Spanish food, like in-laws, oxygen deprivation, and nude ice fishing, is best enjoyed in small portions and when shared with loved ones. Thaw frigid taste buds with today's deal: for $15, you get $30 worth of tapas and drinks at Vela Tapas on 3rd Avenue in Bay Ridge.
Vela's menu blends classic Spanish recipes with seasonal ingredients to create savory tapas dishes that are both fresh and authentic. Indulge in an order of patatas bravas seasoned with paprika aioli ($6), or commandeer the mejillones y chorizo, an amphibious vessel of mussels and chorizo seasoned in garlic and garnished with Cava ($9). Discerning diners can pair the plato montanero cheese plate, composed of manchego, valdeon, drunken-goat, and tetilla cheese ($11), with a glass or bottle from Vela's extensive wine list or sip from a carafe of house-made Sangria ($22). The dessert menu's custards, creams, and fresh fruit provide after-dinner entertainments that, unlike an air horn bathed in marzipan, are understated in their flavors. Eaters can also demolish dining distinctions with the $15 prix fixe brunch (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends), which includes Spanish-spun breakfast entrees, such as the cinnamon-infused Basque toast, plus breakfast beverages and choice of mimosa, Bloody Mary, or Bellini.
The exposed brick and cobblestone floor of Vela's candlelit dining room transports diners across the Atlantic to the traditional taverns and bars of Spain, all without subjecting them to the scratchy tinfoil onesies worn while actually teleporting. With its sophisticated ambience, secluded backyard patio, and shareable menu of delectable delights, Vela Tapas is an ideal place to impress a first date or share a laid-back evening with a group of friends.