Barcelona Tapas Cafe
Xavier Laurentino has recreated a corner of his native Spain at this little New Orleans Spanish restaurant, the Barcelona Tapas Cafe. Flamenco plays on the stereo, the furniture is of dark, heavy wood, and the curving, colorful bar would be at home in an Antoni Gaudi building. The food stays close to classic Iberian flavors: pork, garlic, and smoked paprika. Laurentino himself, though, is what the crowd of young couples and university types remember. He periodically strides through the dining room, delivering to each table a handshake and a hearty smile.