Ate brunch there for the second, and last, time today with my gf. While the food is pretty good, the service is...weird, and rude.
How many other restaurants, no matter how small or busy, refuse to take your order until they feel the kitchen can handle it ("We have a small kitchen, and we have to pace our orders," is what we were told)? Personally, I find this incredibly annoying: why not just take our order, take the menus so they're not cluttering up the table, and have the kitchen put the ticket in line and get to it in the order it's put in, LIKE THEY DO AT EVERY OTHER RESTAURANT IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE? Is it so necessary to re-invent the wheel at this point in history?
We were going to order a pair of biscuits to start, but we heard the server tell the table next to our that they were out, with the additional admonition that it was late, and they should have come earlier. Nice.
When it was finally determined that it was OK for us to order, I was looking forward to getting the chilaquiles, but was told that they were out. My gf let out a disappointed "ah, you're kidding me!" This apparently rubbed our server's fur the wrong way, and now it was our turn to be chastised for being late (it was about 3pm; they stop serving brunch at 4). I asked what else they were out of, not, IMO, an outrageous request, and one that would have been unnecessary with a more competent server, who would've *started out* by telling us what they didn't have. I should not have asked this terrible question! For it made our server angry! We knew this because, after asking, he paused, inhaled deeply and said, "I'm feeling very angry right now." He promptly left to give me another five minutes to decide what I wanted. Because he couldn't wait thirty seconds, I guess. When he returned, I ordered the eggs benedict with face bacon, which turned out to be pretty durned good, as was all of the food we had. It's a good thing that everything was OK, because not once during the meal did he ask how everything was, which, I believe, is SOP for every waitperson everywhere else in the world.
The first time we went there for brunch, a few months back, we had to wait to order as well; we chalked it up as an annoying quirk. But at that meal, there was another indicator that this joint is run in a weird way: they didn't have half-and-half for coffee, which would've been fine, except for the fact that they'd only give us one tiny pitcher of milk at a time, which was not enough for both of our coffees. We kept having to ask for more milk. It was ridiculous.
First world problems, I know, but we eat out often, at plenty of good places, and are never given such weird frickin' service. We'll stick with Prune from now on, which, despite its tiny kitchen and high-volume brunch, will take our order when we're ready to give it, and has outstanding service in general.
45 East 1st Street, New York, NY 10003