went to Barca late last night (11:30, thompson b'tween w.3rd and bleecker) looking to stuff ourselves with tapas. we didn't drink so I can't say anything about the sangria, but others looked to be enjoying it.
First note - there aren't very many dished without pork, seafood, or both. fine with me, but my husband doesn't eat pork, and is picky about his seafood, so it was a bit challenging at first, but we both left full, so it was no problem... We are used to seeing more cold salad dishes at tapas restaurants, but no matter - we ate well.
We split everything, and ordered 4 tapas and 1 main dish.
The bread we received while waiting was served with what I finally decided was an artichoke puree - very complex - I think the fruity olive oil threw me. The bread was not just toasted but grilled. nice touch.
We started with the plato de queso, which tied for my most favorite dish. 6-8 different cheesed with ample honey drizzled bread - the two blue cheeses were amazing - aged and creamy. Big enough to split, bit as we were working on it, my boquerones - marinated anchovies - arrived. this was my other favorite. who do people eat any other kind of anchovy?? they were plump and tangy and not a bone in sight. 5 filets were served on a bed of thinly sliced onion, chopped olive and tomato. A bit much for 1 by the end (my husband only nibbled) but I'm not sure I'd share more!
The bacon wrapped sea scallps came next - the bacon had a smoked, grilled flavor - less baconly, more steaky. the scallops were tender but not meltingly so. I almost think they were too big - the bacon to scallop ration was a bit off. They were served on a bed of carmelized onions which were not as sweet as expected, but very rich.
ok - on to the watercress salad - the only comment was that the "rosted walnut vinegtette" was bland. tasted like they wizzed up water, nuts and oil. it was heavily dressed too - poor watercress. they almost drowned before we rescued - I mean ate - them...
the main dish frango a piri piri - came while we were finishing the salad - it's a little whole chicken - bigger than cornish, smaller than a small fryer - that was rubbed with a fresh chile rub. very very flavorful and slightly spicy. I'm not a salt person, but i think it could have used a bit more to round out the chile. it was served with a salad of what looked like spagetti, but upon investigation was "strings" of cucumber. it was dressed with a basil vinagrette, but again, I thought the vinegar could have had a bigger role.
Dessert was a flourless chocolate cake - very rich, moist and the right amount for two. not mind blowing, but a nice finish.
Overall, I thought that the menu was small, and the tapas were a bit big and the main couse was a bit small - order slow so you have the right amount of food. We were impressed with the service and the food quality - we spent $70 including tip, but remember - no alcohol, and we didn't even have coffee. I could see the bill going well over $100 next time we indulge.
Last note - nice to see a new place (less than 2 months old) where the service erred on the side of overly attentive. it might have been the time of night, but we never felt that new restaurant abandoned feeling.
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