The Absinthe Group’s Boxing Room has completed its transformation into BARCINO, officially opening in Hayes Valley tonight. Absinthe Group executive chef Ryan McIlwraith (Bellota) and chef de cuisine Athman El-Kindiy are behind the Barcelona-inspired concept, which is focused on Catalonian tapas with some creative and local/seasonal flair. (The name Barcino comes from the ancient name for the city of Barcelona.)
The menu includes tapas (like albondigas, Spanish flatbread with foie gras, membrillo, pickled peach, and candied pine nut), plus a raw bar and daily paella (which McIlwraith totally rocks at Bellota). The menu can be viewed here, plus there’s a dessert menu from The Absinthe Group’s new executive pastry chef Michael Aguilar (formerly of the Beverly Hills Hotel and WP24 by Wolfgang Puck). Did someone say churro ice cream sandwich?
Bar manager Collin Nicholas has put together a list of original cocktails, such as the La Caña, with rhum, pineapple, lime, and coconut, and the Barca with secco vermouth, blanco vermouth, and sherry. Bring on the Spanish-style gin tonics and sherries and vermouths (served on the rocks with a slice of orange and an olive), plus Spanish beers, cava served in large-format bottles, more than 50 different bottlings of gin, and sangria blanco on tap.
The 100-seat space was updated by project director Jonny Raglin and Sagan Piechota Architecture (which also designed Bellota) with live greenery and trellises, a brighter look with a white palette, along with custom art pieces, black vinegar barrels, and a hunger-inducing display of jamón legs.
Open for dinner Sun, Tue-Wed 5pm-10pm and Thu-Sat 5pm-11pm. 399 Grove St. at Gough.
One of the new dishes at Barcino, tomaquet. Photo: Kelly Puleio.