My husband and I recently dined with friends at BARCA Pier & Wine Bar. The tapas-inspired restaurant is located in Alexandria, Virginia’s, Old Town, along the Potomac River. Our friends suggested the restaurant, a favorite of theirs. BARCA serves Spanish and Mediterranean small plates, perfect for our group of four to share.
We arrived in time for our reservation. We were slightly nervous, as the pier only provides outdoor seating and it was a chilly night. Thankfully, the restaurant had space heaters and was partially sealed off with clear, plastic enclosures, so we weren’t cold. My friend and I decided to share a bottle of Albariño and our husbands ordered beer. We all agreed to split a bunch of the offered small plates instead of crafting individual meals.
When the drinks arrived, our waitress offered a few suggestions, including the night’s specials and we placed our sizable order. The small plates started arriving almost immediately and we dove in. Up first, Brussels sprouts with harissa, garam, pickled peppers, walnut and mint. The vegetable was perfectly roasted and the sauce was a nice, spicy accompaniment. Next came the crispy broccolini with garlic yogurt and the special patatas bravas with lemon-garlic aioli.
Shortly after, the serrano ham croquetas topped with Aleppo-orange honey and pan con tomate arrived. We barely were able to finish plates before more arrived, including the beef tenderloin topped with corn, peanuts and tzatziki. Hamachi crudo with pomegranate, dill and lemon and albondigas (meatballs) were among the last plates. We also ordered a meat and cheese plate, less popular than other dishes for our group.
While everything was packed with complex flavors, my favorites of the night were the patatas bravas, pan con tomate, tzatziki, broccolini and croquetas. We all were impressed with the speedy service. Our friendly waitress checked on us throughout the night, offering beer suggestions to the husbands as they wanted to try new brews.
We were beyond pleased with our friends’ dinner recommendation. BARCA is a great restaurant in a prime waterfront location. I look forward to visiting in the warmer weather to fully take advantage of the outdoor location.
BARCA Pier & Wine Bar
2 Pioneer Mill Way
Alexandria, VA 22314
tel 703 638 1100
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