229 South 4th Street
Brooklyn, NY, 11211
Written By: Amanda Kusek
I finally stopped being lazy and made my way to Brooklyn for what turned out be a tasty meal at Traif. (http://www.traifny.com/) Located just under the Manhattan Bridge Traif is Yiddish for “not-kosher” so expect lots bacon and my god, have the pork belly. For some reason, it was smaller than I expected, but was cozy and welcoming and, busy!
I went as a party of five, but they let two of us sit early because the bar was packed. I was so thankful because I had a headache and needed a drink. The service was a little slow in the beginning, probably because we were less than half the size of our table. However, our waiter was fun to chat with, and I eventually got my drink. Key word is eventually.
I ordered the “Burning Bush.” While I was tempted to have the bacon infused beverage, I had my heart set on the pork belly, and the idea of both eating and drinking pork at the same time made even me gag. The Burning Bush had scotch, hot red pepper and celery bitters. Intrigued? I was too. While tasty, it was a little bit milder than I would have expected. It didn’t pack the spicy punch I was expecting, but it went down smoothly and had a unique taste. I will attribute that to the celery bitters.
But, since it was so mild, it could have been a bigger drink. This is where everyone will call me a lush, because it was a scotch drink but even so, I still feel like the glass was a little bit small. You don’t need to go getting me wasted off of one sip, we can still reserve that for Jungle Juice in a dorm room somewhere, but I am a grown woman, you can give me a big girl drink. It just felt too dainty a drink for my slab of pork belly.
In the end, it doesn’t top my list of favorite cocktails of all time, but I will say that Traif is a seriously cool spot that does Brooklyn proud. I’ll be back to sample some more cocktails (need to be thorough) and of course, for the pork belly.
Traif: For that special New Yorker in your life who loves both
bacon and tiny food
Written By: Kaileigh McCrea
I was recently lucky enough to be treated to an amazing, extravagant meal at Traif in Williamsburg. This is an unusual restaurant where the dishes, many of which are essentially fancy comfort food, are served tapas style, in small, but surprisingly filling portions.
The atmosphere is dark and romantic, but it is not at all what you would expect a fancy-ish restaurant to look like. I would describe it as unassuming had there not been such a fuss about being able to get a reservation. This restaurant takes itself very seriously, and rightfully so, but it does not look as if it would. The service was wonderful; I had a moment where I realized that I could really use clean plate, and behold, one instantly appeared. It also has tiny tables arranged back to back so closely that getting up to go to the bathroom, or even shifting much, is going to be awkward. This is somewhat good news on a date, however, because it is actually difficult to not end up playing accidental footsie. This is not the place to take someone you are not willing to do that with. It is intimate, almost too intimate.
The menu is a list of small plates that are essentially classic comfort food dishes with a twist. The waitress told us most groups of two should order about six dishes to be full. We ended up ordering five plus dessert, and had about twice as much food as we really needed. The prices vary from $7-$10 for the appetizer type dishes to around $14-$17 for most of the more rich, filling dishes. The menu is conveniently arranged both by price and richness. This is not really expensive if you get one or two dishes but it adds up if you are really going for the recommended amount.
Almost all of the dishes include bacon, though primarily as a garnish rather than a feature. One notable and delicious exception were the bacon-wrapped blue-cheese stuffed dates on top of spinach. This dish was so bacon-y, cheese-y, and delicious. Not a single item on the menu was disappointing, and all of the meats were cooked to perfect tenderness. The meat practically slides off the bone of the very thick and juicy strawberry-cinnamon glazed pork ribs. The foie gras was so juicy and tender, that its texture pleasantly resembled the fried egg it was served next to. It was an interesting choice to serve foie gras as part of a breakfast-like dish, with eggs and potatoes, but it was a great combination. The salad was generously portioned and tasty, as was the baked muenster cheese. The crowning glory was, of course, the bacon doughnuts. This was the main reason that we came and we were not disappointed, though they were not what I expected. I really thought they were going to look like normal doughnuts with bacon and dulce de leche on top, but they were really about four small donut holes with those same toppings. They were served with a tiny ball of coffee ice cream. The two complementary items were hilariously tiny. We were first given two shot sized cups of a red curry soup and then at the end we were each given a chunk of pineapple that was strongly flavored with lime. Both were very good but we wanted more.
Had I actually paid for all of these dishes, this review might not be so glowing, but I absolutely recommend this restaurant if someone else is footing the bill, or if you can really afford to sweep someone off their feet. I bet Traif is very popular on Valentine’s Day.