Upon arrival to the restaurant, which is located in the N. Highland Steel complex, I was immediately impressed with the warm, inviting atmosphere. Outside, the seating area mirrors that of an authentic Barcelona cafe. Small tables line the sidewalk, insulated by freshly planted flower beds – an appearance that flows seamlessly with the surrounding area. Inside, floor to ceiling reclaimed wood walls are accented with steel and large scale artwork – making for an earthy, modern, comfortable yet sophisticated feel. There are plenty of tables for those who wish to sample the menu, and a large, marble U-shaped bar perfect for enjoying a glass of wine. I’m big on atmosphere when it comes to eating out, and this place does not disappoint.
Vivian Bencich of Atlanta’s Square Feet Studio, the architects of Barcelona Wine Bar, happened to be at the restaurant during my visit and spoke with me briefly about how her team worked closely with the restaurant’s owners to bring their vision to life. She also informed me that the decor was created by local craftspeople – a testament to the restaurant’s commitment to the Atlanta community.
Though I was not able to sample any of the Spanish tapas or enjoy a glass from the restaurant’s extensive collection of Spanish and South American wines during my 1:00 pm visit, I was able to meet Executive Chef Michael Blydenstein who let me know that the restaurant would be opening for lunch in the near future.
Based on my initial visit, which left me with a severe case of paella on the brain, I may not be able to wait for that. And in true foodie fashion, I have already spent some time previewing the online menu (don’t judge). Of the many things that caught my eye: Mussels al Diablo, Lobster Risotto and Grilled Hanger Steak with Black Truffle Sauce. I also have my eye on several of the vegetable tapas and will be enjoying at least one of the decadent cheese plates – not to mention the flan I will be ordering for dessert – regardless of whether or not I have “room.”
By the way, if you decide to check it out, word on the street is that a reservation is a must. And if you do go, let us know what you think. What was your favorite dish? Which wines did you try?