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First course in the tasting menu, photo courtesy of Restaurante Barcal - Medellin Guru
Restaurante Barcal is a popular upscale restaurant in El Poblado offering a fine-dining tasting menu, which highlights Colombia's mega diversity.

Restaurante Barcal: A Popular Fine Dining Experience in El Poblado

Restaurante Barcal is a popular upscale restaurant in El Poblado offering a fine-dining tasting menu, which highlights Colombia’s mega diversity.

Barcal is unique in that its 11-course tasting menu only uses Colombian products. Through the tasting menu at this restaurant, customers are essentially taken on a culinary journey through Colombian regions.

The chef at the restaurant applies very innovative techniques to incorporate local ingredients into some traditional Colombian recipes, while adding a worldly touch. The result is pretty amazing. And the presentation is creative and very appealing.

When I went recently, each of the courses was beautifully presented and explained (in Spanish) and was full of imaginative flavors. This restaurant is probably best described as “nouveau Colombian”, as it is using Colombian ingredients in new and innovative ways.

This restaurant is upscale. So, it caters to a more sophisticated, adult clientele. The interior offers a nice atmosphere suitable for a night out with friends or a romantic dinner date.

Restaurante Barcal is spacious and the main dining room has views of the open kitchen. So, you can watch the young chef and his workers in the kitchen. Also, the dining room is open to a small vegetable garden in the back.

Note the above photo is the first course in the tasting menu, photo courtesy of Restaurante Barcal.

Restaurante Barcal, photo courtesy of Barcal

Restaurante Barcal, photo courtesy of Barcal

More About Restaurante Barcal

Restauranted Barcal originally opened in 2015.  The chef of the restaurant is Miguel Warren, who started his culinary studies at Colegiatura Colombiana at the age of 18.

Warren then traveled to San Sebatián, Spain, one of the world’s most prestigious culinary hotspots to study at the Basque Culinary Center. Warren returned to Medellín with the idea of fusing the techniques of haute cuisine with Colombian native products.

Through gastronomic research, the kitchen team at this restaurant discovers ingredients used in the different regions of Colombia and experiments with them using a large number of techniques and combinations to achieve the best results.

As part of this research, Miguel Warren has traveled to several of the most remote regions of Colombia in search of local suppliers, which ensures that only the freshest products are used at the restuarant.

When Barcal opened in 2015, it was an upscale restaurant with a menu that included a variety of pastas, seafood, chicken and beef dishes. I first discovered this restaurant in 2016 and went back several times, as it had very good food.

But about 1.5 years ago Barcal dropped this menu and started offering only a tasting menu. The tasting menu started with two options: a 6-course tasting menu and a 10-course tasting menu.

And now Barcal only offers an 11-course tasting menu. And what is unique about this tasting menu compared to tasting menus at other restaurants in Medellín is that only Colombian products are used at Barcal.

The first course of the 11-course tasting menu

The first course of the 11-course tasting menu

The Tasting Menu at Restaurante Barcal

The tasting menu at Barcal is currently 11 courses and the waiters/waitresses spend time to describe each course (in Spanish). But if you don’t speak enough Spanish, there is an English menu available listing each of the courses.

The second course of the 11-course tasting menu

The second course of the 11-course tasting menu

Here are the 11 courses of the current tasting menu:

  1. Includes: (a) Fish brittle, shrimp from Urabá, plaintain vinegar and vanilla, (b) Pickled beet, Colombian pipiá and peanuts from Pasto, (c) La Cocha smoked trout, yellow fruit variety, pine and sour cream.
  2. Includes: (a) Colombian amasijos, (b) Fresh Antioqueño cheese and coffee butter.
  3. Cured fish, coconut milk, lime puree and oxalis plant.
  4. Prawn from Urabá, ripe plantain, dry Guajiro shrimp and bijao leaf.
  5. Creole hen stew, chulpe corn and col.
  6. Suckling pig confit, guasca emulsion and cucumber.
  7. Beef tongue, cashews, sweet aji and Sntander ants.
  8. Green guava and pine tree sorbet (dessert).
  9. Vhorla, fresh Antioqueño cheese and nasturtium leaf (dessert).
  10. Yogurt mora Patia, squash variety, watermelon and lemon (dessert).
  11. Colombian chocolate sweet, coca leaf infusion and sugar cane (dessert).
The 8th course and first dessert: green guava and pine tree sorbet

The 8th course and first dessert: green guava and pine tree sorbet

The 10th course and 3rd dessert: yogurt mora Patia, squash variety, watermelon and lemon

The 10th course and 3rd dessert: yogurt mora Patia, squash variety, watermelon and lemon

The final course and 4th dessert: Colombian chocolate sweet, coca leaf infusion and sugar cane

The final course and 4th dessert: Colombian chocolate sweet, coca leaf infusion and sugar cane

Each of the portions are small but the 11 courses filled me up. The 11-course tasting menu at Barcal currently costs 130,000 pesos. And there is no other food menu available, only the tasting menu is offered by the restaurant.

Also, about every three months, Barcal changes its tasting menu. In addition, I was told in February 2019 they plan to have an 18-course tasting menu.

The wines at Restaurante Barcal

The wines at Restaurante Barcal

The Drink Menu at Barcal Restaurante

To go along with its tasting menu, Barcal offers drink pairings (a mix of alcoholic and non-alcoholic) for another 130,000 pesos.

Also, on the drink menu are a few beers. And they have a decent wine selection plus several house wines are available by the cup. In addition, the restaurant has natural juices, sodas and waters available.

How to Get to Restaurante Barcal

Restaurante Barcal is located in El Poblado a couple of blocks from Parque Poblado. It’s also located about five blocks from Parque Lleras.

If you aren’t located in El Poblado, the easiest way to get to Barcal is via the Medellín metro. The restaurant is located about a 10-minute walk from the Medellín metro Poblado station on Line A.

Restaurante Barcal is about a 10-minute walk from the Poblado metro station

Restaurante Barcal is about a 10-minute walk from the Poblado metro station

In addition, you can take a taxi from the Poblado metro station to Barcal, which will be a minimum fare of 5,600 pesos.

Furthermore, you could travel via taxi to the restaurant from your location in the metro area. Just provide the taxi driver the address below.

Website: http://www.restaurantebarcal.com/

Address: Calle 7D # 43A-70, El Poblado, Medellín

Phone: +57 4 268 8714

Hours: Monday to Saturday: 7 pm to 10 pm. Sunday and holidays: Closed.

The open kitchen at Barcal

The open kitchen at Barcal

The Bottom Line: Restaurante Barcal

Barcal offers a gastronomic extravaganza, which is accompanied by impeccable service. I was impressed with the 11-course tasting menu when I went recently, as it allows you in one sitting to experience the flavors of several regions of Colombia.

This restaurant is a must-visit in Medellín for any foodie or fine-dining enthusiast. A meal like this would likely cost a small fortune in the U.S. But Barcal is pricy for Medellín at 130,000 pesos just for the 11-course tasting menu, without any drinks.

So, this is a place more for special occasions like birthdays or Día de Amor y Amistad or it’s a good place for a romantic date. Also, on Friday and Saturday Barcal gets busy. So, reservations are recommended.

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5 thoughts on “Restaurante Barcal: A Popular Fine Dining Experience in El Poblado”

    1. David Bingham January 20, 2019

      I live in Patio Bonito and pass this restaurant on a regular bases. I know they do not open until evening, but have wanted to try it. Glad to know it is a tasting menu. I did a tasting menu in Cartagena made with all Colombian foods from different regions and the chefs explain each course in Spanish and English, It gives you a good sampling of the foods but is expensive and you leave hungry. Had to stop at another place for a burger. The best part was meeting a family from Holland.

    2. I went quite a few times before the changing to the tasting menu and enjoyed it every time I am pretty picky so tasting menus really are not my thing so haven’t been back
      Service was quite good also so give it a try

    3. Jeff Bannister January 17, 2019

      Russ, did that include a wine pairing?

      • Yes a pairing but not all the pairings were with wine. Some were non-alcoholic drinks. But it was worth getting the pairing.

    4. Barcal’s tasting menu is interesting.. I went there recently with my wife and found the place impressive with good service. But it is pretty pricey for Medellin as our tab for the two of us was about $160 US dollars.

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