Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Late summer supper.

A few weeks ago, my friends Nick and Louisa were in town, which always means I'm in for a few good meals. Even though they've swapped the wilds of rural Ohio for the wonders of Austin, they're still aiming to get a serious New York food fix whenever they visit. Their first night here, we met our friends Liz and Carrie for dinner at Prune, Gabrielle Hamilton's perennial neighborhood favorite, best known for its insanely delicious (and popular) brunch. 

I ordered a Junipero Gibson (a gin martini garnished with housemade pickled onions) and nibbled on fried chickpeas while I waited for the others to arrive. (They were coming from pre-dinner drinks at Ten Bells; I was trekking in from having my hair done by the lovely Holly in SoHo.) The cocktail was perfectly cool and crisp, and kept me company all through dinner (and for a while afterward, to tell the truth).

 I started with a special kale salad, which went so fast and was so delicious that I forgot to snap its photo.The kale was shredded and dressed with crumbly cheese, garlic and lots and lots of olive oil. I've had many kale salads, but this one was something special. My main was the grilled steak with a tomato and onion salad. The steak was perfectly cooked to medium rare, and the rings of red onion were just crunchy and spicy enough to set off the sweat, meaty tomatoes. A bit of bleu cheese butter rounded things out, and reminded me of one of the things I love about Prune: the food is exuberant, but not overdone. They know that all you need is a touch of cheese in each bite, not an overwhelming heap of it on the plate.

In another nod to disappearing summer, we ordered a side of peas for the table. They arrived, beautifully green, perfectly cooked (English peas, snow peas and - my favorite - sugar snaps), spiked with horseradish and topped with honeycomb. The horseradish accentuated the peas' natural vegetal bite, while the honey upped their sweetness. Peas, amplified.

Finally, dessert. We went a bit over the top here, ordering three different ones to try. A rhubarb bourbon bread pudding, a summer pudding with whipped cream, and a pound cake with fruit syrup. All three were wonderful (and the blazing color of the summer pudding outshone the rest), but the bread pudding was my very favorite. The perfect end to a late summer feast. Next time, squash and brussels sprouts will replace tomatoes and peas, and nothing will be quite the same.

Now there's an excuse to go back if ever there was one, right?

1 comment:

The Curmudgeon said...

I always read descriptions of your meals out and get jealous - and finally, my elbow has starred in one of your shots. Life = complete. :)

Let's do some more of those meals!!

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