Some of the biggest names in Brooklyn’s stacked wine bar scene are expanding in Park Slope. Bar Vinazo, a Spanish wine bar celebrating lesser-known varietals and regional recipes, is the latest from Joe Campanale and Ilyssa Satter, opening on Thursday at 158 Seventh Avenue, near Garfield Place. It’s the third in their collection of South Brooklyn spots that includes Fausto, their Italian pasta spot, and LaLou, the natural wine bar in Prospect Heights.
Bar Vinazo is the latest in a string of restaurant openings that in the last year alone includes Masalawala, from the team behind Dhamaka and Semma; Lore, a globally inspired restaurant; Syko, a Korean Syrian lunch counter; and Pecking House, a chile fried chicken pop-up, now a restaurant, bringing more excitement to the area’s once sleepy dining scene.
Barcelona-born, chef Silvia Garcia-Nevado, who is an alum of New York’s acclaimed, currently closed French restaurant, Prune, leads the kitchen with a menu with strong Catalan influences, leaning on recipes she learned from her grandmother. The style of the menu is set up for whatever an evening might look like: a solo night at the bar, a festive group dinner, an intimate evening for two.
The menu begins with drink-friendly snacks like spiced corn nuts, the sort found on most every bar in Barcelona, salty and spiced with pimenton, as well as the classic Basque gildas — briny skewers of piparra peppers, anchovies, and olives.
On the pine and terracotta bar stands a leg of Cinco Jotas, the acorn-fed dry-aged ham from Andalucia. Order a plate of it on its own or as an ingredient in a fried croquette also stuffed with Manchego. Like any hip new wine bar as of late, the menu also includes 10 varieties of conservas, tinned fish from Galicia — pickled mussels, marinated anchovies, razor clams in brine, olive oil steeped tuna belly, oil-packed sardines, stuffed baby squid, and the like, all served in their tins.
Large plates invite taking and passing, too, including seafood fideuà served in a wide shallow cast-iron pan; fideuà is similar to paella but with short thin vermicelli-like pasta in place of rice. Her grandmother, who she calls Yaya, inspired the recipe for polla en pepitoria, braised chicken legs and thighs with slivered almonds and parsley oil, is also on the menu: To ensure her granddaughter got the recipe just right, Yaya sent her a step-by-step voice recording of the recipe.
Pastry chef Ava Chambers, who was a consultant on the LaLou dessert menu, joins Garcia-Nevado in the kitchen, starting with two simple Spanish desserts: mel i mato, fresh whipped cheese similar to mascarpone, topped with poached pears and figs, then drizzled with red wine and honey, and showered with toasted walnuts; and a coulant de chocolate, a traditional molten cake.
Campanale and Satter are looking forward to welcoming neighbors and showing off the allure of Spain’s wine and food culture. Campanale’s intention with Bar Vinazo is to bring love to the world of Spanish wines. His list includes 15 wines by the glass — $11 to $16 — and 150 bottles: white, pink, orange, pet nat, and red, using natural and biodynamic organic methods of production.
“I am really excited to dive deep into Spanish wine and to put it center stage,” he says — which means something, coming from a guy who just published Vino, a wine bible dedicated to Italian wines. “There is a big difference between how much great wine there is and how many places offer Spanish wine.”
“We love our neighborhood restaurants,” says Satter. “Now Bar Vinzano gives Spanish wine a home and a destination to have its moment in the sun.”
The restaurant’s name comes from the marriage of the word vin with the suffix “-azo” which means “really great” in conversational Spanish. “It’s a very colloquial term,” says Campanale. “Wine people will say, ‘Wow, that is such a Vinazo!,’ meaning such an amazing wine.”
Bar Vinazo has opened its reservations on Resy, but will also hold back half of its indoor and garden tables for walk-ins. The bar is walk-in only. Hours are 5 to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.