Traif Team Opens South-of-the-Border-Inspired Xixa
When Heather Heuser and chef Jason Marcus opened Traif on Williamsburg’s South Side in 2010, they irreverently used the notion of Jewish forbidden foods like pork and shellfish as a springboard for an eclectic small-plates menu. A trip to Mexico City partly inspired their sophomore project: not a stereotypical cantina, but a version of Traif as it might have been had Marcus been Mexican-born. At Xixa (pronounced shiksa, a reference to Heuser being Marcus’s Gentile girlfriend), he applies south-of-the-border ingredients and techniques to his own cooking style, honed though years of world travel. This is no taco joint, however: Think more along the lines of foie gras al pastor (pictured) and red-curry tom-yum esquites. What to drink with this fanciful fusion? Heuser has renounced the margarita-mill cliché, choosing to focus instead on wine, supplemented by agave spirits and beer.
Xixa, 241 S. 4th St., nr. Havemeyer St., Williamsburg; 718-388-8860.
*This article originally appeared in the December 10, 2012 issue of New York Magazine.