Ever since I read Blood, Bones and Butter, I have wanted to do two things:
- Go back to work in a kitchen and maybe, just maybe after all, own and run a restaurant.
- Go to eat at Prune, the restaurant owned and run by the author.
Of the two, that second item was far more likely to happen, and I knew that if I ever made it into Manhattan, I would make a beeline for Prune. That day happened last week. I dropped my daughter off to dance class in the city and found myself with about four hours to kill.
And guess what? It was lunchtime. One look at the subway map and I realized I was at the stop for a train that would take me to within two blocks of Prune. It was kismet. A trip to Prune for lunch was meant to be.
So it's probably okay to admit to a little bit of hero worship now for Gabrielle Hamilton. She's done what--twenty five years ago (coff coff)--I thought I would do. She's opened this tiny little space in a funky neighborhood with food that is just spot on. It's comfortable. It is definitely cozy in the Manhattan meaning of cozy (tiny, that is)...and for me it was just right for the food.
Food like my lunch: a crisp, cold glass of rose on a hot hot day.
A "kerchief" of pasta covering a perfectly poached egg and a salty-sweet-tender slice of ham, lean and melting. The whole dish then "sauced" with brown butter, toatsty-crunchy pine nuts and generous shavings of parmesan.
For a side dish, I couldn't resist the peas with a bit of honeycomb melting on the top. Just because.
Then also just because? Dessert--mascarpone ice cream with salted caramel sauce and brioche croutons.
It was all fabulous and low key and great food and relaxed and comfortable. Gabrielle was there, and even though I wanted to gush I didn't...I thought maybe she would be too cool for a gushing fan, but I did exchange a few words with her, saying how awesome the pasta was and that anything with a poached egg is heaven in my book.
And that was it. I went back out into the heat, had a few photos in my camera and wished I lived in NYC again.