Handmade Murcian pasta with goat butter, sumac, and the optional ground goat meat. "I keep it optional since we have so many neighborhood families coming in to eat with kids, and the little ones might be turned off by the goat."
Sephardic-style lamb meatballs with a simple mint-flecked and olive-oiled yogurt garnish for dipping. "I just really like lamb meat. I didn't want veal or pork in these meatballs," said chef Alex Raij.
Lengua Llucmaçanes ($18)
Menorcan braised beef tongue with tomato-caper sauce, peas, and carrots. "Tongue is a very succulent muscle," said chef Alex Raij, who prepares it like brisket, slowly braising it until the meat can be cut easily with a fork. "It's like the best pot roast you've ever had."
Pollo Asado ($18)
Half of a Murray’s chicken (both white and dark meat) that's brined, then rubbed with spices like coriander, caraway seeds, and cumin. It's roasted with berbere-spiced onions. This chicken was inspired by Mindy Fox, author of A Bird in the Oven and Then Some among other cookbooks. "Mindy made a chicken like this for a dinner at Txikito. It was so aromatic—this is an homage to that," said chef Alex Raij.
Natillas De Arroz Con Leche ($8)
Cinnamon-, rose-, and rice-scented custard with grapefruit segments and a rosemary sprig.
La Vara is located on the quiet, brownstone-lined Clinton Street in Cobble Hill.