcooked shrimp and woody asparagus. The flavors were there, but the components just had some minor technical issues.
The special nine course menu also came with a glass of sangria.
We loved the idea of the tasting menu, as it gave us the chance to try several different appetizers without making the commitment to a full-sized order. From what I understand, they plan on adopting the Tapas Tasting menu in some incarnation even after Restaurant Week is over. I’m really looking forward to it.
We were still a bit hungry, so we split an entree of Arroz con Pollo. One of the benefits of splitting an entree is that they end up adding a little bit more to the order to make it more manageable for two people. For example, this is a half order:
Service was nothing short of outstanding. Our server, Jeff, was super-friendly, engaging, and attentive to our every need. The extra effort to deal with our particular dining issues was particularly appreciated. But everyone, from the hostess to our server, was extremely accommodating, and made us feel extremely comfortable.
The menu at Barcelona changes often, so we hope to return soon to try other dishes. Their patio is opening in a couple of weeks, so we hope to return then. Hope we see you all there as well.
If you’d like to go: Barcelona, 263 E. Whittier Street, Columbus (German Village). 614.443.3699