When I was growing up, Barcelona's mussels swamped in red sauce (nowadays, $6.50) helped remind me to spread my napkin once I was seated. True, any excess sauce was meant for the garlic bread (half-loaf, $2.75) and not my lap.
The highlight of those long-ago meals at Barcelona's, however, was choosing from the candies — principally, rolls and rolls of Life Savers — displayed in a glass case under the cash register. If the case now at the entrance to the bar room is one and the same, today it's a repository for memos and miscellany, partly papered over with news clippings. In that light, on my latest visit a tortoni (about $2.50), retrieved from cold storage, sufficed as dessert.
38 Harrison Ave. (Lincoln Pl.-MacArthur Ave.), Garfield, New Jersey