My biggest qualm with tapas is that I always walk away hungry. You order 10 things and feel like you need to stop at McDonald's on the way home. Fortunately this isn't the case with Barceloneta, as my group and I tried a series of plates that were filling without being too heavy. The offerings never felt overwhelming, flavors were always interesting, and the variety was something to marvel at.
The Barceloneta pulpo a feira was delicious, the potato foam uniquely complementing the octopus and chorizo. But the true standout was the gambas con chocolate, the oversized shrimp served (in true Barcelona fashion) with the heads still intact. The preparation and flavors were unique and complex, with the freshness of the fish offset by a rich chocolate picada sauce.
The creativity didn't stop at the dishes—the cocktails were also a sight. I had the Valencia, a cava and citrus mix. While it was quite tasty, I couldn't help but steal sips from my companion's libation, as she had opted for the Maracuya, a vodka martini mixed with passion fruit, ginger and chili flakes. I usually prefer my martinis dry (snobbery intended), but the sweetness was nicely cut by the chili flakes, creating a startling flavor that we all agreed was the drink to order.
So if you find yourself wandering South Beach looking for a late-night snack that won't weigh you down before you hit the sack, you'd be hard pressed to do better than Barceloneta.
1400 20th St
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Published at 4:46 PM EDT on Apr 25, 2012 | Updated at 8:24 PM EDT on Aug 10, 2012