Prune  lunch Mon-Fri; dinner Mon-Sun   212-677-6221

This tiny spot in New York’s East village is imaginative, bright, and full of beautiful food ideas.  Chef Gabrielle Hamilton has a unique way to make you feel right at home when you walk through the door to her restaurant.   Prune is comfort food with sophistication and an assiduous genius in the kitchen.  I didn’t have a lot of time so I decided to try a few smaller menu items, something quick and delicious.  I started out with fried chickpeas accompanied by a small bowl for dipping.  Reminiscing about this creative delight makes me salivate.  Simple, pleasurable flavours finish with a hint of smoke.     Radishes with sweet butter and kosher salt, I had to try.  This dish is old school French.  If you grew up in a small village in France, chances are you’ve had this before.  The butter must be fresh to really make this dish come together.  It’s all about the sharp bite of the radish being calmed by the smoothness of the butter, and kissed by the salt – goodnight.  Roasted Marrow Bones served with grilled pieces of bread, sea salt, and a salad of parsley, shallots, capers, and cornichons (small pickles). The crisp bitterness of the salad balanced the buttery marrow making perfect harmony in my mouth.

Prunes’ spirited cocktail list has something for everyone.  Sweet and savory drinks are served with garnishes served a la carte.  Prune even makes house-made gin Caesars.  Clam juice is added to tomato juice, and garnished with a pickled egg; it’s almost a meal in itself. Great wines live in Prunes’ cellar with many half-bottle choices.

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