Who doesn’t love brunch? Sleepy weekend diners can conveniently avoid their own kitchens while enjoying an often decadent and relaxed morning meal. Plus, as a bonus, brunch is often accompanied by a well crafted cocktail. For this reason, we were pleased to hear that Barcelona Wine Bar has launched brunch service every Saturday and Sunday at several of their locations, including West Hartford, Stamford, and now Fairfield. As each Barcelona menu highlights the vision of their executive chef, brunch menus will vary slightly based on style, but bear a similar theme. To investigate this new kid on the brunch block, we decided to visit Chef Darren Carbone, who recently took over the Barcelona Fairfield kitchen, and who brings to the table, a little Latin flair.
In looking at the new Brunch menu, it’s difficult not to get just a little bit excited. Entrées such as Duck Confit Hash, Chocolate and Dulce de Leche French Toast, and a Breakfast “Coca,” (grilled bread, mushrooms, egg and Sriracha), sound like solid reasons to get out of bed.
“My goal is to keep everything simple…and cook food that speaks to me. I’m bringing Latin American flavors to Spanish cuisine," says Carbone. “This is the food I like to eat.” We felt the same, and we appreciated the unique touches Carbone adds to his breakfast classics elevating each dish beyond the basic.
You will not find a simple diner pancake on this menu, but rather Seasonal Pancakes topped with a rotating compote, this visit, rhubarb, over a stack of pancakes laced with the bright flavor of orange zest.
The Dulce du Leche French Toast is actually a delicious illusion, possibly warranting dessert status, as the dish is actually brioche bread pudding, coated as with French toast, and then shaped to mimic thick cut challah.
Digging into something meatier, our group's favorite was the Duck Confit Hash. This dish has a 2-3 day lead time, says Carbone, as the duck is prepared confit, cured with oranges and lime, and then poached in its own fat. Finished with a sherry veal demi, the succulent duck melts in your mouth, providing contrast to the crispy potatoes and soft poached egg. This is a serious winner.
The foundation for the simple open faced Breakfast Coca is the not-so-Spanish (but who really cares?) Naan bread, layered with delicate mushrooms, mozzarella, a fried egg and a little heat from a dash of Sriracha. Simply plated on a wood board, this is well executed, and could become a daily staple.
We enjoyed Carbone’s take on the classic Barcelona Benedict, made richer by the selection of Morcilla, a wonderfully flavorful crispy Spanish blood sausage, representing the meat component of this tasty dish. The heat in the chipotle Hollandaise kicks it up a notch, and was a crowd pleaser.
“I will be highlighting seasonal ingredients, and using whatever I can from Barcelona’s on property farm, once the season is in full swing,” says Carbone.
Brunch is served at Barcelona Fairfield Saturdays and Sunday starting at 11am. They offer a kids menu including scrambled eggs, fruit and granola, pancakes and fries...each for only $4.
For the adults, there is a weekly Build Your Own Bloody Mary Bar
Barcelona West Hartford serves Sunday Brunch 11:30am-4pm
Barcelona Stamford serves Brunch Saturday: 11:30am - 2am