We can all get a bit emotionally invested in our longstanding local spots, and that was undoubtedly the case with Cobble Hill residents when it came to their go-to corner café, the brother-and-sister-owned Ted & Honey. But if anyone could take over the eight-year-old institution with the bare minimum of neighborhood grumbling, it would be Alex Raij and husband Eder Montero, whose instant classic La Vara—a wholly original Spanish/Jewish tapas joint—had already accrued a fair score of loyalists, in its location just next door.
The newly dubbed Tekoá (which takes its name from the Guarani language, where it means “where you are, what you are,” and implies “habitat” or “territory”) has ably stepped up to the plate when it comes to coffee shop necessities, such as Wi-Fi access, espresso drinks and sticky buns. But since, like its predecessor, it aims to be an all-day establishment—the better to accept the steady trickle of strollers and their sweets-seeking inhabitants that inevitably wander over from the adjacent park—the menu is a lot more ambitious. It smoothly segues from house-baked pastries (tapered Valencian brioche sprinkled with sugar crystals; coffee cake embedded with almonds and currants) to egg-based items (either poached with vanilla butter and paired with Spanish ham soldiers, or deposited in the hollowed-out center of a Damascus-sourced spinach pie) to compelling lunch items, like a pressed broccoli rabe sandwich, bound with chili oil-slicked manouri cheese, and the towering “El Doble” burger, heaped with “secret sauce” and pickled onions, and lined with a slice of sheep milk-based idiazabal. (Looking for dinner? That’s what La Vara’s for.)
And now that it’s spring, an al fresco assortment of benches and tin tables are just the thing for basking in the sunshine, with everything from a cappuccino and a cookie, to a roasted beet salad and a tumbler of rose. Ted & Honey would have surely approved.
264 Clinton Street, Cobble Hill