SCF fans will remember Christian Petroni, the former chef at Peniche in White Plains. Well last September, he went to a new place called Barcelona, just over the border in Connecticut. I’d been meaning to visit ever since. And then, when I saw him take home the $10,000 prize on “Chopped” earlier this season, I knew I had to go. It had been too long!
Along for the ride were Karen, my friend from work, and Tasha, from next door (no photos of Tash, though!). We started with some olives. Simple, but delicious, with herbs and orange zest:
We came right after work, so the restaurant was still pretty empty. Christian tells me it’s really popular late-night:
I took a photo of this because I thought it might look nice in our dining room:
These croquettes with ham and cheese were absolutely heavenly. Crisp on the outside, gooey on the inside:
Burrata with greens and grilled bread:
Insane. Love burrata. It’s like intense mozzarella with a melty burst of creamy cheese inside.
Beautiful Spanish ham, sliced so thin:
Padrones — salted peppers:
They are Christian’s favorite. They say that only one in 33 are hot, but when you get that hot one, man oh man, watch out. Poor Tash. She took her first taste and — bam. She got hit with it. Her eyes were watering and her mouth was burning. I felt so bad for her! Ours were mild and salty and crunchy.
This — and the chorizo and dates, below — are traditional Spanish tapas, and they’ve been on the menu at Barcelona for a long time. Christian and his crew execute them admirably:
Karen, left, and me, listening intently:
Also traditional tapas. These are fried potatoes with a spicy pepper-garlic-mayo sauce. They are so addictive.
Christian is doing small pizzas here. This one, with mushrooms and arugula, was out of this world:
Here is a not-so-traditional dish for a Spanish restaurant, lobster risotto:
This simple preparation of striped bass was more up my alley:
Crispy skin, flaky fish, just a bit of sea salt and lemon. Perfect.
By the time we were finished with our savory courses, the restaurant really started to pick up:
Aren’t they having fun!
For dessert, Christian sent out churros with chocolate for dipping:
Hot, flaky, fried. With chocolate. How can you beat that?
We can’t wait to go back.
One year ago: Sunday Night Supper: Wings and a Wedge.
Two years ago: At the Bar at Blue Hill at Stone Barns: A Recap.
Three years ago: The Ladies Who Lunch: Dining at the Freelance Cafe.
Four years ago: Dinner at Restaurant X (with lobster risotto, too!).