Brunch so hard with Barcelona Wine Bar

barcelona (1 of 1)It’s not every day you take over a Facebook page.  Might as well make the most of it!

Submit a compelling argument to me as to why brunch is NOT the greatest meal of the week.  For one, it’s rare.  Usually occurring only on Sunday (but at Barcelona Wine Bar – you also get Saturday brunch – rejoice!), with all the carbs, all the meats, all the sugars, and of course, all the booze.  Barcelona was kind enough to invite myself and several guests (big and one small) to enjoy brunch with them – and pick up the tab – for which I sincerely thank them.  Also sincerest thanks and gratitude for a truly amazing meal.  This is truly one of my favorite spots in the Center.  Shout out to my friend Xavier, formally of Rooftop 120, for recently being named their new West Hartford Executive Chef also!  Ok, down to business.  Some highlights from our feast:

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Brunch without booze is a sad breakfast, they say (and they’re right).  So might as well booze like you mean it with the perfect Bloody Mary from the more than ample bloody mary bar.  It’s a little overwhelming perhaps, but Amanda is a pro and created this artistic and delicious creation:
extravagance

Pictured: nothing excessive

And then, of course, there’s the food.  Barcelona is known for tapas style dining, combining traditional Spanish cooking and eating styles with a little American flair and fusion.  Their Brunch Tapas menu is available alongside the (more traditional) tapas selection and delectable cheese boards and paellas to share… so that you can mix and match if you care to do so.  We were spoiled and overwhelmed with brunch items and stuck to those however:

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Exhibit A: Chicken and Churros

Of all the dishes, we sampled, my personal favorite was the “Breakfast Octopus:”

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Replete with a perfectly poached egg sprinkled with just the right amount of paprika.  Octopus, cooked correctly, is a texturally perfect meal.  This plate is also light and healthy, which was good because the chicken and churros were… probably not…

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Come to think of it… poutine (with Mangalica gravy), is also PROBABLY not particularly healthy.  But dang, is it tasty.  Also pictured: Mimosas made table side with my favorite Juve Y Camps Cava and fresh grapefruit or orange juice.

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Another crowd pleaser: Huevos a la Flamenca (Spinach, Manchengo, Baked Egg).

Penelope enjoyed Lemon Blueberry Pancakes for her own baby brunch:

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Sharing jokes with Auntie Amanda

And we adults enjoyed a very grown up rift on french toast with the Torrijas:

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That’s Coffee Vanilla Syrup and it’s amazing.

Thanks again to Barcelona for, well, killing it in every single way.  Our entire dining party, including the (not pictured/too busy eating to pose for pictures) Scott and Adam had a perfect dining experience.  I’ll be back very soon to see what sort of cool twists Chef Xavier has put on the dinner tapas menu – so stay tuned for more Spanish food porn in the very near future, and follow Barcelona on Facebook and Instagram for even more foodie goodness.

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A lovely tour of vegetarian tapas with @Barcelonawinebar in West Hartford

Tapas.  Are.  Delicious.  Vegetables, executed correctly, are delicious.  These are two of my favorite things.  But before we delve into their culinary delights, let’s examine a third of my favorite things: BEETHOVEN

Beethoven Rocks

Ludwig.  Van.

Do I get more excited to listen to Beethoven I would for many contemporary musical options?  Maybe.  I’m a giant nerd, hold your judgement.  Or if, like me, the musical genius of this great composer sings to your soul, then join me at the Bushnell to listen to the Hartford Symphony’s performance of Bold Beethoven from November 5-7, directed by accomplished pianist William Eddins.  I am deeply appreciative to the symphony for providing me with tickets – which are also available for purchase here.  Ah yes, yes, indeed.

And, back to tapas.

Spanish tapas, of course.  Traditionally executed at Barcelona Wine Bar – who are kind enough to be within walking distance of my home, dedicated to authentic presentation of well executed and classical Spanish favorites, and kind enough to invite me to many of their events.  Here’s a mini-calendar – I’ll be at the Black Hog Brewing one and also commandeering their Facebook page for the night, which is neat:

Wines of Catalunya on November 10th

Black Hog Brewing Dinner on November 19th

Thanksgiving Dinner, Barcelona style, on November 24th

The cooking class took place in the dining room adjacent to the bar, with Executive Chef Eric Stagle guiding us through a range of easy to follow recipes:

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Simple to replicate at home – and I have a recipe to prove it

Chef demonstrated cooking techniques for four different dishes:

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Fried brussels sprouts with picked red onions and pimenton

spanish omelette

Sweet potato tortilla (not pictured but here is the traditional spanish tortilla which I often order and is also delish)

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Braised chicken thigh with pureed butternut squash 

and, last but not least

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Churros.  Delicious churros.  With chocolate dipping sauce.

For those playing at home, here is the sweet potato tortilla recipe.

Sweet potato tortilla
10 eggs
1 large sweet potato
2 onions
1 qt. olive oil
Peel and julienne your onions put about 1/2 an onions worth to the side.
Sauté the rest of the onions on low heat until very soft
Heat Olive oil while you peel your sweet potato. Cut potato in half the long way and then cut into 1/4″ slices.
Salt your sweet potatoes and the 1/2 julienned onion you had reserved. Let sit for 10-15 minutes.
Poach the sweet potatoes in the olive for about 10 minutes. Don’t over cook them.
Crack your eggs into a bowl while potatoes cook. Salt your eggs
Add cooked hot sweet potatoes and soft cooked onions to your egg mixture.
In a non stick pan that is on medium high heat put a little olive oil in the pan. Add your egg potato mixture to non stick pan and turn to low. Cook for 10 minutes and the finish in a 250* oven