Travel & Leisure Selects Barsa as One of Nation’s Top Tapas Bars

barsapaellaBarsa’s local-sourced paella, which the upper King Street tapas bar earlier this week showed off at Abundant Seafood’s CFA  stand, has earned the restaurant a spot on Travel & Leisure’s list of “Best Tapas Restaurants in the U.S.

The magazine selected 20 tapas bars across the country for the honor. The Southeast had a strong showing: In addition to Barsa, the list cites Durham’s Mateo Tapas; Asheville’s Curate and Atlanta’s The Iberian Pig.

“Barsa, which bills itself as a Spanish-influenced restaurant with a southern drawl, has been a local favorite on trendy Upper King Street for years,” says the blurb accompanying Barsa’s entry. “Chalk it up to the paella with ingredients sourced from local farms and the convivial atmosphere.”

Travel & Leisure specifically praised Barsa’s “Basque-inspired plates of octopus with smoked paprika, roasted chicken and kale croquettes, and Manchego-stuffed dates.”

Now featuring a slightly reformatted menu, Barsa is open every day at 630 King St.

Barsa Hires New Sous Chef

j5nwC63seCQcl9hIXa1jG6vJqq9eu-zzEzyP95ayO3sBarsa executive chef Cole Poolaw today announced the hiring of a new sous at his tapas bar could herald the exploration of “more exotic ingredients,” but James Burge says patrons shouldn’t brace for baby eels and fried quail eggs just yet.

“There’s nothing too exotic on the menu,” says Burge, who launched a reformatted menu when he last month joined Barsa’s kitchen crew. “It’s still very familiar. We still have paella, we still have meats and cheeses.”

The menu does feature a few new plates, including a pan-roasted red snapper with salsa verde; a grilled hanger steak and migas served with a fried egg. Burge – who wasn’t aware of any established items being axed — says he anticipates tweaking the menu in response to the availability of local products. Continue reading