During my second day in New York, I had made a dinner reservation for a restaurant called Prune. I had been looking forward to this meal specifically because I had read the book “Blood, Bones, and Butter” by Gabrielle Hamilton who is the owner of Prune.
First off, I loved the restaurant. It was a tiny place that seated maybe 30 people total plus the bar, you could see into the kitchen, and there was quite a bit of pink. I was later told that pink was kind of the uniform of the restaurant, which was awesome because even if you didn’t know that the owner had a thing for pink, it just worked. The front of the restaurant was all windows with the door in the middle entering straight into the dining room. Overall, it had a great ambiance.
As a little starter dish, we were given a small bowl of fried chickpeas and salt. A tasty little snack before diving into the meal.
I started off with three appetizers:
1. Cold Smoked Oysters
2. Canned, boneless, sardines with mustard and cornichons
3. Fried cheese with a caper-shallot dressing
These three appetizers were very quaint, but tasty. The oysters were Bluepoints and are native to the New York area. Being an east coast oyster, they should be briny, however bluepoints tend to carry a much milder flavor. These were served with mustard seed and a vinaigrette, and chives to garnish. I thought what was paired with these oysters was a good choice due to the mildness of the oyster, that being said, the oyster was not completely overpowered.
The canned, boneless sardines were a nice bar snack. Nothing to go wild over. I will say that it fit the mood and style of the restaurant. I’m also a sucker for sardines and cornichons.
The fried cheese was another bar snack and was kind of an upgraded mozzarella stick, which isn’t supposed to be insulting, because it was tasty, just not something to jump at. My conclusion on the bar snacks is that they are just that, snacks. If you want something with a little more “wow” factor, stick to the main menu.
Following the bar snacks, we ordered one more appetizer and our entrees.
1. Hen of the Woods mushrooms on garlic bread
2. Swordfish steak with fresh date agrodolce
3. Spatchcocked whole chicken with sauce charmoula
The fourth appetizer was my favorite amongst all the food we ordered (excluding desserts). There were several large bunches of Hen of the Woods mushrooms on top of a delicious, thick piece of garlic bread. Hen of the Woods are some of my favorite mushrooms, and that is saying something cause I can be stingy about mushrooms. They were cooked perfectly, still retaining plenty of moisture in them and I got a nice, yet mild flavor from them. Paired with the bread I was tempted to get a second order.
Now, I am going to come off a little posh here, so excuse me. I have a great uncle that has a house on Martha’s Vineyard, and I have been lucky enough to spend time there growing up. Swordfish for me, is swordfish that has been harpooned off the coast, coming fresh from Menemsha Harbor, and thick as steaks. I was a little hesitant to order anywhere else, but here it sounded great and I can say I wasn’t totally disappointed. The zucchini topping with the sauce was quite good, but the steak itself was a little thin. It did have the great “melt in your mouth” quality that I am used to, so I did enjoy it. It was a very light entree, so if you want something a little heartier, I would go with the the chicken.
The Spatchcocked chicken was very well done. A whole chicken with a nice sauce and no sides. It was moist, and the chicken picked up the flavor from the sauce quite nicely. There really is not much else to say about it other than I found it to be my favorite between the two entrees.
Following the entrees, I could not resist my need for dessert. I will be the first to admit, three desserts might be a little excessive, but they were oh so tasty.
1. Candied sour cherry-chocolate ganache tart
2. Toasted almond meringue with macerated red plums, rhubarb, and raspberries
3. White Creme de Menthe Parfait
Starting with the tart. I thought the tart itself was good. I was pleased that it was not some huge, or thick cut piece of chocolate cake that I have come to be fearful of when ever I see chocolate anything on a restaurants dessert menu. It was actually a tart. That being said, I thought the cherries were a tad bit over powering.
The almond meringue was by far my favorite. The meringue was thin, had a nice crunch, and was not presented in a peak, which for some reason grates on my nerves. I guess it wasn’t trying to be anything else, it was just meringue. The cream and fruit, a classic pairing, was delicious. What really struck me about this dessert though was the rhubarb. I couldn’t tell if it was pickled, or just slightly cooked so it retained a celery like texture with a very tart taste. It was a new flavor for me that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Last but not least, there was the Creme de Menthe Parfait. What an interesting little dessert. The parfait was not too sweet, and the creme de menthe was at the cusp of being too much, but was held at bay by the cream of the parfait. Topped with a raspberry, the appearance was pleasing to the eye and the flavor was quite a treat.
In the end, I found Prune to be a nice experience. If you are looking for a nice night out, with great atmosphere, and tasty treats, its and ideal place to go. The food is not going to throw you threw a loop or anything, but it will certainly send you home happy. I also very much enjoyed the staff. They were kind, willing to answer your questions, and conversational as well!