The Recommendation: Go To Michelin-Starred Tapas Spot La Vara For Your Next Dinner Date

What do you get when two chefs — one Minnesota-born with Argentine-Jewish parents, the other Spanish — meet and discover a shared love of tapas? The answer, it turns out, is a marriage — and the Michelin-starred, small-plates restaurant La Vara. Chefs Alex Raij and Eder Montero celebrate their Jewish and Moorish roots with memorable dishes meant for sharing in this jewel of a space, situated on the picturesque corner of Clinton and Verandah Place.

Three non-negotiable must-orders? The Pipirrana Con Grano, a tangy Persian cucumber and local grain salad with fresh herbs and tahini yogurt dressing. The Fideuá, an incredibly unique Valencia-style noodle paella with shrimp, squid, clams, and aioli. And the Salmorejo, a salt cod carpaccio with fresh tomato, mimosa egg, dried black olive and za’atar.

Talk about a love story.