As far as I call myself a Yelper, I dine out based on the public opinion, with a grain of salt of course. But when it comes to a "1k+ review and 4.5 stars" combo, there is no way that place could go wrong. Traif is such kind of restaurant, and the fact that I still haven’t paid it a visit was inexcusable. I felt obliged to check it off my list by the time I head back to Shanghai.
After some good views over the Williamsburg Bridge train ride, we arrived at a neighborhood feeling like completely strangers. Google map was (and will always be) our good friend. We got to enjoy the sunset and blossom on our short walk to Traif (and tried to enjoy the elevated highway and aboveground subway as the backdrop).
You wouldn’t expect to see such a high-profile restaurant nestled in a petit slot at the outskirt of Williamsburg. Equally unpretentious is its interior, packed and dim. We had to angle ourselves through the space and squeeze in the seat. Yet the tempting smell from the open kitchen and people’s engaging conversation cultivated a convivial vibe.
We followed the popularity on Yelp (of course). With such a high expectation, we were still amazed by the originality of its tapas-style dish.
green pea soup
Complimentary appetizer that opened your taste bud, simple and homey.
Spicy bigeye tuna tartare
Our first yet favorite of the night. The Asian-fusion taste is like nothing we have had before. Melt-in-the-mouth tuna over crispy tempura eggplant, the contrast of texture and the exotic sour-sweet flavor struck us by surprise.
bacon wrapped dates
As a common tapas dish, we have tried it at other places before. Although decent, it was not striking.
strawberry-cinnamon glazed berkshire baby back ribs
So guilty yet so good. The sweet glaze distinguished the rib from others, although the strawberry note did not stand out. The meat was very tender, sliding right off with fork. We could have loved it more if there was no BBQ sliders coming next.
BBQ, braised short rib sliders, sweet potato fries
This might be our guilty pleasure of that night. The short rib was incredibly juicy and had a burst of mouthwatering BBQ flavor. And the sweet potato fries were perfectly crispy, crunchy, and delightful. Perfectly detrimental for weight watching.
maple bacon donuts (sorry no picture): It was our highest expectation, but turned out at the bottom of all dishes. It was good but kind of normal. Some reviews on Yelp called it “life-changing”, and that is the grain of salt I was talking about.
Reservation taken only by phone and email. As the menu changes, we hope to venture back to Traif to try more of its delectable dishes.
Hours: 6pm - 12am Tue - Thur & Sun; 6pm - 1am Fri - Sat
347.844.9578 or firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations
GRADED BY SYCOMORE