This restaurant is closed!
225 Park Avenue South (18th St)
City: New York, NY
Phone: (212) 533-2500
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Chef: Eric Ripert
2nd Cuisine: Tapas/Small Plates
Area: Union Square
When you think of Spanish tapas bars, you might conjure up an image of a dimly lit, narrow space with a worn wooden bar where the wine is flowing. Barça 18 seeks to break that mold with its new space near Union Square Park. For one, the place is huge with oversized chandeliers, a brightly colored bar and plush banquettes in the rear. It's sleek and hip, and in some ways a bit standoffish. But, we highly recommend you step right in and enjoy what Barça 18, and 4-star chef/partner Eric Ripert, formerly of Le Bernardin, have to offer. A visit to the bar is probably the most affordable route. The wine list is extensive, and as you might expect most varieties are from Spain. There are also mojitos served with a signiture lime foam, as well as cervezas, although I didn't quite understand how Bud and Amstel light made the list of Spanish beers. I, for one, enjoyed a full-bodied glass of cabernet while taking in the scene, and ordering some tapas. I started with the Charcuteria ($12). What arrived were small portions of Serrano ham, chorizo sausage and two thin wedges of Manchego cheese on a cutting board, along with Pan con Tomate, which resembled Italian Bruschetta. Everything was wonderful, with the exception of the Serrano ham, which was a bit dry. But the potato & Serrano ham croquettes ($8) with a lemon-piquillo mayonnaise dipping sauce were to die for. They arrive steaming hot, so be careful. Other tapas worth noting include salt cod fritters ($8) in a saffron sauce and marinated sardines ($8) in a white wine vinaigrette. Fish dominates the entrees with dishes like thyme crusted tuna with roasted sweet peppers, garlic and tomatoes ($22) and rosemary scented halibut and asparagus cooked on a slate ($24). There are also two types of seafood paella on the menu which sound delish. All in all, Barça 18 is barking up the right tree in our book!
Review By: Thomas Rafael