Brookline eatery offers a touch of Spain Reply

The cheesecake was topped with blueberries and rich crumbs. Photo by Allison Nekola

The cheesecake was topped with blueberries and rich crumbs. Photo by Allison Nekola

By Allison Nekola and Ryan Fitzgerald – Co-Editor-in-Chief & Sports Editor

Did you ever think it would only cost $30.00 a person to dine in Barcelona for a night? Your dreams are madepossible by Barcelona Brookline, a taste of Europe in the busy, suburban neighborhood of Brookline.

Located at 1700 Beacon Street, between the Cleveland Circle MBTA stop and Washington Square, this hip restaurant/wine bar will satisfy any hungry customer looking for a night out. Though popular for their dinner and late night wine and cocktail options, Barcelona Brookline serves brunch on the weekend as well.

Walk through the double doors and prepare to escape into a world of red barn board, a result of the glowingcandles lit on each table, and be greeted by wait staff eager to seat you. And if you’re attending dinner as we did, be sure to make a reservation because the spot tends to fill quickly.

Diehard fans of the restaurant are willing to spend $30.00 a meal whenever possible (Allison is one of these people), but for college students it’s best to use Barcelona as a place to splurge, during a birthday or any kind of celebration. (Allison uses any excuse to come in; the wait staff practically know her by name.)

Rows of single tables are lined vertically across the main dining room, while the bar (with the capacity for customers to sit comfortably next to one another) is located to the left . A dining area for larger parties is located to the right.

We know the food is fresh, especially because our table was seated next to six hanging pieces of meat, multiple loafs of fresh bread, pounds of cheese, and enough fresh vegetables to fill a garden. Your evening is almost forcibly intimate, down to the candle lit dining room to the fact that strangers are sitting a mere foot away from you. Nevertheless, the experience is rich.

For those of us who are of age, (poor Ryan had to sit this one out) the sangria flora ($9.00 per glass, $52.00 per carafe) is the number one choice for alcoholic beverages. It stands superior to the basic white and red sangrias offered (though they are delicious too) with exotic flavors of St. Germain Elderflower Liquer, fresh fruit, and Spanish Rosé. Its crisp taste pairs well with the hint of floral aroma and sweetness from Rosé.

We started the meal with warm, flakey bread, crisp and rigid on the outside but soft and chewy in the middle.The olive oil placed in the center of the table barely stood a chance. Thank goodness as soon as we gobbled up the bread, our “tapas,” known in the U.S as an appetizer, arrived to the table. For the kickoff, we ordered Fried-Stuffed Piquillos Peppers ($9.50). Each pepper was fried to brown perfection and as our steel forks sliced through the middle, San Simon cheese oozed out taking the braised pork along with it.

Two peppers come with the order so it’s a perfect start to a dinner for two. The wait staff was so attentive, from their speedy delivery of a straw for Allison’s sangria to the immediate arrival of our tapas when they saw our plates were empty. We indulged in Crispy Calamari ($10.50), paired with a creamy, smoked pepper aioli good enough to eat alone.

For our main course, we shared the Mussels al Diablo ($10.50). The mussels were cooked to perfection and did not last long at the table. The spicy tomato sauce was even too good to pass up, as we continued to dip what little bread we had left into the bowl.

After all of that, somehow we had room for delectable cheesecake ($7.00), presented in a small bowl topped with blueberries. The creamy dessert was a perfect cap on our meal.

When the last dish was cleaned, we sat back and admired the dinner we just indulged in. The check came at a reasonable price for a 3-course-meal ($59.37) and when we left it was just as busy and lively as when we entered. Barcelona Brookline is a beautiful establishment offering terrific service, fine dining, and a buzzing atmosphere all night long.

The Beacon Street staple is open Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., Friday 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. So, next time you want to splurge or feel a travel bug biting, skip the expensive airfare and head to Barcelona Brookline for a fraction of the cost, with all of the experience.

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