Columbus, Ohio        Date of Visit  08/14/15  

Having had to dash between the wedding and the reception recently, we finally got a chance to catch up, so we’re back in Columbus. Turns out, they may not be so lucky when it comes to honeymooning (in my humble opinion having to have your new rings cut off while the pretend doctor video’s it for YouTube or your plane catching on fire while they make you wait in the smoking tube filled with aviation fuel for two hours on the tarmac qualifies as underlucky) they have been a whole box of Lucky Charms when it comes to finding excellent eats. Steph picked a Spanish themed place in German Village and we are soon cackling and chewing…probably too much of both. We ordered a couple cured meats, three cheeses, two tapas plates, four entrees and four desserts. Good Lord!




Interesting Tomatoey Oil With Sourdough

Our server was informed, friendly and on top of things. This group of four having been served by Jordan at the Pearl will always be compared to a silly level of excellence, she did well. Our indulgence started with an amuse sent from the kitchen. Curried rice cake squares topped with a sauce and veg combo set upon little wooden spoons. Yes, Lauren, they were spoons. We also receive crusty sourdough and a dipping oil infused with a sharp, acidic tomato puree.

The Chorizos y Embutidos (sausages and cured meats) we ordered were first, the Pamplona. A cured pork sausage from the town of Pamplona in North East Spain, which was warmly spiced with smoked paprika; and served with quince paste.

Second was the Soria a cured pork chorizo from North East Spain with a coarse lean texture flavored with paprika and garlic. The menu promised blackberries but we got a split date instead, which probably made more sense anyways.


A Little Gift From The Kitchen

Spanish Sausage Mix


The Quesos (cheeses) were:

Roncal, a hard raw sheep’s milk cheese from the Pyrénées, served with blackberries to sweeten the herby and grassy notes;

Ibores a buttery goat’s milk cheese, with all the tanginess you would expect and served with an acidic cranberry gastrique; and finally

the Valdeon, which our server warned was a stinky blue-veined cow and goat’s milk cheese, it wasn’t all that harsh with a much more tangy and moldy funk, served with a little square of date walnut cake. New and nice options.

It wasn't long 'til we were making mixed sandwiches and talking about offering adult "lunchables" at Whole Foods for 60 dollars!

Salty Roncal


Buttery And Tangy Ibores

Mildly Funky Valdeon


The tapas plates were a super tender Calamares Fritos, flash fried corn meal dusted calamari which arrived with little cups of rich and acidic lemon thyme aioli and a lightly spicy piquillo barbeque sauce. The squid was excellently done, the corn meal lends a nutty crisp and both sauces compliment well, what more could you want.

Pan con Tomate, our second tapas, consisted of grilled sourdough bread sobrasada chorizo, garlic, tomato purée, and shaved Manchego cheese. It tasted completely different that I would have expected. Incredibly savory, the sausage and the tomato had sort of melded together atop the bread and delivered something far from what I had expected from the ingredients list. I wouldn't say I loved it or hated it, it was certainly interesting.

Expert Calimari

Pan Con Tomate Was Quite A Surprise


Our entrees were two things I swear we won’t order out and two paellas. The paellas were both foundationed by calasparra rice with one being sea based and the other a mix. The Paella de Mariscos with lobster, mussels, clams, shrimp, peas, onions, piquillo peppers and sofrito, which had all cooked down into the rice was very tasty. I had hoped for the crispy bottom layer of rice called socarrat but neither pan had turned the bottom golden brown although the fat grains of short rice had voraciously soaked in the cooking liquid and the castoff from the other ingredients. The mixed paella, Paella de Costillas y Vieiras featured braised beef short ribs, pan roasted scallops, piquillo peppers, sugar snap peas, sofrito, and an aioli verde. While the scallops were perfectly cooked, the ribs simply melted away into beefy happiness.

ody Paella de Mariscos

Paella Version Of A Split Gril
l, The Paella de Costillas y Vieiras

The two things we never order are steak and scallops…easily made better at home…unless of course there is something about the rest of the dish. There was enough to try and we’re lucky we did. The Bistec a grilled beef ribeye was steak, steak, everything you want in a steak. So incredibly beefy, juicy and punched up just a hint with a chimichurri sauce. Served with a lightly spiced bacon sweet potato hash (we might have jokingly called them Bobby Flay potatoes…you know the only chef interested and flavor resulting the identical flavor profiles for any dish…just kidding…kinda), and sautéed sugar snap peas. Maybe the best steak I have had since Chicago a couple of years ago.

The same perfectly done scallops appeared in the Vieiras but these were awash in an amalgam of bacon, mushrooms, baby lima beans, dates, chile flakes, and cream. It’s hard to imagine a sauce so rich and redolent with strong flavors that wouldn’t simply punch the scallops in the face until you couldn’t even tell they were in the dish. But it worked. It just did. And beautifully.

Killer Steak

Amazing Sauce With The Scallops

At this point in the evening we put on our little passion play. Heads dramatically tossed back with hands clenched in anguish. So full. How did we eat all of that? I couldn’t possibly consume another morsel. When every single one of us knew damn well were weren’t just going to order a dessert but probably one apiece. Such torture.

All four were good but the Tarta De Santiago, an almond cake with dulce de leche, a whipped mocha ganache, and crushed Marcona almonds wasn’t bad but was pretty dry and couldn’t match the forward flavors of the other three options. For me the next two were neck and neck. The Tarta De Mojioto was almost an assault on the senses with intensly sour key lime and a greenhouse of fresh mint which the vanilla rum meringue and graham cracker crust couldn’t hope to tamp down. Great combination of flavors though. The Tarta De Queso started with an oreo crust, was topped with a caramelized banana and two layers of cheesecake, one chocolate one peanut butter. Our server said it was going to be light and fluffy which is apparently how you say rich, dense or heavy in Spanish, but in the special Barcelonian dialect. It was tasty and filled with choc/nut flavor, especially for those of us who eat plant products.

Best of the night was the Pastel De Flan a salty caramel custard on a slice of apple walnut cake, a crispy apple chip and resting on caramel sauce and a black walnut mascarpone cheese. I am typically not a flan kinda guy but this plate was a great blend of flavors and textures. Apple, nut, salt, burnt sugar, sweet nutty cheese this was excellent.

Almond Cake Was Pretty Dry

Serious Punch Of Key Lime & Mint

Serious Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

The Flan Was Incredible

We had a great time at Barcelona and they contributed significantly. We have a list of places to try in the Nations Capitol (when it comes to college football) and state capitol when it comes to Ohio, can’t wait to see if the streak continues. Nothing Harbaugh can do about that. Yes I mean great restaurants…AND football.




What's Best

What's Worst

  A- A- A A+ N/A A-  
All Restaurants By Ranking Restaurants By Date These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things Steph's Favorite Things
Home List of Restaurants by City The Ratings What's Rated Random Thoughts