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“Second Visit: Better Food and Ambience”

Barcelona West Hartford
Ranked #7 of 177 Restaurants in West Hartford
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $25
Cuisines: Spanish, Wine Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Description: Set in the very center of the West Hartford shopping and restaurant district, Barcelona is located on Farmington Avenue amid plenty of convenient parking. Inside the main dining room, dramatic artwork accents the walnut and industrial design of the room. Above this room is a private wine room seating up to 14 people for intimate affairs. For private parties, the private dining room can accommodate 60-80 people. The outside patio has a radiant-heated floor and its retractable awning encloses the area allowing for the space to be utilized all year. West Hartford is a restaurant mecca for the center of Connecticut and Barcelona is the Hartford Courant's 4-star choice for the best of the best.
Plymouth, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
166 reviews
101 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 154 helpful votes
“Second Visit: Better Food and Ambience”
Reviewed June 29, 2013

Our previous visit to Barcelona two years ago was a decidedly mixed experience. Our most recent visit, however, was an appreciably better one. First and foremost, the restaurant has annexed several adjoining spaces, knocked down a few walls, and substantially expanded the space available to its guests. The main entrance is now on Farmington Avenue, eliminating the need of entering through a seedy rear alley. The seating is nowhere near as cramped as before, although it is still too close for those who might prefer a bit more privacy and dislike being privy to the personal conversations of adjoining diners. The noise level, at least in the room in which we were seated, is considerably lower than before, a most welcome change.

The group service, as before, was reasonably attentive and food items were served very promptly. For some inexplicable reason, the beverage service was extremely slow and protracted. Drinks ordered immediately after having been seated were not served until the appetizer courses were almost eaten, and a second bottle of beer did not appear until we were almost completely finished with the meal. How long does it take to open and serve a bottle of beer? In any event, the wine list is extensive, with a wide choice available by the glass, and the beer list offers a good number of interesting and excellent craft brews.

Another seemingly odd lapse is that the standard restaurant quality silverware (one three-piece setting with nothing being replaced after use) seemed totally inadequate to the task of eating such specialized foods. The knives were incapable of cutting anything more resistant than butter, and we were forced to tediously shred the tough dried meats with knife and fork to get them down to a manageable size. The very large dinner forks were far too heavy and clumsy to shell the mussels and other smaller items. A restaurant that has at least some pretense of being a fine dining establishment should be more attentive to such issues and provide eating utensils that are suitable to the task, not to mention replacing them after use.

It is difficult to assess the quality of the tapas dishes, since we opted to avoid those that were unsatisfactory on our first visit and try others that seemed more promising. This seemed in retrospect to have been a wise decision, since the tapas sampled this time around were far more carefully prepared than before. The recipes seemed to be more integral and balanced; we didn't have the impression from our previous visit that everything seemed to be lacking one essential ingredient.

All in all, this was a far more satisfactory experience than two years ago. We noted that several more locations, including one in Brookline MA, have been opened in the interim. We are planning to try some of the other locations of what has now clearly become a chain of eateries.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank foodbuffs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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249 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
153 reviews
81 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“rivaled a tapas in Spain”
Reviewed June 6, 2013

recently taken here by friends who were experienced Tapas diners all over Spain and one even had his own tapas restaurant in South America. warm enough to sit on the enclosed but viewless patio. Service was quick, knowledgeable and efficient all through the meal. Interesting selection of tapas and we chhose 8 of them alomg with a bottle of Uraguayan wine (a first for us). really appreciated the way the dishes were served, a few at a time so we could focus on them when sharing, starting with mainly the clod ones and working toward the warm. Everyone of them was finished to the last morsels, my favorite being the crispy tangy calamari but the veggies were also excellant (particulatly the asparagas and the spinach with chick peas dishes). We also had lots of the super crusty bread which they served with olive oil dipping dishes.
Definitely one of the best and most memorable nights we've had, looking forward to visiting again. With the bottle of wine and some soft drinks and 8 tapas which along with the bread were very filling, it came to about $110 with tax. A lot more reasonable compared to other small dish meals we've had recently.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank andrew p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
east greenwich, rhode island
Level 6 Contributor
817 reviews
525 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 327 helpful votes
“Nothing special I am afraid”
Reviewed May 26, 2013

Came here for a pharmaceutical dinner meeting. Interesting concept. We were upstairs in the loft-- very noisy unfortunately. The tapas were interesting, but NOT hot. The fish was overcooked and dry.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank dermgoddess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Typical Tapas Bar”
Reviewed May 21, 2013 via mobile

This was a great surprise. We relished the Monday nite chef surprise. It brought back memories of our time in Spain. Go and enjoy.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Paulwburkett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, USA
Level 6 Contributor
102 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Pick the right dishes, fantastic”
Reviewed May 19, 2013

This restaurant has a large menu of tapas and some mains per person. We had a party of 3 so ordered mostly tapas to share and hubby ordered a main - the suckling pig. The so-so dishes were the spinach and garbanzo bean cazuela and, unfortunately, the morel-asparagus dish. The latter didn't have enough morels.
Things looked up with juicy jamon serrano but the highlights were the lobster fideos and suckling pig. The fideos had plenty of lobster flavor and nice chunks of juicy lobster. The suckling pig was a big chunk and maybe the juiciest pig I've had in a very long time.
Service was attentive but not obtrusive. Would go back!

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Megan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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