i live in the east village and took note when prune opened 18 odd months ago. after numerous attempts to try it out without booking a lifetime in advance, i finally made it two weeks ago. myself a fellow industry pal and a pair of microsoft millionares eating their way thru nyc dropped in for a late supper.
we were ignored and mistreated from start to finish. our question about an obscure italian varietal was met with the feeling that we had screwed up our waitress' rhythm at best and pissed her off at worst. in the tiny room we could not even get the bill transction done without virtually unfurling a orange flag to get someones attention. i ended up walking the bill to the manager/hostess who looked as though she had no idea what to do with it, or was insulted that i had brought her into this loop. all this was nothing compared to enduring waiting 15 minutes to have our table cleared after we were all visably finished. all in their jewelbox sized room. you would think someone would have been there to pick up the dropped balls.
the food was quite underwhelming, with a couple of signature dishes falling well below that. the pasta with ham and soft egg arrived with eggs that were very cooked thru, when we finally got the attention of a employee (not our server who was mia) she reacted with almost a blank stare when asked if this was the way the dish was intended to be. the pork cooked in milk, which sounded so delicious in the chef's nytimes column a week earlier arrived with its sauce broken into a puddle of grease and floating milk solids. this was the case for both diners who ordered it. shouldn't someone in the kitchen have caught that? or, if the sauce was broken for the night pull the item from the menu? or, just re-emusify it? props to the marrow bones, but that's it.
all in all a sucky food experience filled with very indifferent, inattentive service, which we tipped accordingly for after a long inter-table dispute. it featured one food professional arguing for a 10 - 15% tip out of respect and the microsoftee, who normally tips 20 - 25%, demanding nothing over 10% for the mistreatment.
in our overall assesment, we were pretty sure the -a- kitchen team was not on site. while that doesn't excuse the service, it will allow me to try prune out again, because as far as i am concerned life is all about the food, and lots of folk do like the food.