This tiny neighbourhood tapas bar captures the feel of its counterparts in Spain perfectly; informal with welcoming staff, and a simple menu to complement the wines by the glass. Hams hang from the ceiling, diners eat at the bar counter; drinkers mingle in.
The food preparation area wedged behind the bar makes a caravan's galley look spacious. We sat and watched as the busy chef reheated some of the dishes in the microwave, in between blowtorching some desserts and freshly preparing others.
From a brief blackboard menu of daily specials, we enjoyed the pig cheek cooked in PX sherry, and ham croquetas which were a cut above the norm. The Spanish cheese platter contained two types of Manchego (one with thyme on the outside, the other not) and Cabrales (a great version of the blue cheese), served with membrillo and bread that’s a lot better than you get in Spain. For a proper touch of authenticity, the cheese platter was served with those tiny little breadsticks you normally only get in Spain.
The wines were good too – modern, Spanish, and not expensive. Our only caveat is that Barsito is more of a place for a snack and drink than a leisurely dining destination, as the seating and elbow room are cramped. But it's a perfect pitstop opposite Clapham Picturehouse, even though that man in the kitchen must secretly have eight arms.
57 Venn Street
|Opening hours:||Tue-Thu 5pm-11pm; Fri 5pm-midnight; Sat 1pm-midnight; Sun 1pm-11pm|
|Transport:||Tube: Clapham Common|
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Average User Rating
4.8 / 5
- 5 star:11
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
This is my favourite place in Clapham, better than any other bar or restaurant by far - no braying Claphamites stuffing the rafters with large groups of loud 20-something friends, this tiny tapas bar/wine bar is calm, cool and exclusive; somewhere for an intimate and gentle date, perhaps. Set a perfect distance away from Clapham Common tube and High Street, along the semi-pedestrianised Venn Street (which houses a couple of other good bars, restaurants and the brilliant Clapham Picture House (and bar) too), Barsito has moody soft lighting, perfectly formed tortillas, beautifully chilled wines and smiling, warm and accommodating staff. Deliciously romantic and authentic and small, and perfectly formed. SJP
Lovely cosy bar, very lively at the weekends. Food is always cooked to perfection and so very tasty, full of flavour...true tapas! Staff very friendly...love to bring my friends here for food and good wine!
Charming service, delicious tapas, excellent value vino and all in a great location. What more could you want? Think this is my new local!
Lovely place. Always a warm welcome. The pig cheeks mentioned were divine as are the Spanish ham/meat and cheese platters and the rabbit dish we had. The range of sherries is wonderful - honestly, try a chilled sherry instead of wine one of those hot muggy Clapham evenings (incongruous but it works). Best cocktails made from scratch in London.