July 18, 2012 at 6:19 pm , by Serina Patrick
When friends or relatives visit from out of state, it is the host’s duty to show them a good time, from visiting the city’s attractions to choosing the perfect restaurants. This can be challenging since time is usually short. Prime example….LC’s cousin from Austin flew in for five days with his girlfriend and two young sons. After several days of fun-filled activities including the aquarium and Stone Mountain park, his cousin was ready for an adult night out. As the family foodie, I wanted to come up with a place that would be fun with great food too. I immediately thought of Barcelona, Atlanta’s hottest tapas restaurant and wine bar in Inman Park.
LC’s sister and her husband joined us as we arrived in style, drinking cava in a Chrysler stretch (that’s what happens when your guy’s family owns a transportation company). Initially, our group considered dining on the patio, but it began to drizzle, so we took a table inside.
Sangria sounded refreshing and is an easy transition from cava, so we ordered a caraf of white and another called flora, which the menu described as full of fruit. I confirmed with our server that it did indeed have chunks of fruit in each glass. However, when it arrived, the liquid was practically clear, made with rose’ instead of red wine…and not a piece of fruit in sight. Extremely watered down, this was the worst sangria I have ever had. Compared to the fantastic, spicy red sangria with chunks of fruit at CineBistro (yes, CineBistro!), Barcelona’s was a surprising failure from a wine bar. I expressed my displeasure and ordered a glass of cava.
We initially chose ten tapas to share plus a couple of medium plates. First arrivals: crunchy calamari and crisy cabbage drizzled with honey and topped with crumbled feta cheese. Hanger steak, grouper ceviche and mussels followed, the fresh, zingy ceviche earning a double reorder. LC and I were rather fond of the cabbage.
Two orders of my favorite dish from my birthday visit, luscious chorizo with sweet and sour figs, arrived next along with a vibrant looking gaspacho. A bowl of mussels were devoured but I only had one…too much tomato for my taste. Having worked our way through much of the tapas menu, we moved on to the scallops and lamb chops, both tasty but the lamb chops were certainly on the rare side. A stray watermelon salad finally showed up.
In true tapas style, we simply kept ordering until I stopped the madness with two orders of churros, long strips of dough piped into a deep fryer and served with hot chocolate dipping sauce. Despite being fried they are light at air. Everyone enjoyed our dinner experience, even the usually cranky RT.
After our meal we took a ride down the street to Blind Willie’s for some live blues and a couple of ill-advised shots (that’s what happens when your guy’s family owns a transportation company).
240 N. Highland Avenue 404-589-1010
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