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Barrica is the real deal. It looks & feels like a genuine Spanish hangout (classic chequerboard floor, marble-topped bar, hams hanging from the ceiling), it refuses to peddle touristy clichés
& it also eschews the flashy gastronomic strokes of the Iberian new wave. Instead, the emphasis is on no-nonsense traditional tapas designed for the everyday Spanish palate. Nibble on
zanahorias (Seville spiced carrots), white asparagus & pickled aubergines before taking on the likes of char-grilled squid, braised veal cheeks with Pedro Ximénez, or pork & oxtail
albondigas (meatballs). There’s also an enormous selection of artisan cured meats (lomo, cecina, morcilla bellota) & regional cheeses (villarejo, bleu-veined cabrales, semi-soft garrotxa), with
basic sherry-pairing suggestions to match. Reports of service are mixed, although the deliberately laid-back attitude often adds to the charm.
If you want to know how to mix education and practical information in minimal word count, then this list is well worth a look. It takes the uninitiated through everything from sherry styles to grape varieties such as Albariño and Godello in no more than a couple of sentences. Concise, helpful and stuffed full of reasons to try unfamiliar bits of Spain, it’s a wonderfully helpful, compact example of what the modern wine list should be about. ‘There are lots of goodies here,’ praised judge Charlie Young from Vinoteca. ‘These wines are chosen with care.’
To be honest, I’d never heard of Barrica before – a tapas restaurant on Goodge Street just a couple of doors down from Salt Yard. That was until I saw it in the ‘Bib Gourmand recommends’ section of the Michelin guide, so we thought we’d pop down with a group of friends to check it out.On our Friday evening visit the place was heaving but luckily they take reservations which is a rare treat these days...
More from Samphire and Salsify »
Last week I went out for tapas with Steve at Barrica in Fitzrovia. It poured with rain like a biblical flood and a white van blocked the entrance, so I went back this morning to get a decent picture of the facade. Don’t be fooled by the dark interior, Barrica is generally full, so it’s worth booking...
More from Mad Dog TV Dinners »
What is on offer: Spanish tapas in casual surroundings in the culinary dense area of Charlotte street. Don’t expect fancy interpretations of classical dishes, but rather less common rulal Spanish tapas as part of an every changing menu. It should be no surprise that a visit to Barrica will satisfy your taste buds; afterall, the same owners run the impeccable Copita in Soho...
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