Gabrielle Hamilton—owner of Prune in Manhattan, author of the new memoir Blood, Bones & Butter, and general badass if that memoir is to be believed—has fans both at CHOW HQ and on the Chowhound boards, where her bone marrow entrée inspires threads with triple exclamation points.
Today’s New York Diet on Grub Street illuminates Hamilton’s eating life, painting her as a true hound: She walks through Chinatown, spies a good-looking duck hanging in a shop window, and walks inside to inquire, "Can I please have five bucks’ worth of that duck?"
The duck was for dinner the night before she took off for her book tour—an uncharacteristically civilized week of sit-down meals with silverware. She’s a working mom, with two kids aged 4 and 6, and it might be a comfort to other working moms that she, too, can only get her kids to eat pasta with cheese and butter, although it sounds much more impressive in Italian: pasta al burro e parmigiano.
Reading the piece reminded us to go try her famous toasted manti—Turkish dumplings made with lamb and served with yogurt. Not only are they given several pages in the memoir, but they’d sold out when last we went by Prune for lunch. When we called just before hopping on the F train, however, we were advised that they would be off the menu “for a while.” Hmm. Perhaps we weren’t the only ones moved by the description of Hamilton learning the craft of manti from a mentor, and the boss grew tired of serving them to sentimental New Yorkers.
Prune is still a brunch favorite—just try to get a table!—and is packed at dinner, so we suggest getting a reservation if you plan to go. It crops up again and again on the boards, most recently in a "Picky mom visiting; help!" thread. We advise said daughter to buck up and order a Negroni. According to Hamilton, it’s a "nerve tonic." Noted, chef.
Prune [East Village]
54 East First Street, Manhattan