20 June 2010

At Long Last... Prune!

After multiple botched attempts to visit chef Gabrielle Hamilton's tenured restaurant in the East Village, success was finally achieved. The reason: my friend Brian's visit to NYC. The goal: a casual and unpretentious meal where he would get to try a few new things, hopefully all of which would be enjoyed immensely, without dropping an insane amount of cash. And so, Sunday evening, between a rainy afternoon and game five of the NBA Finals, we ventured to Prune for an early dinner...

fried chickpeas

roasted marrow bones with parsley salad, sea salt, and toast
fried sweetbreads with bacon and capers

seared duck breast with dandelion greens, raisin-caper dressing
steamed mussels in lobster broth

ricotta ice cream with salted caramel croutons
strawberry-almond paris brest

Everything about this meal was great. Does it make sense to say the marrow bones were "meaty"? It might not, but that's the best way I can describe them. There was so much marrow, we almost couldn't finish the dish, which is saying a lot. The sweetbreads were tender and flavorful. The duck was cooked perfectly, and the raisin-caper sauce was a combination I had never had - delicious. The mussels were the largest I have ever seen, and the broth was neither too salty nor too thick. Dessert presented a tough decision; we passed on a black forest cake to try the paris brest, and it was fantastic - pate a choux sliced in half, filled with strawberries and almond pastry cream. The flavor of the ricotta ice cream was quite delicate, and therefore a perfect match for the punch packed by the croutons.

Prune can now officially find itself at home on my list of favorite restaurants. For those of you in Kansas City, I would describe it as my personal Room 39 in New York, except it's not even remotely in my neighborhood, and therefore I will visit far less often than I did Ted Habiger's near-perfect establishment. Regardless, I can't wait to go back to try more of the menu...

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