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  • La Vara

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La Vara
La Vara

La Vara Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://lavarany.com/
  • Phone: (718) 422-0065
  • Hours of Operation: Saturday- Sunday 11:30am -3:30pm

    Monday - Thursday: 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm

    Friday- Saturday: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am

    Sunday: 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Spanish, Basque
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes

Getting there

  • Parking: No
A word from La Vara
La Vara celebrates the Moorish and Jewish legacies in Spanish Cooking. Chef Alex Raij and Eder Montero, chefs and owners of Manhattan's premier Spanish restaurants El Quinto Pino and Txikito, extend their story in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerSpanish
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
Diner Reviews
  • "Good stuff all around great tapas great stuff. Over $100 for two though."
    Dined on 8/21/2014
  • "Very friendly staff and ambience; can be noisy but fluctuates. They concentration is on the food and excellent wine and drink list. But it is the food: remarkably inventive plates, small and large, with very distinctive flavors."
    Dined on 8/20/2014
  • "The menu for brunch has changed and it was lacking a bit of flavor and substance. This place used to be one of the best for dinner and brunch and both recent experiences for both meals have been a little less than par."
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "Delicious eclectic plates for sharing, inventive menu. Very friendly and accommodating service."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "Lately I have felt that Tapas is just a restaurants way of charging you more for smaller plates. Not here. This feels more like a delectable sampling of a chefs ingenuity. Excellent. The fried artichokes with anchovy aoli are not to be missed!"
    Dined on 8/11/2014
  • "Shout out to Olivia, our server that evening... She took amazing care of us. Extremely knowledgable with cocktails, wine list, and dinner menu. Guided us throughout the meal, and she made the experience very special. Food highlights: lamb breast (damnnn), eggplant, churros. Will definitely go back."
    Dined on 8/10/2014
  • "The food at La Vara is outstanding. The menu is flavorful and varied. Each small dish is a pleasure. Service is knowledgeable and pleasant, although the food comes a little too fast for a leisurely repast. Five dishes are plenty for two dining ladies, so your bill is a pleasant surprise, too. La Vara has a serious drawback, though. It is VERY, VERY NOISY. The charming tin ceilings, brick walls, and wooden floors all bounce and magnify sound, and even without additional music you have to shout to be heard by your dining companion. It's worth it to wait to get one of the three tables outside."
    Dined on 8/5/2014
  • "This was my first time eating at La Vara. What a great night! Our server, Nick, was knowledgeable, enthusiastic and serious. From the first cocktail (something crisp and light with lemon juice and quinine syrup that I wish I could remember the name of) we knew we were in for a treat. There's an un-fussy-ness about the food that is really refreshing. Each dish felt surprising and well-crafted without being overwrought. A fantastic meal from beginning to end."
    Dined on 7/29/2014
  • "We had seven different plates, all of which were unique and excellent! What a delightful find.. Saw it on Eater 38."
    Dined on 7/29/2014
  • "We are locals and love the fact that we have such a wonderful restaurant within walking distance from home. The few times we have gone, we always had good service and great food. My only consistent complaint is the price compared to the portion. My husband and I received a gift card and we spent $150 (with drinks) for the 2 of us and we left the restaurant still feeling a little less than satisfied with the amount of food. It’s really hard to justify $5 for 2 small, croquetas barely the size of your index finger. (We do, however, love the fact that you can make res for 2)."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "This place is so delicious. I've had dinner multiple times and brunch once and have not had a single disappointing bite. It's unlike any other cuisine and everyone who I have brought here has absolutely loved it. The backyard is adorable and the staff are very friendly. There is large table seating in the dining room which can be noisy if you are looking for something quiet or romantic, but the food makes up for anything that you could fault this place for."
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "Been here twice and have enjoyed both visits. The food is unique and satisfying. Great for groups or a date night out, as the plates are ideal for sharing. If you enjoy gin and tonics they are highly recommended at La Vara -- both for presentation and taste!"
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "This place is amazing every time. The food is unusual, creative, fantastic."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "Very much enjoyed my meal. Lived up to the recommendation"
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "We went on a Sunday evening. Service was impeccable. Highly recommend the fried artichoke- it started what turned out to be a very good meal. We split several appetizers. The eggplant was recommended but we all felt that the honey was overpowering. The waitress had good insight into the wines and although I can't remember which white she recommended it paired perfectly with the flatbread appetizer- which we enjoyed so much we had a second! Never felt rushed through our meal- the whole experience was positive and I will go back."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "Every bite of every dish registered off the charts - fabulously delicious! Service and attention excellent as well. Can hardly wait to return!!"
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "The ambiance, service and food quality and preperation were tops. Great spot for a celebration or just a casual meal. Drinks from the bar were spot on as well."
    Dined on 6/5/2014
  • "Impeccable service, great sangria and small plates. A perfect date spot or neighborhood favorite for a light dinner and glass of wine."
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "We saw this restaurant featured on tv before our trip to New York and suggested it for dinner one night to my NY son who had never heard of it. We were all thrilled. Our experience couldn't have been better. The food was amazing and the service stellar."
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "We found La Vara on Open Table and WOW what a great experience. We were treated like family from the moment we walked in--Olivia was just great, so helpful with suggestions and quick to get us everything we needed. The food is delicious, simple and inventive, but also very authentic (based on meals I've had in Spain). Wish we lived in Brooklyn Heights, we'd go there every week. I recommend this highly."
    Dined on 5/18/2014
  • "I dined at La Vara last week for brunch and loved it. The food was outstanding and interesting, the service was friendly and knowledgeable, and the location is great. I strongly recommend it for brunch and would love to go back and try the dinner!"
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "That's Spanish for totally delicious. Every dish we got for brunch for five was outstanding. pimientos de gernika, patatas bravas, artichokes and fava beans, cuchifrito, tortilla de gambas. We passed on the sweet stuff, burger and squid sandwich, but can imagine that they were equally good. Service was excellent, not overbearing. "
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Excellently prepared delicious food; great service; very interesting cocktails and desserts. "
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "Food was very good! Inventive and flavorful dishes--good portion sizes for sharing. Service was outstanding. Our waitress, Olivia, gave us great suggestions for us first-timers. The other staff were attentive and friendly. We are anxious to try the other things on the menu!"
    Dined on 5/5/2014
  • "We were pleasantly surprised by the unique tastes of the tapas, especially the spiced fried chickpeas and pork belly special dish."
    Dined on 5/5/2014
  • "Thank you La Vara! We had an awesome time. At one point during dinner we felt like we were back in Spain. The suckling pig and croquettes were AMAZING. We will definitely be back!! "
    Dined on 5/4/2014
  • "Went for a double birthday celebration with a friend and we loved it. The food was delicious and beautifully presented. We had five dishes of various sizes and all were yummy, especially the spiced fried chickpeas and the sort of deconstructed Mediterranean salad (a special that night). I will say the noodles served with the paella didn't work for us - prefer rice. But the shrimp, squid and clams were great. The wine (Rioja) was perfect, as was our dessert (Natillas De Arroz Con Leche). I particularly want to praise the staff, who were friendly, knowledgeable, helpful yet unobtrusive. I hope to go back to La Vara soon!"
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "I have been to this restaurant for dinner but this was my first brunch. As expected, the food was marvelous. Yes, you can get eggs and "French" toast, (and much, much more) but everything is prepared more thoughtfully, originally, and flavorfully (is that a word?) than your standard New York brunch. The blistered peppers, churros with dulce de leche, and cuchifritos were particular favorites at our table. Ours was a group of 8, and we were comfortably accommodated. And servers were friendly, knowledgeable, and appropriately attentive. One suggestion: ordering just a brunch main may not leave you agreeably satiated -- make sure to order a few pica picas (starters) and/or an extra main to share."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "Very noisy, crowded. We were squized in at the middle of a communial table between two other parties although we did book a table for four long time in advance. Service was careless, food was just all right, portions very small and pricey. Will not return!"
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "I used to love this place. Went on a Friday night and couldn't hear myself think because of the noise. And way too expensive. The n/a prices on the menu should be mentioned. Not sure what happened. Did it change owners? I won't go back."
    Dined on 4/18/2014
  • "I have had tapas before, but here the flavors were intense and well thought out. We had one tasty dish after another. Of the six dishes we ordered for two people, only one missed its mark. Thanks for a fun evening!"
    Dined on 4/17/2014
  • "La Vara is a great restaurant! The food is awesome, affordable, the service just as good as it can be, an absolutely delightful treat. Can't wait to go back!"
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "Food was truly excellent and there's a good selection of wine < $50."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "The restaurant is on the small side with small square tables good for two who are not ordering many dishes. Excellent wine list, again on the small side but covering a good range of prices and wines. Super menu with a great selection of arabic and sephardic dishes brought up to date and for the American palette; the variety is quit good, the preparation is superb. We are already crazy about their sister restaurant in Manhattan's Chelsea neighbourhood Xiquito. A return visit to Vara is practically guaranteed...."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "Loved everything about it. Loved that they combined various culture to make such amazing good. Definitely one of my new favorites in the tri-state area."
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "Went with group of 6, seated immediately in comfortable round corner table. At servers suggestion, we ordered a variety of dishes which were served consecutively, perfect for sharing. Everything we ordered was delicious, from the fried artichokes appetizers to the lamb dishes, chicken, suckling pig, etc to the desserts (loved the churos). My only wish was that there was slightly more of items for the price, portions are quite small but so tasty! Would definitely recommend and go back again!"
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "brunch was terrific. very friendly and helpful staff. excellent food !!! highly recommend"
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "I liked it enough to recommend to those who like tapas that are not ordinary & trite with one large caveat: VERY EXPENSIVE. Given all other factors: location, size of portions, ambiance, it does not warrant such hefty cost. If money is no object or you are a fanatic of original, well-made, and some original tapas, then this is one to consider, regardless of price. Too expensive for me."
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "Everything was wonderful. Waitress was very helpful in guiding our party to the right number of smaller & larger dishes to order. Cocktails great too!"
    Dined on 2/9/2014
  • "The food was interesting if you are looking for something new and each dish was excellent. Our waitress was extremely charming and informative without being pushy. I will go back again when I can."
    Dined on 1/29/2014