Bar 44 Penarth was the second to open after their origin in Cowbridge and has been a popular fixture on Penarth’s main street since 2012.
Since then they have built an enviable reputation for their Tapas y copas, the result of their lifelong love affair with the food of Spain. That inspiration is obvious and distinctive, and brings you some truly memorable cooking. That’s their ‘secret’.
If one measure of their dedication is the lengths they go to to find and meet their suppliers, their frequent trips to Spain ensure they are getting the finest they can find. These are lengths that many others just wouldn’t go to, and it’s one of the things which sets the Bar 44 group apart.
All of which mean little if you can’t taste the difference on your plate. But you’re in safe hands: here you’ll find a wealth of small dishes packed with attention to texture and flavour, from their jamón croquetas to ox cheek in Pedro Ximenez, ideal for sharing, to fine charcuterie and salt aged flat iron steak and mojo verde.
The menu is strongly influenced by what’s in season, but look out for evergreen favorites like egg & caramelised onion tortilla, or their award-winning triple cooked patatas bravas and sherry alioli, or crispy hake with alioli and piquillo peppers or whole wild red prawns in garlic and chilli: or cider-poached chorizo and of course the essential jamón ibérico croquetas.
Spanish restaurants can often hold meagre pickings for those who don’t eat meat. Not here- non meat-eaters will find themselves very well look after here.
A substantial vegan menu means you can play heat level roulette with Padrón peppers, or enjoy tomatoes with a pine nut and moscatel dressing; or roast vegetable pisto and wild mushrooms a la plancha, or crispy artichoke with spiced aubergine and molasses.
We should mention their renowned roasts- chorizo Yorkshires, roast potatoes cooked in Ibérico fat, and manchego cauliflower cheese and more- which lends a distinctively Spanish spin to the classic British Sunday lunch.
There’s so much to look out for here. The ‘copas’ are no afterthought, with distinctive cocktails and a wide range of gins and even their own sherry. It’s details like this which have made Bar 44 Penarth a South Wales institution.
We can’t profile Bar 44 without mentioning one of the brightest lights to emerge from the challenges of 2020: Mercado 44 makes much of their range available to you at home, such as their award-winning sauces, whole Spanish hams, their trademark beef, Segovian suckling pigs and their own olive oil and manzanilla sherry collection. There’s even delivery on a national scale. The shop reopens every Sunday at 9am with the order deadline set at Wednesday 12 noon for delivery/collection on a Friday.
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