Saturday, January 1, 2011
Happy New Year! I spent the last meal of 2010 with close friends and Ryan, sampling the 4-course pre-fixe at Traif, a new(er) Williamsburg spot on the south side. (Shout out to Becky who will be proud of me for knowing that 'traif' refers to forbidden foods in Judaism)- and forms the theme-as the website sums up best- as "A nod to shellfish, pork, and soul food". Perhaps you might wonder what I was doing there, seeing as I don't eat any of that either, lol. Well, turns out they can muster up some love for us vegetarians, too, and I have to say, my courses were damn tasty. (Though I fear my kosher friends will have to seek elsewhere to eat...)
First course- for me, a mixed green salad with a round of goat cheese rolled in nuts, which was nice, and included some fruits and pomegranite seeds that added a much needed acidic bite. The goat cheese was too large for the small plate of greens, but was nice and creamy.
Ryan had a plate of tuna tartare and bone marrow, served with a puff pastry- Ryan liked the tartare, but found the marrow undercooked.
The second course, however, picked up steam and was an all-around favorite. I had a curried plate of potato, pineapple, green bean, and brussel sprouts which was sweet and spicy and delicious. The flavors reminded me of sweet and sour sauce in Chinese cooking, a touch of thai hot sauce, and perhaps a bit of a curry flavor like that in Indian dishes- an impressive mix of spice and flavor. I loved it! Julie, our friend, had the same dish but topped with prawns, and she too was really into it.
Ryan and our friend Mike both tried a kobe beef burger with lobster, and a side of truffled french fries. They both marked this as the highlight of their meal, saying the lobster and beef was great, and the fries decadent.
The third course I had was savory- wild mushrooms, brussel sprouts, eggplant in a creamy sauce. I enjoyed it, but wished for some type of grain or starch- perhaps a little pappardelle pasta, or even rice- just to cut the richness of the flavors and to add a contrasting texture to the vegetables on the plate.
Julie had a duck dish wrapped in pork cheeks, and Ryan and Mike tried the short ribs. All enjoyed, but shared in the feeling that the dishes were very savory and salty.
The winners for dessert were definitely the boys- both of whom wisely chose the nutella sundae- which was like a pudding, sweet but not sickening, and a really creamy, smooth texture. Julie and I had selected cheese plates, which included a really nice blue cheese and a triple creme brie, but after the third savory course, we felt cheese was not the right follow up, but wished we had the sweet treat too!!
Overall, I tasted a lot of great flavors, and the second course and nutella dessert make me want to come back and explore the a la carte menu.