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Spanish tapas spot Barcelona Wine Bar opened on 14th Street NW this week—just a half a block from Estadio—without all the typical preopening fanfare.
Nonetheless, the Connecticut-based restaurant chain is already shaping up to be a hotspot thanks to its shrub- and flowerpot-filled patio, complete with fireplace. The outdoor garden, formerly a weightlifting yard for BodySmith Gym, will continue to operate as the weather gets cooler thanks to heat lamps and fleece blankets for guests.
Inside the rustic-industrial bar and dining room, walnut covers the walls. Director of Marketing Ria Rueda claims some of the reclaimed wood comes from barrels used to pickle vegetables. (You can’t make this stuff up.) She adds that 90 percent of the decor and furniture is custom-made. Co-owner Sasa Mahr-Batuz, who designs all of Barcelona Wine Bar’s restaurants, also created art for the space. One of his collage pieces in the private dining room features newspaper clippings, a woman with her breast exposed, white shag carpet, and the word “joder,” which means “to fuck” in Spanish. (See below.)
Chef Pedro Garzon comes to D.C. from one of the Connecticut locations of Barcelona Wine Bar. The menu has a large meat and cheese section as well as 40 tapas plates, ranging from $3.50 for mixed Spanish olives to $14 for grilled lamb chops and lobster fideos. There are also three paella dishes and a few larger plates for the table, including whole roasted Bronzino and slow braise lamb shank.
As the name suggests, Barcelona Wine Bar has a big focus on wine. More than 40 varieties are offered by the glass. The restaurant also claims to have the most Spanish and South American wines in the country. There’s also a limited cocktail list, and beer menu divided by domestic, imports, ciders, and “adventurous.” Red and white sangria is $6 a glass and $23.50 for a pitcher.
Barcelona Wine Bar is only open for dinner for now. Grab a seat on the patio, if you can.
Barcelona Wine Bar, 1622 14th St. NW; (202) 588-5500; barcelonawinebar.com/washingtondc.htm