Husband and wife team chef Daniel Olivella and Vanessa Jerez bring northern Spain to South Lamar. Specializing in tapas, or shared appetizers, Barlata celebrates a culture that’s reflected in its cuisine.
In Spain, there’s a word called tapeo,” says Jerez. “They made tapas a verb because it’s an action. It’s more than just eating. It’s a way of life.”
Catalan-born Olivella has created a unique menu that features a variety of tapas, including latas, classic Spanish appetizers served in small tin cans, as well as larger plates and an impressive array of paella. Each item is a subtle elaboration on a traditional dish. It is European-style simplicity, rustic and refined, in an atmosphere where leisurely meals are encouraged.
Olivella and Jerez worked with Austin architect Michael Hsu on the modern, interior space, which has playful references to Spain throughout. The seating options – a vibrant bar, communal as well more intimate dinner tables – allow for a social dining experience familiar to anyone who’s spent an evening in Barcelona. The authenticity extends to the sangria and meticulously curated list of Spanish wine and cava.
“If you’ve been to Spain, we want you to have a memory from your time there, to re-experience a taste, a sound,” says Jerez. “If you’ve never been, we want for you to really feel like you have. We want you to experience a little bit of Spain in Austin.”
Barlata is Olivella’s third restaurant. He owns B44 Catalan Bistro and the original Barlata, both in the Bay Area. Now Austinities can discover what Californians have been enjoying for years: beautiful food from one of Spain’s top chefs.