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Barcelona Tapas Restaurant Review: When Xavier Laurentino decided to open his Barcelona Tapas in uptown New Orleans, he took over a shuttered restaurant and personally designed and built the interior. The result is a warmly lit, intimate establishment with Laurentino-crafted carved wood tables and chairs. Shrimp in olive oil, garlic and paprika; piquillo peppers stuffed with salmon pâté; and “bombas,” potato croquettes with spicy beef filling, represent Laurentino’s style of tapas. The chorizo in a sherry casserole is slightly addictive, as are the Mediterranean mussels. Laurentino created an appropriate wine list with a nice balance of light whites and substantial reds, including Spanish varieties that complement such hearty menu items as paella and rack of lamb. Barcelona’s bartender also mixes a mean sangría. Finish with the "Sinful vanilla flan" for dessert. The best part of the experience may be Laurentino himself, who meets his guests and spends quality time at each table.