Food in Focus: Barcelona Restaurant & Wine Bar

For a recent issue, I got the chance to chat with one of the owners of Atlanta’s newly opened Barcelona Restaurant & Wine Bar  in historic Inman Park. The brainchild of acclaimed restaurateurs Sasa Mahr-Batuz and Andy Pforzheimer, this Spanish-inspired tapas bar is a welcome addition to the city’s growing wine culture. Designed by local talent Square Feet Studio architects, the rustic-yet-polished space features a clever mix of raw materials like wire glass, terracotta, steel and reclaimed wood to give newly built space tons of vintage-like appeal. Here’s a little more inside dish from Mahr-Batuz…

How did the concept for the restaurant begin? I was looking to recreate my memories of living in Spain and Portugal, particularly those perfect evenings with good friends enjoying tapas and wine on the Ramblas in Barcelona. Andy has also lived in Europe as an international chef and enjoys its vibrant food-and-wine scene.

Why Inman Park? It’s a very innovative restaurant town and when we’re looking for locations, we always look for a kind of neighborhood where you get to know everybody, where you see regulars.

What’s on the menu? Chef Michael Blydenstein is serving up an authentic Spanish menu of small and large plates, including dishes like red snapper ceviche and a delicious paella. And hopefully guests will save room for deserts like flan, crepes and an orange-and-saffron-honey leche frita.

And the wine list? Our wine director Gretchen Thomas travels throughout the world and works directly with winemakers to bring the wines back to the States, so we offer an extensive collection with an emphasis on those from the lesser-known regions in Spain and Portugal.

Describe the restaurant’s ambiance. The atmosphere is causal, yet sophisticated. We hope it’s a place you can come with family and friends, or by yourself, and feel right at home.

What’s your favorite food-and-wine combo? I enjoy any of our fantastic Spanish or Chilean red wines coupled with Churrasco.

What wines do you always keep on-hand at home? I’ll always have a variety of reds at the house. From Cabernet to Malbecs, I keep a nice supply for entertaining.

Have you had a chance to visit Barcelona Restaurant & Wine Bar? Are you a fan of tapas-and-wine bars? Let us know some of your favorites!