Ivo van den Berg’s achingly trendy tavern not only outclasses its Amsterdam competition, but would stand out proud among the top eateries in Madrid. Barra, in the hip district of De Pijp, aims to capture the real essence of Spain. Tapas are more than just starters, they are a way of life. “Since I was a child I have been travelling to Spain and been fascinated with the lifestyle of the Basque region,” says owner Van den Berg. Barra has been in business since 1996, but the Spain lover introduced a menu with a modish slant to Spanish regional specialties in 2012.