I will tell you that, before last week, I have never once thought that it might be a good idea to take our kids to dinner at one of German Village’s finest restaurants, Barcelona Restaurant & Bar. It’s just not one of the first places that comes to mind when I think of ‘kid-friendly’ spots. However, when we learned that we didn’t have our usual commitments with extended family on Christmas Eve this year, we decided to check out one of the many festive areas of Columbus and potentially create a new family tradition.
German Village is decorated BEAUTIFULLY during the holidays so the thought of strolling up and down the historic brick streets on Christmas Eve, looking at the colorfully decorated homes and businesses, seemed like the perfect idea. Since Barcelona has always been one of our favorite restaurants (and typically seems to be noisy enough to drown out the sound of kids), we decided to give it a shot.
German Village was as festive as expected — and we were also greeted by many decorations when we walked into Barcelona, including a large, sparkling Christmas tree that the kids immediately fell in love with and made for a perfect family photo shoot location.
The staff quickly sat us (we had reservations) and had a high chair readily available as well as crayons and coloring books that occupied my kids for a good amount of time.
Barcelona does not have a kid’s menu, but they were willing to make numerous kid-friendly options based on the ingredients that they had available for their regular menu items. Our server was BEYOND accommodating — and worked with us to find the best options available that would prevent melt-downs. Lucky for us, they were able to put together upscale (and delicious) versions of grilled cheese and a cheeseburger served with fried potatoes. We had two very happy kiddos.
Barcelona is very well known for their unique assortment of large paella dishes, and while you should certainly give these a try because they are awesome, my husband and I typically share a variety of their Spanish tapas and ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS split a dish of their Vieiras — or pan seared sea scallops. These are just heavenly, and I don’t believe that I have ever enjoyed a scallop dish as much as I do this one. They are served with bacon, mushrooms, baby lima beans, dates and chile flakes – and covered in the most delicious cream sauce that you have ever tasted. I know this sounds dramatic, but I seriously dream about these scallops. Try them, you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
We also shared the Humus Verde which was a green chickpea hummus sprinkled with smoked paprika and served with grilled flatbread — and was a favorite of our 2-year-old. This fun twist on a basic hummus dish was the perfect plate to share for everyone at the table.
In addition, we ordered the Costillas which were braised beef short ribs served with Spanish blue cheese mushroom sauce and green olive aioli. Oh my gosh, these were AMAZING. They pretty much melted in our mouths. This dish was a bit too adventurous for our kids to try, which worked out just fine since my husband and I were bargaining with each other for the last bite.
Finally, we ordered the Calamares Fritos or fried calamari which came served with crema verde and tomato vinaigrette. This is another staple order item — and it’s just really good. If you like calamari, you’ll like this.
Overall, our meals were perfect — and our kids were even able to enjoy some vanilla ice cream before we headed home to put out some milk and cookies for Santa.