My first official meal when I returned to New York last week was brunch at Prune in the East Village. (The first unofficial meal was Chinese food I ordered, half-delirious, the Saturday night of my return. I had major jetlag.) I’d been hearing all about Prune from lots of brunch-happy people (and, also, dinner happy people who’ve had great meals there) and I wanted to thank Lisa for taking over my blog. So off to Prune we went.
The rumor was that Prune’s brunch wait was crazy long but I didn’t find it too bad. I got there around 11 (maybe that’s why?) put our name down and by the time Lisa arrived at 11:30 our table was ready. The crowd waiting outside was mostly young–(according to New York magazine, it’s a “hipster” crowd. Does that make me a hipster?).
Once inside, we studied the brunch drink menu. Prune’s famous for a huge Bloody Mary menu and Lisa, a fan of Bloody Marys chose a Southwestern one with spicy tabasco in it and other southwesterly ingredients. Surprisingly (well not such a surprise to me because I read that they do this) they served it with a beer chaser. Here’s Lisa holding up her boozy liquid lunch:
And while her Bloody Mary was quite tasty it was a bit too strong for her so she didn’t finish it. I ordered a more delicate mimosa. That didn’t come with a beer chaser so I held up my side of Canadian bacon:
That’s the second time you’ve seen me in that shirt! (The first time with the chef in Monaco.) I swear, though, I have other clothes! (Does wearing a Lance Armstrong bracelet make me a hipster? Or does it mean I support cancer research? These things are perplexing.)
Now for the food. I’ve never been a big pancake fan but Prunce converted me with this gigunda, oven-baked blueberry monster covered with sour cream and powdered sugar and fresh blueberries.
I loved this pancake. It’s big and crunchy on the outside edges but tender in the middle. The syrup, of course, ties it all together and though Lisa and I were sharing I wound up eating half of her half of the pancake too.
Her dish was ricotta raspberries and figs and pine nuts and honey with a side of fried scones:
Tell me that’s not a beautiful presentation, I dare you! Everything was fresh and tasty—I loved those fried scones; kind of like the secret love child of a donut and a scone—and the fruit and honey all worked very well with the ricotta. One complaint, though, once you eat all the fruit and honey the bottom layer of ricotta is a bit bland. I suppose that’s not really a complaint since we eaters are responsible for distribution of fruit, honey and ricotta.
The check came (complete with licorice dog and coin) and it was quite reasonable for all the delicious food we ate.
Compared to Norma’s at the Parker Meridan (frequently declared the best breakfast in New York) this brunch was a steal. And in my opinion it was simpler and in its simplicty better. Plus the room is very bright and the staff is so fun and warm-spirited. (The hostess is a hoot.) So check out Prune sometime. You’ll love it.