Barnacle is a small little bar (probably sits about 20 people), and is considered an Italian aperitivo bar. A place to get a pre-dinner cocktail and small bites to eat with your cocktail. Never been to Italy, it reminded me of a Spanish tapas bar. You grab a couple of snacks and a drink, and then you move on to another bar or go to dinner. Most of the customers were doing just this while they were waiting for a table at Walrus and Carpenter. Since usually the wait at WC is always over an hour, it is quite genius to place this right next to the restaurant
At most cocktail bars you might get some nuts or pretzels, at Barnacle you get Lays potato chips. It has been a long time since I have munched on Lays. They were a pleasant surprise, and I have to say they went will with my cocktail. Barnacle offers Italian red and white wines, Italian beer, and Italian inspired cocktails. The cocktails are a little on the spendy side ($12 -$14), but I think it is worth it. They are made with quality ingredients, and well made. I had the Autumn in New York. This is a take on a Manhattan, but made with cranberry to give it a a little woodsy, tart taste. A perfect fall cocktail. My 2nd cocktail was The Other Woman with limoncello and presecco. This was a little cleaner in taste and bit refreshing after my first drink.
Food is small plates. The menu as a Spanish/Italian theme/taste. In addition to the menu, they offered 3 specials, oysters, duck liver pate, soup. We selected the octopus terrine. Thinly sliced octopus that swim in a delicious Italian olive oil with a squeeze of lemon. This dish is delicious! If you like octopus, you will love this dish. After we finished the octopus there was still some olive oil remaining. I wanted to pick up the dish and start licking it off the plate, The bartender offered up some pieces of bread to sop up the remaining in a more civilized fashion. Another item on the menu which we did not have is hand shaved serrano jamon. If you have been to Spain, you are familiar with the delectable Spanish ham. The ham sits beautifully in a Spanish restaurant is thinly sliced to order. I have yet seen a Seattle restaurant that has the same Spanish presentation until I went to Barnacle. It was a good thing I was not sitting in front of the ham or i would have been salivating the entire evening. It is just a beautiful thing to see. I will be back to eat this, and enjoy some lovely cocktails.
If you have not been to Barnacle, stop by and check it out. The food, drinks and staff are great!