An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Jun 4, 2014
08:30 AMThe Connecticut Table
Barcelona Wine Bar in New Haven: Spanish Tapas With Local Flavors
One of the first things you discover about Barcelona Restaurant & Wine Bar in New Haven is that it’s hard to discover. The entrance has no sign, no menu in a window, no clue that there’s a restaurant behind that slatted screen. It helps to know the restaurant faces Temple Street, at the corner of Crown, part of the Omni Hotel building. The door hiding a few feet down from the corner leads you to a very popular New Haven restaurant.
And not just popular here. There are nine Barcelona restaurants: six in Connecticut and three out-of-state – Brookline, Atlanta, and now Washington, D.C., all co-owned by Sasa Mahr-Batuz and Andy Pforzheimer. The New Haven location opened in 2006. (Right, pork belly with cabbage, lime, and jalapeno.)
About 70 percent of the menu can be found at all the Barcelona restaurants, tweaked to reflect the locales. The rest is individually chef-driven, usually as daily specials. In New Haven, chef Frank Proto comes from an Italian family, but has interests in North Africa and the Mediterranean, whose cuisines infuse many of the dishes he prepares. (Left, potato tortilla with chive sour cream.)