Barrica, Charlotte St, good tapas

Sometimes you just have to resign yourself to the fact you are going to eat dinner twice! We have sort of fallen into the habit of taking Baby G out for dinner on a Friday. Both my lovely wife and I finish early so it's an opportunity for us to eat out as a family. As we usually pitch up at The Electric Diner it is a real win win, lovely food and drink which fills you up for the evening. The problem arises when like last Friday I am due out later on. I'm not one of these people who can sit salivating whilst others eat. So there I was eating their lovely cheese burger wondering where on earth I would end up. As I was seeing a couple of old uni friends I thought I was in for more ‘dude' food or possibly a heavy curry. Being Friday night it was busy everywhere and we had already been strictly corralled behind the white line outside the Drafthouse earlier. After a few pints the chaps were getting hungry but I spotted a solution and as it turned out they also fancied something lighter so we ended up at Barrica.

I had been in here before for a drink prior to an underwhelming meal at Boopshi's and had meant to return to try the tapas. Those in the know reckon Salt Yard is better but to me that looks quite cold and pristine whereas Baricca has a warmer lived in feel to it. We time our entrance well as though all the tables are taken we bag 3 seats at the bar. Two facing up to it and one on the side, which is perfect for us to share food and chat away. We kick off with a round of excellent Alhambra Reserva, one of the nicest full bodied beers I have had. We start off with some tapas 101, Jamon Bellota, Padron peppers, patatas bravas and Jamon croquettas. At the suggestion of the barman we also get the veal checks and mash. The food is very good indeed, the padron peppers a particular hit as we return for seconds and thirds. The Jamon portion is a bit mean but isn't that always the way so we top up with some Jamon Cebo which was a nice change. The veal cheeks are meaty, sticky and delicious so more are ordered. The chaps are hungry so we order a couple of slices of their tasty house tortilla. Bread is readily replenished as we mop up the tasty sauces.

So we spend a very pleasant hour and a half in Barrica chatting away and munching on some great tapas. I much prefer this informal way of eating to the rigmarole of a sit down meal where the only choice is small plates. The fact I had eaten first probably helped. After the Drafthouse I find myself beered out so ask about a glass of red. The barman suggest two choices and offers me a sample of each, a class touch. We never have to wait long for anything and there is a lovely buzz about the room. We cap off the evening with some good Spanish brandy. Though service is good when we pay the barman rounds up are split bill quite liberally so £135.17 becomes £46 each but we let it pass. We've had a good night. This sort of meal re-enforces my long help opinion that the small plates should only be done in tapas bars like this. Elsewhere it smacks of a cynical attempt to part the punter with more of his money but here it feels natural and hospitable.

Friday, October 10, 2014
Overall rating
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 8

Patty & Bun, St Christophers Place, decent burger

Beast, West End, Epic Meal