Like voluntary tasings and constructive criticism, some meals are best when delivered in small doses. Snack in stride with today’s Groupon to Rioja. Choose between the following options:
- For $7, you get $15 worth of tapas during lunch.
- For $12, you get $25 worth of tapas during dinner.
Rioja's chefs draw upon 150-year-old family recipes to forge small-plate fare that has filled a trophy case with awards including a commendation from the Houston Press for Best Tapas. In the evening, taste buds tango with cold tapas including the serrano-ham-topped baguettes of pa’amb tomaquet ($7.95) or samba with hot tapas such as sweet-pear purée resting atop fried black spanish sausage ($7.95). Diners on an outdoor patio tear into paella mixta, which mingles prawns, mussels, calamari, and homemade chorizo ($17.95). On Friday and Saturday evenings, the rhythm of live music wafts out into the cool air, augmenting Spanish ambiance as miraculous as a nest of bullfighters.
The lunch menu showcases bocatas, sliced foot-long french baguettes that accommodate potato omelets, grilled sardines, or chorizo ($7.95+). Three-course tapas lunches ($13.95) combine small plates of patatas bravas, baby green asparagus, and sushi-grade salmon to form a trio as powerful as the Three Stooges' personal injury lawyers. Although not covered by this deal, Rioja’s wine list fills glasses as clinking toasts punctuate cheery chatter.