Nashville Reviews: Barcelona Wine Bar

Stoney Keeley spends an evening at Barcelona Wine Bar on the latest edition of Nashville Reviews.

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Well, here we go – another review I’m probably going to get in trouble for. This makes three consecutive editions of ‘Nashville Reviews’ that I’ll write about an evening that was supposed to be a date night, or celebration of a special occasion. In this case, we went out to Barcelona Wine Bar to celebrate my fiancé’s birthday back on June 12th. Honestly, I’m hoping that enough time has passed that everyone has kinda forgot about it. Plus, I don’t know how much of my nonsense she actually reads, so hopefully, this one will just slip through the cracks and she won’t figure out that I’m writing about our date nights on SoBros Network dot com.

Nonetheless, Barcelona is one of my favorite spots in town. It’s actually on my Nashville dining Mount Rushmore, nbd. But, I’ve yet to add it to the anthology of Nashville Reviews. So, our most recent visit has afforded me the opportunity to do that. I first discovered Barcelona on a day job trip to Washington, D.C. back in 2018. A co-worker took us there one night, and I came back to Nashville just ranting about the wine list and the tapas like a raving lunatic. So, you can imagine my delight when I discovered that there’s a location here! Small world and what have you. It’s become one of our go-to spots on special occasions (this ain’t a review of the local sports bar, folks – fair warning) because of the quality of the meal, the extensive…nay, exhaustive wine list, and the downright chill vibes of the restaurant. For more on Barcelona Wine Bar, check out their website.

Pics

Look – I didn’t take any pictures because I wasn’t expecting to do this review. So, here’s this photo of Brandon that my fiance snapped when he went over to take a photo of the Jack Nicholson wall because Jack Nicholson is his dude. Also, he gave our waitress a solid 10-minute lecture on the career of Jack Nicholson.
Clockwise, we’re lookin’ at grilled broccolini, patatas bravas, albondigas, marinated olives, an empty plate of olive oil, crispy calimari, more patatas bravas, and a charcuterie board. Not pictured: the chorizo and figs and hanger steak. We wined and dined like kings and queens.

Ratings

Food: 8.6/10 – The concept of tapas can be lost on an unsophisticated southerner like myself, but once that lightbulb goes off, baby, you’re all on board with it. The kitchen sends out the first dish as soon as it’s ready, and just keeps sending stuff out until your order’s complete. It’s great – they just kept bringing plates out, and we just kept eating ’em. I’m not sure how many other tapas bars there are in town, but I can’t imagine you’re going to find quality like this elsewhere. Simply exquisite – my personal favorites are the chorizo cuts served with sweet and sour figs and the patatas bravas. The spice of the chorizo with the tart, sweet figs combine for a symphony of complex flavors. The patatas bravas make for a nice, creamy flavor with the kick of salsa and texture of crispy potatoes. It, too, is a symphony of flavor. Don’t be afraid to branch out and try something different – I’ve yet to try something I don’t like at Barcelona.

Quick Barcelona Tapas Power Rankings

9. Marinated olives
8. Grilled broccolini
7. Crispy calimari
6. Spiced beef empanadas
5. Hanger steak
4. Albondigas
3. Bacon wrapped dates (I had this one in DC – haven’t seen it on the menu in Nashville just yet)
2. Patatas Bravas
1. Chorizo with sweet and sour figs

Booze: 9/10 – It’s easily the best wine list my fiancé and i have encountered in this city yet. If you have a spot you think is better in this regard, please let me know so I can add it to my “must visit” list. Otherwise, this is plain and simply the best. I’ll also add that we went to Barcelona once for #GinFriday, so out of necessity (always gotta do it for the brand), I tried a gin and tonic from the bar, and it was fan-fucking-tastic too.

Atmosphere: 8/10 – It’s such a cool spot, and the service has always been impeccable. The staff has been quick, friendly, and willing to put up with my insane questions about tapas with the patience of a saint. They’ve done a great job at creating an intimate, interesting environment that feels ‘chill’ and ‘upscale’ simultaneously.

Value: 7.3/10 – I know the whole shtick of what we do here on Nashville Reviews is ‘ordinary reviews for ordinary people,’ but it’s nice to head somewhere nice and trendy every once in awhile. If you’re looking for $10 wings, and $3 beers, this ain’t going to be your spot. Full disclosure – I’ve never been and spent less than a hundred bucks for two people. Some of you might be taken aback by that given the high value grade I’ve given it, but when you factor in the quality of the food, the uniqueness of the menu, and the depth of the wine list, I still say that it’s an excellent value for a special date night or a bachelorette party dinner.

Overall: 8.23/10 – Yeah, I have no problem at all with Barcelona coming in at #3 among the 64 restaurants I’ve reviewed. These ratings are usually just gut reactions, but I’ll tweak ’em a bit after I’ve written my thoughts out more coherently. This was one case in which I knew that this would get a high grade, and I stuck to it. Barcelona is a charming place with a dinner experience that’s different from anything else I’ve experienced in the city, and a menu and wine list that is as creative as it is mouth-watering to boot. My word of advice, though? Make reservations. Otherwise, you’re going to be waiting a while if you show up during the dinner rush.

CURRENT NASHVILLE RESTAURANT RANKINGS

  1. Butcher & Bee (8.5/10)
  2. Nectar: Urban Cantina (8.44/10)
  3. Barcelona Wine Bar (8.23/10)
  4. M.L.Rose (8.19/10)
  5. Von Elrod’s (8.17/10)

I’m always looking for new spots to try – don’t be afraid to hit the comments with suggestions!

Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network, and a Dogs Playing Poker on velvet connoisseur. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD and #BeBetter. “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Nashville, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley

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