Thanksgiving Eve at Barcelona

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I’m a bit of a Backwards Beth today! I’m here to tell you all about my Thanksgiving Eve, the day after I told you about Thanksgiving. #sorrynotsorry #it’smyblogandiwon’tmakesenseifidon’twantto

Props to you if you deciphered that last hashtag. Speaking of which, apparently someone named their child Hashtag. Even this Twitter-addict has to shake her head at that one.

Cheers to old friends!

Thanksgiving Eve is notorious for being the biggest party night of the year, even bigger than New Year’s Eve. So naturally (or not so naturally) I was spotted at a bar on Wednesday, 11/21. Not just any bar, but Barcelona Wine Bar in West Hartford. You may recall my previous exploits there:

My long-time friend and neighbor, Molly, and I literally had a Thanksgiving Eve dinner outing at Barcelona planned several months in advance. She is not often home during her college breaks and I’m pretty hard to pin down myself, so we were sure to make time to hang out with each other and have a nice evening of girl talk over cocktails and tapas. So yes, I went out on Thanksgiving Eve. But I started my night around 6:30PM, and was literally asleep before 10PM. Just the way I like it!

A better look at the cocktail I’m holding in the above photo – a new one at Barcelona, the White Negroni. I’ve decided a Negroni is my second fave cocktail, after a Manhattan. As Molly put it, “It tastes like a candle, but in a good way.”

Molly selected the Aviation after I recommended it – Ransom Old Tom Gin, Liqueur de Violettes, Luxardo Maraschino, Lemon Juice. We were gin cocktail twins!

Dan and Anna – competing Barcelona bartenders!

Having friends who are bartenders has its perks, and no one knows this better than me 😀 the lovely Anna had a cocktail drink-off with another bartender, Dan, and Molly and I got to judge the competing beverages. My vote was for Anna’s White Negroni made with WHISKEY (above right). But I’m a Whiskey-loving Wendy, so I’m a bit biased. Molly couldn’t really decide!

Anna also hooked us up with some samples of sweet vermouth. How did I not know that sweet vermouth tastes GREAT alone? Each of the three we tried got better and better each time. Very similar to sherry!

I felt like it was a Friday so it took me a few seconds to realize that the reason Molly was excited over Barcelona’s weeknight 6-tapas-for-$49 deal was because…it was not Friday, but Wednesday, AKA a weeknight! Dur! We immediately decided to choose 6 tapas and share them. Along with bread. Because we love carbs.

Nom much?

Our tapas were coursed out at the perfect pace and everything was a-freaking-mazing. Like seriously, I can’t think of a single negative thing to say about any of these tapas.

Roasted sunchokes (cross between a potato and an artichoke, please try them if you ever see them anywhere) and clam ceviche.

My first experience with rutabaga!

This Cauliflower Au Gratin was provided by Anna for us to try – thank you, girl!

Monkfish cakes with a pesto aioli. I’ve had monkfish before at Bonefish Grill and was so psyched for the chance to eat it again. These were foodgasm-worthy.

Roasted mushrooms with a duck egg (OH YES) and pork tenderloin with bacon and butternut squash. My two favorite dishes – thankfully they came out best-for-last.

Do you hate me yet? I think you might. What I love about Barcelona is the fact that the menu changes SO often since everything is super-fresh and the chefs are always creating new ways to serve the food. I can keep coming back and try new dishes each time. In fact, most of these dishes are not on the menu anymore and it’s only been about a week since this visit! So bad news because you can’t go get these tapas now, but good news because whatever has replaced them is sure to be just as a-freaking-mazing and lacking of any negative components.

Anna was also kind enough to mix up a newer cocktail, the Bramble Snap, for Molly and I to split a sample of. We both loved it (though my Negroni was my fave) and that blackberry sure tasted good at the end.

I’m pretty sure you can now see why this was the perfect Thanksgiving Eve for me. Unique food, fancy cocktails, restaurant friends, a best friend, lots of pictures. #jadorelavie all around.

General Manager Jason Boske, me, and Exec Chef Adam Greenberg! They were having their dinner before the non-grandmas like me came to party.

Molly and I agreed after we’d finished our tapas that they were the perfect amount of food. I felt totally satisfied and, when I got home, totally ready for bed!

If you said the prettiest thing in this pic was the Cauliflower Au Gratin, I wouldn’t be offended.

Thanks to Anna, Jason, Adam, Dan, Derek, and everyone else who helped Molly and I have a wonderful Thanksgiving Eve. I’ve already got plans to head back to Barcelona Wine Bar for a Holiday Tapas cooking class/tasting on Monday, December 17 at 7PM! As you can tell from my previous event posts they are always having cool foodie/wino events going on so if you’re a CT local I totally recommend looking for one at a location near you! And make sure you make a reservation early because these things fill up fast.

Which of the tapas I tried sounds best to you?

What did you do on Thanksgiving Eve? Grandma status, party-hardy, or a nice happy medium like me?

Have you ever dined at a tapas-style restaurant?

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