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Traif: American Small Plates By the Williamsburg Bridge

April 24, 2013

When I think about Williamsburg, only the immediate blocks around the Bedford stop on the L train come to mind.  It is only recently that I started to expand my personal map of Williamsburg a little further north and a little further south, one restaurant at a time.  This time, I found myself a few blocks north of the Williamsburg bridge at Traif for dinner with SB.

The new American tapas restaurant featured an intimate interior with a small backyard seating.  Even though it was warm enough to dine outside that night, I couldn’t resist the seats at the bar to be a little closer to the action.  SB and I studied the menu thoroughly and agreed to split three small dishes to start.

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The first of the three was a salad of burrata with snap peas, cherry tomatoes, bacon marmalade and artichoke vinaigrette.  I loved the creamy buttery burrata and the smokey sweet marmalade.  Doesn’t everything just taste amazing with bacon?

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The salad was followed up by the strawberry and cinnamon glazed baby back ribs.  The combination was a little outside of my comfort zone but I trusted Traif and was happily licking off the sweet and fragrant sauce off my fingers after my first bite.

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Finally, a slice of the Hampshire pork belly with heart of palm, bacon, snow peas, artichoke with a meyer lemon sauce.  The pork belly could have been a little more tender but the crispy edges made up for it and the meyer lemon sauce perked up the dish.

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For the entree, SB chose the seared day boat scallops with snap and English pea risotto, capers, tomatoes and a lemon brown butter.  The scallops had a perfect sear and the pea risotto was so light that I could have had an entire bowl full.  This should be a staple on any spring/summer seasonal menu.

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For my entree, I went with something a little heavier.  The seared foie gras with Yukon gold potatoes, bacon, sunny side up eggs and a maple hot sauce was one of the staples on Traif’s menu and tasted of a fancy diner breakfast plate.  The generous portion of foie gras was ample to satisfy my craving and the potatoes tasted as if they had been slowly braised in duck fat.

Neither of us had room for dessert but Traif was thoughtful to end every meal with a small refreshing bite of pineapple with a mint and agave dressing.  That was just what I needed to cleanse my palate after the foie gras.

Traif | 229 S 4th St  Brooklyn, NY 11211 | http://www.traifny.com/

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