First Look: Barcelona Wine Bar, Inman Park

Part of a small Connecticut-based restaurant group, Barcelona Wine Bar opened in Inman Park in late October, serving small and large plate Spanish cuisine in a sophisticated communal atmosphere.

The look: Located in the former Zaya space on North Highland Avenue, Barcelona is the newest addition to what has become a lively neighborhood dining destination. A wraparound patio creates a chic sort of see-and-be-seen anteroom. Inside, the design is dominated by planks of warm wood that extend from the floors to the walls, and are echoed in rustic-modern booths, tables and chairs.

The scene: Animated may best describe the energy in the bar area, which can be packed and loud, early until late. The main dining room offers a somewhat quieter respite, though one recent evening, the entire restaurant was like a beehive, with waves of peppy servers and chatty customers buzzing around.

The menu: Tapas ($3.50-$11.50) is the mainstay of the menu, including everything from sugar snap peas with toasted garlic, crushed almonds and red chili to pulpo pallego-style octopus with fingerling potatoes, and grilled lamb chops with baby arugula and romesco. Meaty Argentine-style mixed grill ($24.50 per person) or classic paella with saffron rice, seafood and chorizo ($24.50) per person) are among the more substantial dishes.

The drinks: Naturally, wine is a focus of the extensive drinks menu, with a wide range of Spanish selections by the glass and bottle. But you’ll also find French champagne, German riesling and Austrian gruner veltliner. There’s a good list of classic and specialty cocktails and recent draft beers include Brooklyn Lager and Sweetwater IPA.

The extras: Barcelona offers sampler tapas menus ($48-$70) Sundays-Thursdays, plus private dining and group menus. Brunch is served Sundays 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Dining out

Barcelona Wine Bar, Inman Park

Dinner: 5-10:30 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 5-11:30 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays; 4-10:30 p.m. Sundays. Brunch: 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Bar open late.

Tapas, $3.50-$11.50; charcuterie, cheese and salads, $6.50-$17.50; larger plates and entrees, $11.50-$24.50; desserts, $5-$7.

240 North Highland Avenue, Atlanta, 404-589-1010, barcelonawinebar.com/atlanta.htm