229 S 4th St. Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Absolutely delicious! If Traif is to be my last nice meal out for some time, there wasn’t better company or food for the occasion. Located in a strange hidden corner of Brooklyn, off the BQE and Williamsburg Bridge, the months old small plates restaurant is a (somewhat) secret gem in the borough landscape of high end, interesting eating.
Two small plates per person was recommended by our waitress which works out perfectly as long as you come hungry.The website calls the cuisine “celebrating pork, shellfish, and globally inspired soul food” so, appropriately the seafood and meat dishes: spicy tuna tartare (a table favorite, though I couldn’t try it myself), chorizo and lamb meatballs, bacon wrapped dates, spicy sweet glazed calamari (my favorite dish if absolutely forced to choose), duck confit lettuce wraps, razor clams, seared scallops, and bacon donuts (yes, bacon donuts!) were truly outstanding. But don’t ignore a balance of veggie plates too – starting with a rich, creamy amuse buche of onion soup we also ordered a fresh brussel sprout salad and a citrusy beet and cheese dish.
Amazingly, all this was lovingly prepared in the smallest of open kitchens, just on the other side of the slightly cramped bar. I am always in awe of chefs that can work with so little space, and these guys were working wonders.
While I couldn’t partake, I did take a delirious sniff of Mike’s cocktail that included rye, chocolate bitters, ginger liqueur and a flame roasted lemon rind (could anything make me miss cocktails more?). A unique selection of beers and good priced wines are also available (as well as iced tea for those of us nine months pregnant and eliciting looks of horror at my big belly from neighboring eaters). From their incredibly positive yelp reviews, it’s fair to say that Traif has found the exact perfect balance between tastiness, price (about 40 a person with drinks and a very satisfying meal) and dim lit ambiance. It is certainly worth seeking out (even if the recommendation makes it impossibly crowded) and while you can, take advantage of what looked like a lovely lush backyard. One of the best meals we’ve had in a long time, so excited to have it near by for future special occasions.
But what do you think?