Barrica opened in 2009, a tapas bar situated a few steps from the bustle of nearby Charlotte Street. It has a black and white tiled floor, a mix of tables and bar seating, along with display cabinets for wine along one wall. In the evening it is very dark indeed, hence the matching photos. The place was heaving on this weekday evening, even quite late on. However the staff were all smiles, so it had a welcoming feel.
I was impressed with the wine list, which not only involved excellent producers but was priced quite generously by London standards. The enjoyable Vina Ardanza 2001 was £42 for a wine that you can find in a shop for £23 and was available by the glass, Alion 2008 at £60 was very fairly priced for a wine that costs at least £50 in the high street, and Vega Sicilia Valbuena 2004 at £115 was a relative bargain, since this gorgeous wine costs £98 retail.
Padron peppers were OK in terms of texture but were extremely salty, even to my taste. A tortilla, served cold, was pleasant enough, though it would not pass muster in San Sebastian (still just about 2/10 level). The best dish was patatas bravas, the potatoes cooked quite well and tomato sauce fine, but above all the aioli having a real punch of garlic (3/10).
Iberico ham is of course bought in, but the way that the ham is cut affects the texture, and here the cutting was rather clumsy, leaving too many hard pieces. Pork shoulder was served as thin slices and had good flavour, but was doused with a suprising amount of chopped parsley, so much so that the herb taste overwhelmed the flavour of the pork (1/10). Croquettas were, to be honest, ordinary, having a nice enough filling but having rather soggy batter (1/10). The bill, with just a glass of wine apiece, came to £34 a head. Service was friendly if a little stressed. This was a decent enough meal, but I do not think it compares well to the best of the nearby places, such as Salt Yard and Fino. For wine lovers, though, this place certainly has its merits.