In 1996, the culinary landscape in Connecticut shifted just a smidgen when Andy Pforzheimer and Sasa Mahr-Batuz joined forces to open Barcelona Wine Bar and Restaurant.
Their vision for the Barcelona brand of restaurants—there are six of them located throughout Connecticut with another restaurant opening soon in Atlanta, GA—was to create a space that evokes the spirit of Spain—from the cuisine to the energy. With the very first Barcelona in South Norwalk, they achieved their soaring goals . . . and then some.
Menus boast a wide selection of tapas—a staple of each Barcelona restaurant—and the palate cannot help but be tempted by such delicacies as the understated Marinated Beets with Valdeon Blue Cheese and Walnuts (SoNo dinner menu), hearty Hangar Steak with Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette and Smoked Salt (Greenwich dinner menu), or Pan Roasted Mahi Mahi with Piquillo Pepper Salad and Avocado (Fairfield dinner menu).
While you will see many similarities in the menus throughout the various Barcelona restaurants, there is a distinct uniqueness brought to each location by its respective Executive Chef. Each Chef puts his or her signature stamp on the cuisine, emblazoning a sense of exclusivity that is rightfully theirs.
The Executive Chefs of Barcelona are:
- Jodi Bernhard (New Haven)
- Adam Greenberg (West Hartford)
- Eyhab “Happy” Hatab (South Norwalk)
- Erin Hunt (Fairfield)
- Christian Petroni (Greenwich) (recent winner of the Ultimate Chef Showdown)
- Scott Quis (Stamford)
Recently, exceptional tasting menus were created and prepared by the respective chefs of the Barcelona locations below (click on each link to read the special profiles).
- South Norwalk
While the food at Barcelona is fresh, seasonal and borrows from the locavore movement with locally sourced sustainable ingredients, not to be outdone is Barcelona’s wine selection—an impressive collection of varietals from regions throughout Spain, France, California, Argentina, Italy and more. Wines by the glass (there are over 40) or by the bottle (more than 200) can create a serious quandary when trying to make a decision, but the reward in the end will be well worth the effort.
Whether you’re in New Haven, Greenwich, or somewhere in between, a visit to Barcelona Wine Bar and Restaurant is the place to go for Spanish cuisine at its finest.
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For dining options outside of Fairfield County, be sure to check out my other column, “International Restaurant Examiner“, where I visit restaurants across the U.S. and abroad.