154 First Street (1/2 Ave), East Village
The downside of wanting to go to the brunch place of the moment is, of course, the looooong wait. The wait at Prune, with its 9 or 10 tables, was 90 minutes. But when it is expected, and you can go across the street for coffee or stroll the East Village, it’s really not as crazy as it sounds. One of the reasons for the ridiculous line is the amazing Bloody Mary menu. If you like your brunch drinks bloody, this is your place with 10 distinct choices ranging in ingredients from wasabi to beef bouillon. We tried the Classic, Green Lake, and Bloody Bull. They weren’t terribly strong, but they sure go down easy.
The brunch menu is really interesting with some different offerings. There is an oysters and sausage dish, a killer looking Monte Cristo, and a Spaghetti Carbonara. We tried the fresh soft ricotta under figs, raspberries and pine nuts with these fried dough triangles, that instantly reminded Spud of her Italian Grandma’s fried dough with ricotta – so totally authentic. It is a simple dish, done really well, that most places won’t serve. I had the Dutch Style Pancake which was one large pancake infused with pears cooked in the oven. It was soft and cakey in the center with a harder crust on the edges. A very tasty, comforting dish, that soaked up the drinks nicely.
So yeah, Prune is very good, and not just for brunch, from what I’ve read. I don’t know if it will always be the place of the moment, but the food and drinks are something more than just eggs and potatoes. Just know that the wait is long and the servers are really uninterested, so don’t go in with huge expectations, but after a few Bloddy’s, you’ll be happy here. No idea why it is called Prune though…