Barvale [San Francisco, NoPa]

Barvale, on a corner of Divisadero and Grove, is a newish restaurant from serial restauranteur Adriano Paganini’s restaurant group (Super Duper Burger, Lolinda, Beretta, a Mano, etc.). Barvale’s theme is Spanish tapas. I had dinner here a couple times. Portions for the tapas are not too big so you can order a bunch of things. Since I was solo I didn’t try any of the larger raciones which the menu describes as being for two or more.

Lenguado Crudo ($3.50)
raw halibut shooter, spicy lime, tapenade
A nice ceviche-like halibut dish, served in a shot glass. Salty, acidic, and with a little heat.

Huevo Relleno ($2.50)
deviled egg, guindilla
A perfectly fine deviled egg. Lots of paprika.

Escabeche ($5)
pickled eggplant
Eggplant in a vinegary garlicky sauce. Good drinking food. Eggplant was nicely cooked and not too tender.

Boquerones ($5)
white anchovies, spicy sauce
This was ok, just four boquerones on top of some tomato sauce.

Pan con Tomate ($5)
toast, tomato jam
Also just ok. A good quantity, however the tomato topping was missing something - could have used some more salt/seasoning and maybe some more olive oil. Kind of bland.

Croquetas ($6)
jamon and bechamel croquettes
These were fine.

Esparragos ($8)
grilled asparagus, egg salad, lemon oil

Arroz Negro ($11)
squid ink rice, sepia, manchego cheese
Kind of mediocre. The rice was a little too soupy. No crust on the bottom. Lacking a bit of flavor - some aioli would have helped. Squid was well cooked though.

Morcilla ($10)
blood sausage, potatoes, onion
Pretty good blood sausage studded with little chunks of fat.

A bit of a meh first visit. I went back to Barvale on a meatless Monday. I thought the food was better this time.

Patatas Bravas ($8)
fried potatoes, angry sauce, aioli
A classic tapas dish that was well executed. Nicely fried crispy potato cubes in a very smooth slightly spicy tomato sauce, topped with a nice garlicky aioli. Very good. Would definitely get this again.

Escalivada ($9)
peppers, eggplant, burrata, olive oil, bread
This was kind of like a caponata - sweet and sour peppers and eggplant topped with some burrata cheese. Pretty good though the amount of burrata was a bit small.

Setas ($8)
mushrooms, manchego, garlic
You could add an egg to this for another $2. Big trumpet mushrooms sliced and grille, and then covered with a good bit of manchego. Quite good.

Tortilla de Patata ($5)
spanish omelet, pimento aioli
A classic Spanish tortilla - egg and potato omelette. This was very good. Tender and with a hit of paprika. Nice aioli on the side.

I thought Barvale was kind of a mixed bag. I liked my second visit better than the first. Would go back for the patatas bravas and the tortilla.

More pictures:


I have been here a few times now.
They have my favorite blood sausage I’ve ever had (at least in the US, I had a reallllll good one in Barcellona once). It is on the sweeter end morcillas.
Instead of squid ink rice they used to have a squid ink fideo (noodle) dish. It was really similar but since fideo is something that is nearly impossible to find I enjoyed the novelty of that more.
When we went they did put the normal aioli dollop on the rice.

The Chicorie salad is one of my favorite things there. Real good anchovy flavor which goes well with the manchego.

The ‘pulpo’ option we had was quite good and traditional. Sounds like they changed it up a bit. But they cooked the octopus well.
I feel like they could branch out on their sheep cheese options. There’s more to life than manchego.

They have tasty drinks. Just checked their menu to remember the name of the drink I like and apparently they got rid of it. It had coconut, amaro, bitters, and unfortunately i don’t remember what else.

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Thanks for the report, I went back and had the pulpo, and it was indeed quite good. Tender and nicely cooked. Well seasoned with a good hit of paprika.

Also tried the albondigas which were also good. Finely minced and sitting on a tomato sauce with a little bit of I think goat cheese(?) that added a pleasant gaminess.

And also the fabada, a white bean stew with pork belly. I also liked the fabada although the beans could have been cooked down a little more - they were a little on the mealy side. In a nice broth that wasn’t very thick but was very flavorful. Along with a few thick chunks of bacon-like pork belly and some spinach.