Comments: Ah, the nutmeg state! – colorful leaves in autumn, insurance capital of the world, and bastion of authentic Spanish tapas cooking. Whose thoughts don't turn immediately to Connecticut?
Of course yours would, too, if you thought of the Barcelona Restaurant and Wine Bar, which first opened in 1996 in South Norwalk and has expanded to Greenwich, Fairfield, West Hartford, Stamford, and New Haven. In fact, the largest Spanish restaurant group in the United States is entirely in Connecticut.
Obviously in the restaurants and the new cookbook, it's not just tapas – Spanish hors d'oeuvres – because some of their customers wanted main courses, not just a progression of appetizers. And as their restaurant kingdom grew, so did their offerings.
The chapters break it all down, featuring cocktails and wine, cold tapas, hot tapas, main courses and party dishes, and desserts. The offerings may be as simple as roasted garlic, but there are also recipes with 20 steps and a full page of ingredients. Nothing is left to chance – in the recipe for Chicken al Pimentos, seven of the 15 steps are how to bone a chicken. Some of the recipes are complicated, but you will never complain that they don't tell you exactly what to do. Along with interesting sidebars, recipes are paired with wine suggestions, menu and party planning recommendations, and tips for applying certain restaurant tricks to the home kitchen.
We're writing lots of words when all we really want to say is that the food presented in this cookbook is authentic and delicious!