On a Saturday during brunch time, 14th street is buzzing with people sitting outside, sipping on cocktails and enjoying great company. Among the many restaurants on this street, Barcelona stands out among the rest. Barcelona has trendy décor, an extensive wine and cocktail list, a “make your own” Bloody Mary bar, and a tapas-style menu filled with gluten-free options!…
The owner of the restaurant group understands the need for gluten-free options and has made most of the menu naturally gluten-free with no modifications needed. The chef takes pride in making a gluten-free dish and makes sure there is no cross contamination. With so many options to choose from, it was recommended that I try 2-3 tapas, which would be the perfect amount of food per person. The menu is split up into a few different categories, charcuterie and cheese at the top, tapas and ensaladas, a brunch tapas section, “mini Benedicts” and a to-share section perfect for two or more people. No matter what you are in the mood for or how hungry you are, the menu has something for everyone.
The tapas have Mediterranean, Spanish and South American influences, and this is apparent as you browse the menu. I started with the patatas bravas, a potato style dish with salsa brava and garlic aioli and the marinated cucumbers with pickled red onions. The patatas bravas is a MUST try for anyone visiting Barcelona. The garlic aioli was so good, I could literally eat it in spoonfuls.
Next, I ordered the heirloom rainbow baby carrots with a red wine sauce and micro greens, and the gambas al ajillo, shrimp with garlic and guindilla pepper. The rainbow baby carrots dish was one of the prettiest plated dishes I have ever seen. With so many delicious looking dishes on the menu, many would not instinctively order this one – but I highly recommend you do. The sweetness of the carrots and the subtle spiciness of the red wine sauce complemented the salty baked carrot chips that were on top of the plate.
My boyfriend couldn’t pass up the smoked pork belly with red chimichurri sauce, and we also started with the drunken goat cheese while we sipped on a cocktail and iced tea. We were fortunate enough to try two items not on the menu, a cod dish and a seared duck breast. First, the cod dish was cooked to perfection with a pesto sauce on top of a variety of mushrooms. The flaky cod paired nicely with the saltiness of the mushrooms. The seared duck breast was plated with cinnamon sticks and marinated plums. These two dishes were fantastic and it really showed the culinary skill and precision put into each dish. With a rotating and seasonal menu, the chef is playing to the fresh ingredients and tastes of the season.
After all this food, I thought I couldn’t eat one more bite. But, who can really pass up a good gluten-free dessert that isn’t ice cream? The chocolate hazelnut indulgence with vanilla ice cream is 100% gluten-free and was the perfect ending to a fantastic meal. Just like a lava cake, minus the “lava,” this dessert was rich, decadent and would fill anyone’s chocolate craving!
If you are looking for a great brunch spot, just an appetizer or a drink, or want a full meal, Barcelona is the place to go. They take pride in their food, their atmosphere and their gluten-free guests. They also have a huge outside patio, equipped for summer and the colder months with outside heaters and built-in fireplaces. No matter the occasion or the season, I highly recommend checking out Barcelona Wine Bar located on 14th street.