Last year, T and I had the opportunity to visit Barcelona and Madrid as part of our 12-day vacation that started in London. We ate ALL the tapas, and while the flavors can’t be 100% replicated in the U.S., gems like Barcelona Wine Bar come close to the Spanish standard. By no means was it our first time visiting this location, and each time we dine here, our experience is consistently delicious.
So, we made the 30-minute trek to Brookline on a Saturday mid-afternoon in an attempt to beat the lunchtime and dinnertime crowds. (Does this make us old because we prefer dining with less crowds??) There were metered parking spots galore, at $1.25 per hour for a maximum of 3 hours. We parked under a tree to take advantage of the 20-degree temperature difference of leaving the car in the shade rather than under the 94°F sun.
Had the weather been less New England-y (humidity is not our friend), we would have snagged a table outside. Instead, we asked for a booth next to the bar and ogled the self-serve bloody Mary and mimosa station. Brunch is served until 4PM on Saturdays; our 2:30PM arrival time was right on par with several other guests arriving after a late night out.
Our server, Ulisses, stopped by a few moments after we were seated with menus to peruse. He informed us that he and his partner, Lucas, would be taking care of us for the afternoon. He let us be for another few minutes to make a decision on beverages.
The wines by the glass list is quite extensive, and the cocktails are a perennial favorite. T loves his brown liquor, so he went with a Whiskey Root with a double shot of Four Roses bourbon. I took advantage of the make-your-own mimosa station, with a glass of cava as my base, grapefruit juice and angostura bitters as my mixers, and a couple of sliced strawberries and orange for sweetness as garnish. A perfect start to an afternoon reserved for us!
Ulisses then took our order – clearly we are carnivores:
- A selection of charcuterie & cheese: Jamón Serrano, Lomo Ibérico de Bellota, & Castilla-La Mancha (aged 6 months)
- Watermelon Ensalada with feta & sherry vinegar
- Iggy’s Brioche French Toast with strawberry compote & berries
- Seared Scallops atop grits
- Huevos Estrellados with chorizo soria & papas fritas
- Chorizo Benedict
- Steak & Eva’s Garden Egg
The cured meats and cheese were reminiscent of our daily breakfasts in Madrid – a bit of manchego wrapped with a flavorful piece of pig, topped with some jam for a divine bite:
Then came the French toast – a thick slice of confectionery heaven. Refined carbs are not part of our usual diet, so you can bet this plate was inhaled within 5 minutes of arriving. The sweet maple syrup added to our sugar high.
Then came the scallops – the only seafood to balance out the meat-heavy plates to come. The grits were a creamy complement to the tender scallops.
No brunch is ever complete without eggs, and we lucked out with two each in total. We made this happen with the Huevos Estrelladas, steak and egg, and chorizo Benedict. Each plate had its own signature flavor, a nice set of “entrees” to our appetizers.
The paprika aioli underneath the bed of fries enhanced the overall flavor of the Huevos Estrelladas:
Then, we split the Hollandaise-topped chorizo Benedict, salivating as the poached egg yolk spilled onto the lightly toasted English muffin after it was knifed:
And finally, the tapas twist to the classic steak and eggs, with red chimichurri sauce adding a bit of spice to this plate:
Despite all we ordered and devoured, there was still room for dessert – now that’s what I call working our plates!
Lucas and Ulisses cleared off the table after we finished the last bit of the charcuterie, with a recommendation of coffee and indulgence. We happily obliged with a cappuccino for T and a cortado for me, and a chocolate lava cake topped with coconut ice cream to end the meal.
The lava cake wasn’t overly sweet, and the coffees paired nicely. What a way to spend our Saturday together!
The menu is ever-changing at Barcelona-Brookline, so one will never be bored of what’s served. Their second location in Boston’s South End is a nice addition to this neighborhood.