The waterside eatery was inspired by the restaurant group’s partners’ travels to Spain, specifically the coastal Catalonia region along the Mediterranean. From the restaurant’s inception, partners Dave Nicholas, Scott Shaw and David Clapp aimed to bring the simple yet vibrant flavors of ingredient-forward dining to Old Town Alexandria’s Robinson’s Landing.
Neighboring Ada’s on the River, Barca Pier and the complementing Wine Bar offer guests unparalleled views of the Potomac River with the U. S. Capitol in the distance. Barca Pier offers 210 seats of open-air dining and is constructed from industrial freight containers that are situated on what used to be a bustling shipping pier. The 65-seat intimate Wine Bar is centered around a marble bar and pulls in coastal vibes with an oceanic color palette of sea-glass green, aqua and blue grey.
“The past year has seen challenges unlike anything the restaurant world has known before,” says Nicholas, managing partner, ARP. “With the opening of Ada’s on the River and now Barca Pier & Wine Bar we have had the unique opportunity to create hundreds of new jobs in a time when opportunities are scarce. Barca signifies another great beginning – it’s a fresh season filled with new opportunities for our company, our teams and our guests.”
Barca Executive Chef Bryant Haren along with ARP Corporate Chef/Partner Brandon Whitestone have designed a menu reminiscent of the tapas bars of Barcelona, featuring bright, traditional flavors as well as dishes that draw inspiration from other parts of the Mediterranean. The menus at both Barca Pier and the Wine Bar are similar, with the addition of Spanish charcuterie and cheeses being sold by the ounce as an additional offering at the Wine Bar and a selection of handhelds at the Pier.
The Tapas ($8-$18) menu features 16 different small plates, including several gluten-free and vegetarian options. To experience traditional Spanish seafood dishes, guests can enjoy the Sautéed Calamari with chorizo, guindilla verde peppers, red onions, salsa verde, and herbs or the Boquerones — traditional mild white anchovies drizzled with olive oil, garlic and fresh herbs. Vegan and vegetarian options include Smoked Tomatoes with olive oil, coarse salt, basil and Papas Bravas — crispy potatoes, mojo rojo, and lemon-garlic aioli.
The Pier menu also offers a selection of four Montaditos ($8-$15), or miniature sandwiches, stuffed with some of Spain’s most recognizable ingredients. The Confit Tuna is a combination yellowfin tuna confit, piquillo peppers, shaved red onion, parsley and lemon-guindilla pepper aioli. For guests who prefer a plant-forward menu option, the Vegetable combines chickpea hummus, piquillo peppers, shaved red onions, cucumbers, Garrotxa cheese, arbequina oil and arugula.
Both Barca Pier and Wine Bar will offer three sharing Platos de Queso y Embutidos ($19-$27) filled with delicious charcuterie and cheeses from Spain and Greece. The star of the Spanish charcuterie world is the beloved Jamon Iberico de Bellota — the ham from the Iberian peninsula’s black pigs, which feed entirely on acorns. This specialty, which offers an unforgettable flavor experience, will be offered at both concepts for $21 per ounce. Freshly sliced, by-the-ounce embutidos, queso and jamόn will be available at Wine Bar exclusively.
“When creating the menu, we wanted to emphasize super simple, clean flavors,” says Chef Whitestone. “Many of the ingredients are sourced from Spain, with a focus on quality and simplicity.”
The wine list will feature vintages from both the old and new world, placing special emphasis on wines from Catalonia and other Mediterranean regions. Wines are available by the bottle ($36-$260) and the glass ($9-$17). A selection of beers ($6-8) and ciders along with craft cocktails complete the experience. Refreshing creations include Stone Fruit Sangria — rosé, cherry, peach, and orange blossom water; Palomar — Citadelle gin, honey-ginger syrup, grapefruit juice; and Splasher & The Rye — Pendleton 1910 rye whisky, Amaro Averna, and Punt e mes vermouth, in an oak barrel smoked glass.
Barca Pier & Wine Bar will also be open for Weekend Brunch, serving a special menu featuring both favorites from the all-day dining menu as well as brunch dishes and weekend libations perfect for waterside sipping.
Barca Pier & Wine Bar is located at 2 Pioneer Mill Way in Alexandria. Barca Pier is Open: Sunday-Thursday 11:30AM-11PM; Friday and Saturday 11:30AM-Midnight (Weekday Lunch and Weekend Brunch served until 4PM; Dinner begins at 4PM). Barca Wine Bar is Open: Monday-Thursday 4PM-11PM; Friday 4PM-midnight Saturday 11.30AM-Midnight; and Sunday 11:30AM-11PM (Weekend Brunch served until 4PM; Dinner begins at 4PM). Website: BarcaALX.com; Telephone: 703.638.1100; Instagram: @Barca_ALX.
FULL PHOTO GALLERY BELOW (All photos by Susan Fleischman for The Zebra Press)
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