Eder Montero and Alex Raji know a thing or two about Spanish food: this husband-wife duo run two of Chelsea's top tapas places: El Quinto and Txikito. This year, they have turned their small plate focus to Brooklyn's Cobble Hill with La Vara. Sleek, yet quaint at the same time, La Vara fits right in on Clinton Street, offering locales a bar area, dining booths, two-top tables and outside seating on the weekend.
Fans of fried food will instantly notice that the menu has a whole "fried" section. Number one in this formidable "Fritos" part is the alcachofa ($9). Greasy, salty, and plenty crisp, these fried artichokes could give potato chip addiction a run for its money. A drizzle of anchovy aioli keeps everything in check: a rich, cool contrast to the salty, warm artichoke.
A tip: Despite having a variety of seating options, La Vara remains a small (and popular!) space. If you are a party of four or more, call ahead for reservations.
268 Clinton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 (map)