Over the last few decades, a renovated hardware store in downtown Bryan has served as home to not only Old Bryan Marketplace but a series of sophisticated restaurants. The latest occupant opened its doors in November, generating buzz not only for its Spanish tapas but for being a companion to College Station’s popular Luigi’s Patio Ristorante. Both spots were inspired by the parents and/or the grandparents of the Tani family owners, named, of course, Elia and Luigi. As soon as we walked in the door at Elia, it was clear there’s substance behind the good family story: the food was phenomenal. We shared two tapas along with a charcuterie board. Our king trumpet mushrooms in white wine, lemon, and garlic butter was a simple dish full of robust flavor, while our charcuterie board offered a delectable tour of Spain. But our favorite was the selection of empanadas, especially the beautifully seasoned beef tidily tucked into a light, grease-free crust. The space, with aged brick walls, green plants, and a bullfight poster or two, is a distinct part of the dining experience. Oh, and one last thing: Elia also offers full-sized options for those not inclined to share.