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A Worthwhile Sunday Brunch at Prune

January 16, 2012

How long are you willing to wait for a good brunch?  I used to think that no brunch is worth a 20 minute wait, at most 30 minutes max. If you think like me, a trip to Prune in East Village might just change your mind.  I knew the wait was going to be long at Prune, a popular and small restaurant, known for its lines at brunch time.  Nonetheless, I almost bulked upon hearing that the wait for 2 on brutally windy and bitterly cold Sunday at 11AM was 45 minutes.

Good thing that right next door is a cozy and, most importantly, warm cafe.  The majority of the wait was spent chatting over a cup of hot latte in a sun drenched storefront.  Even though the cafe might seem like a great place to linger, I made sure not to forget to check in and bother the hostess quite a few times to make sure that we weren’t passed over for the ever growing line outside.

Finally, our table was ready.  The two seater was squeezed right next to the kitchen with only a hand span of space between us and the next table.  There was really no way to hide the fact that I was peering over at our neighbor’s table to see what they are enjoying.  So we took a cue and started off with an order of merveilles.

And what are merveilles?  These are, simply put, amazingly light fried scone bites dusted generously with powdered sugar.  They are flavored with orange zest which brought great bright citrus notes.   I was perfectly content with a merveille in one hand and a  piping hot cup of coffee in another.

The brunch menu at Prune has all the classics such as steak and egg and eggs Benedict.  What attracted me was the more unusual items, like this spicy stewed chickpeas with butter crumbed eggs with preserved lemons and olives.  This bowl of creamy cumin spiced chickpeas, salty cured black olives,  unsuspectingly crunchy eggs and stewed tomatoes was just what you want on a bitter cold day.  I felt myself warming up with each bite.

And just to round out the meal, I ordered a side of grilled lamb sausage.  This pinwheel of sausage was unmistakenly lamb but the game taste was definitely toned down with herbs.

While I usually would normally dissuade one from waiting anything more than 30 minutes for brunch, dare I say that the brunch at Prune was worth every minute of the wait.  I am all ready to go back, braving the line as well as the shockingly lack of personal space, for a seat in this tiny restaurant on 1st and 1st to work my way through all the amazing looking dishes I have yet to try.

Prune | 54 East 1st Street, New York, NY 10003 |

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