I grew up around a family table – my mother making a conscious, and I suppose insistent, effort to round us up and make us eat, together. We’d sit and munch, on my dad’s ‘famous’ breaded lemon chicken, my mom’s Eggo waffles, made Belgium with a heaping dollop of melty cookie dough ice cream, with boxes of cereal to chose from, concocting our own breakfast creations while in the midsts of each other, chatting and chewing. And though none of us were quite whizzes in the kitchen (I’d love to believe I’ve come a long way from my first dabbles at my beloved Magnolia Bakery cookbook), eating was just as much about the experience surrounding it – the celebration of our name carved and hand painted kitchen table, the togetherness, the casual, encompassing chit chat – than what was actually on our plates.
Last night I was given the opportunity to host an intimate dinner gathering at Washington, DC’s Barcelona Wine Bar – opening the table to just as many new faces as old friends in celebration of a seasonally inspired, plant based, and vegan menu. With a dozen of us snug around a family style table, the objective was to take ‘the conversation’ off the internet (off Instagram, off In My Bowl), coming together as a community impassioned by conscious living, sharing a meal and basking in togetherness. Tucked away in Barcelona’s coziest corner, high on the buzz of lucent sangria, our table enveloped by a vibrant, unparalleled feast of tapas, summer vegetable paella with beet puree and crispy squash blossoms, a mountain of seasonal bounty, and preserved rhubarb and berry jars (.. Barcelona, care to share the recipe!?), I’d say we succeeded.
The Menu (all served family style)
all vegetables were from Path Valley Farm, PA, Ear N Eats Farm, PA & Northern Neck Farm, VA
Heirloom Tomato Salad: garden herbs, olive oil, smoked sea salt
Eggplant Hummus: piquillo peppers, pinenuts, grilled pita
Roasted Sunchoke: citrus gremolata
Snap Peas A La Plancha: garlic, pimenton almonds
Summer Vegetable Paella: beet puree, crispy squash blossoms
Grilled Summer Vegetable Parillada: sweet summer corn, squash, baby carrots
Three Sauces: romesco, charred onion soubise, harissa
Preserved Summer Fruit Jars
The biggest thank you and love to all who attended and made it possible, especially Chef Adam Greenberg & the Barcelona team- you made it perfect. biggest, biggest love xx
Barcelona Wine Bar is located at: 1622 14th St. NW, Washington DC www.barcelonawinebar.com