we're not usually ones to make reservations but it was high time we tried traif. i've been hearing great things about it since it opened but the past couple of times we'd stopped by for dinner, the wait was out the door. so, i finally bit the bullet, made a reservation and invited a few close friends to enjoy the experience with me.
at first view of the menu, i was reminded of alta, the great tapas restaurant in the west village. there was a sampling of cuisine from all over and the waitress recommended sharing a number of items for the table. fair warning, it's hard to ignore your gut when it begs you to get crazy and just order one of everything... we restrained though and settled for eight of the small plates and 4 of the more robust dishes. it was the right amount for six people; that paired with cocktails and bacon covered donuts for dessert, we were definitely content when we were finished.
we started with roasted brussels sprouts, a roasted carrot and sunflower seed salad, seared scallops and salt & pepper shrimp. the dishes flavors didn't in any way tie together, other than the fact that they were all incredibly delicious. the portions weren't large but when each bite explodes with flavor, all you really need is a taste.
we moved on to my personal favorite; the sauteed broccoli rabe with portobella-truffle toast, a fried egg and parmesan on top. i'm telling you, this one dish will make your night, don't skip it! after that, we indulged in pork cheeks in a creamy polenta (who knew i liked these?), strawberry glazed baby back ribs, quail served atop biscuits with bacon gravy and short rib sliders served with sweet potato fries and a spicy chipotle sauce.
the menu rotates relatively frequently but regardless when you go, i'm sure you won't be disappointed. we were surprised at how reasonable the cost was as well. we had a six-top table and ordered two bottles of wine as well as a few cocktails and paid $65 per person. the service was warm and friendly, the atmosphere was laid back and comfortable and most importantly, the food was spot on. love, love, love traif.