Sunday, February 20, 2005

My Fingers Are All PRUNE-y

I love brunch. For me it conjures up images of getting up late, wearing jeans, drinking mimosas and reading the Sunday NEW YORK TIMES. Brunch is comfort personified. This past week has been rough for me. Work has been grueling and I've been sick. But I saw this brunch as a way of rewarding me for this past week and setting the tone for the upcoming one. My brunch companions today were Molly, my restaurant colleague Demian and his girlfriend Jamie. A faux double date if you will.

I got to PRUNE almost an hour before we were to meet up because the restaurant doesn’t take reservations and there’s always an absurd line to get in. Today was no different. The wait for the four of us ended up being about an hour and a half (but I was the only one to wait the entire time). Most people would not wait that long for a table and I normally wouldn’t either, but it’s PRUNE brunch. If there’s a better Spaghetti Carbonara on the planet I haven’t come across it. (Carbonara is an Italian dish that features spaghetti, egg, Parmesan cheese, lardons of bacon and black pepper…a true Carbonara has no cream.) Simple. I dream about this dish.

Let me take a moment to mention that PRUNE has a Bloody Mary menu. They feature 12 or so variations of the tomato based drink. Each is accompanied by a chaser of Red Stripe beer. I had the Bloody Bull (made with beef bouillon and the perfect compliment to the Carbonara). Demian had the Mariner which is made with gin and clam juice. The Classic preparation was Jamie’s preference (although she asked for a splash of clam juice) while Molly went against the grain and chose the always welcome Mimosa.

Demian, Jamie and I also had Peet’s Coffee (my favorite coffee purveyor). And then later Molly and I had hot chocolate which is garnished with a homemade peppermint marshmallow. Oh and we all drank Panna water. Needless to say there was a lot of liquid on the table.

Brunch was a smashing success. Conversation was light and witty, filled with moments of small talk and thoughtful pauses. Brunch talk. Jamie is a delightful young woman with a slight Southern lilt. Demian, my co-worker and rock star buddy, was funny and charming. They make for a wonderful couple. (Demian so pleased with everything he gave the host Beret a hug. She was startled but gracious. Also as chef/owner Gabrielle Hamilton brought us our dessert Demian blurted out, “This is the best brunch I’ve ever had!" Jamie added, "And this is our first time!” Without missing a beat, Chef Hamilton responded, "First time having brunch!")

Post-brunch all three of them accompanied me to Crate and Barrel to help me select plates and glassware. I had never been to Crate and Barrel, but it’s a daunting experience. There is so much selection at reasonable prices that it’s difficult to make a choice. But with their help I chose some great stuff and now officially have plates. So get off my back J!


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