Prune, New York

I’ve been told, get there early to avoid the morning crowd. So there I was, at 9:40am, lining up outside the not yet open restaurant with a dozen habitués at about 30ºF. More like 20º, if you ask me. As we curled in the freezing morning wind, passersby looked curious as to why we were lining up anxiously in front of the small restaurant. One said, “This place must be amazing”, other just put “Retards”. It was all worth it.

At 10am sharp, a well-groomed waiter walked out the door holding an aluminum clipboard. He stepped away from the line and announced out loud:

– “We are about to open the door, if your group is all here, we will sit you. In the order you arrived. If you're not all here, you will wait until all arrive.”.

I turned quickly to my side to make sure my friend had not gone anywhere. I looked inside and although the dining room had only a few tables, per my count, we were in. I was ready. I felt like a groupie about to get backstage.

The menu

Prune’s menu is delicious to look at. The kind that you find yourself wanting to come back again and again just to try different things, even before you actually order for the first time. A mix of inventive brunch dishes and confident classics that sound as good as they taste. The bloody marry seemed to be a popular choice as most tables were prompt to order it. I went with coffee and Prune juice, a house made blend.

The meal

The simple things can tell you how good a restaurant is. I ordered the Soft Scrambled Eggs with Potato Rosti. It was perfect. The eggs were moist and perfectly seasoned. Like they should be but most often are not. The potato rosti was crisp on the outside and creamy inside. I would have been happy stopping there. But no, I had to try something else. Something that completely made me understand the line outside that by now looked to be in the one-to-two-hour wait zone.

They came on a white plate, over brown paper. Warm, dusted with confectioner’s sugar and an irresistible smell that would end any carb diet. They were Merveilles. Little scone-shaped pastries deep-fried like a doughnut. Probably one of the best things I ever ate. Buttery yet surprisingly light. So good in fact I devoured every one of them, and left wanting one more.

In short

Prune is the kind of place that makes me want to keep it selfishly secret so the line won’t get any longer. I don’t usually like to wait for a table, but this is absolutely worth it, come rain or shine. The place is charming, service is prompt and the food is simply delightful.
You can try for yourself. But don’t tell anyone about it.


Manger La Ville said...

I have been wanting to go to Prune, but honestly those eggs sound way too much like I could make them. That's the difficulty with brunch. Don't you ever just think...I could make them. I mean those merveilles sound incredible but for that type of wait. I am not sure...I might just head to donut plant in the city and go home and make some eggs.

mk said...

The eggs are simple, but the reviewer is right - you look at that menu and want to come back for everything.

One thing Prune does right, besides the eggs, is the "other" parts - sausages, trotters, rilettes, terrines, sweetbreads. If you want to explore the more adventurous side fo the menu.

My gf and I love it because we eat so different. She can order sans meat and remain giddy about the food while I clog on Canadian bacon and hollandaise.

The bloodys are fantastic and the menu is deep - each concoction distinguished by it own generous skewer of house pickled garnishes.