- Julia Thiel
- Pintxos at Barcito
Ryan Poli’s tapas restaurant Tavernita and its bar, Barcito, get at least one element of Spanish and Latin American culture right: the diminutive. Adding -ito or -ita to the end of a word in Spanish is almost absurdly common. “Quieres un tecito?,” I’ve been asked at a friend’s house. “El aguita esta calentita!” OK, it could be a small cup of tea (though it never is), but how can water or heat be small? It’s a casual, often affectionate way of talking that rarely has anything to do with the size of what’s being discussed.
Neither Tavernita (which my colleague Mike Sula reviews in this week’s Reader) nor Barcito is particularly small. Casual? More or less—while that’s how they officially describe the bar’s dress code, the space is sleek and a bit upscale in feeling, and most of the patrons look pretty respectable. More than respectable, in fact: Barcito appears to be yet another haven for the city’s beautiful people. It’s a place to see and be seen—though not heard, apparently. The music was so loud that the bartender had to come around the bar to take our orders, and the one time he didn’t we ended up with olives instead of almonds. Even sitting close together, conversation was difficult.