We’re guessing that what you know about Prune probably has something to do with brunch. It also probably has something to do with waiting for brunch, because that’s what you’re going to do here. Standing outside of Prune for 45 minutes is as much a part of the experience of having a bloody mary and eggs benedict inside of it. But you probably also know that it’s going to be worth it, because this restaurant is what every other restaurant is trying to emulate when it comes to brunch. Not many do it better.
What you might not know is that Prune has a reputation that reaches far beyond the East Village. Back in our music business days, we used to hear the term, “artist’s artist” a lot, in reference to a musician who has the respect and admiration of other musicians, but is relatively unknown to the general public. Sort of like how that guy Paul McCartney influenced Kanye West. Prune’s chef and owner, Gabrielle Hamilton, is an artist’s artist. Or, I suppose more accurately, a chef’s chef. People in the restaurant industry hold both her and Prune in high regard, even though it’s probably not the first place that your mom has on her Hit List when she’s visiting for the weekend.
I bring that up because what you also might not know is that Prune is just as good for dinner as it is for the meal that it’s more popularly known for. At night this place is more of an American version of a tiny French bistro, and it has largely made its name on serving creative and interesting dishes that you won’t recognize from every other menu around town, but that you will absolutely want to eat. Like blistered squid with fresh made pork sausage. Or a giant roasted veal breast with potatoes. It’s as perfect a spot for Date Night or Dinner With The Parents as it is for Brunch, and we’ve even been known to hit it solo for a meal at the bar on a Sunday night.
Regardless of the time of day, we’ve never loved how cramped this restaurant is - they tend to pack as many people into their 200 square feet of space as humanly possible. But we’ve also never not loved a meal here. That’s probably why people keep showing up after 15 years in business. Having a reputation helps. But having really good food helps more.
A triple-decker brunch sandwich of ham, turkey, and swiss cheese that’s battered, deep fried, and served with fried eggs and jelly. It’s worth the hefty price tag, the long wait, and the food hangover you’re going to have after inhaling it.
Spaghetti A La Carbonara
If you eat spaghetti carbonara for brunch, you’re officially on Team Infatuation. We eat our eggs IN the pasta. Order it.
Classic Eggs Benedict
Exactly what you want from a plate of brunch. The eggs are perfect, the hollandaise sauce is flavorful and light, and the potatoes rosti are bomb. There’s really no way to go wrong here.
Roasted Breast Of Veal
Yeah, that massive thing is a piece of veal. And it’s delicious. It’s more like eating a steak or a giant pork rib than what you’re used to when you order a dainty piece of baby cow, but it’s tender and flavorful and all the other good things you want.
Black Rice With Duck Meat, Scarlet Turnips & Watercress
Basically this is a rich American’s version of fried rice. Celebrate it.
Blistered Squid With Fresh Pork Sausage & Smoked White Beans
An interesting combination of things - squid, pork, smoked beans - but they all work together well. On a cold day, this is tough to beat.
Whole Grilled Fish
Always a solid order, as long as you’re down to go the simple route.