Okay, so I caved in and made it to Prune Monday night, flying in the face of other wonderful recs.
I am started off with some boiled, spiced peanuts, new to me, addictive, drippy things. The shells are tough and messy and I decide that discretion is the better part of manicure and bite into one to move things along. This is unwise. The juice splatters me and I look like I have taken up chewing tobacco. These things are salty and peppery and other-spicy tasty.
Monkfish liver is a wonderful thing. Big. In broad strokes it is a cross between uni and shad roe, but that is a rough sketch. It is its own beast. It is delicate and rich, and it does not suffer from being served with buttered toast. It has taken me nearly a year to run it to ground, but I have finally scored!
The fish of the day is branzino, tempting, but I am of no mind to fuss with bones. I see a man doing real hands' on work with a great-looking steak (jeez, he makes that look good!) and I have a momentary lust, but choose the stewed chicken. The dish sounds mundane, but in the hands of a kitchen that knows what it is doing, it is impressive. I do struggle with the fact that it is served with liver dumplings, but decide that there is certain symmetry here and move forward. I get all hung up on the leeks, delicious green things, and the chicken is perfect in an aromatic broth. Why can't I make something that tastes like this? I like the dumplings, but they fade on me mid-way with the tautology of things liver. My fault, that.
This place is a little gem, albeit a gem with a Simon and Garfunkel kinda vibe. No dessert for me, places to go, things to do.
Off topic, I find my way to the 11th Street Bar which is a good place to be. I was recently forced to revisit a thread on "dive bars," and this does not qualify (in my limited experience, and I mean that) as such. I was able to get a generous and not-revolting glass of pino grigio for a not-revolting price and sit and listen to poetry reading and to music without being gagged by cigarette smoke; really a treat. I eschew poetry generally, but I have become a latter-day groupie of a particular poet, and where he goes I go. It is a good bar and a good evening.
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