In the last two weeks I kind of fell in love with Prune again, after getting pretty tired of a lunch menu that refused to change. It seemed lazy, especially with so much in the markets.The 'chef's special' salad was always the same old sopressata-thing. The potatoes 'this way or that' were always that way. So I stopped going. But with my mom in town, and Prune just over the road from work, it was an ideal place to meet for lunch if I was working, so off we went. She loved it.
It was good to sit in the little, bright, light-filled room again, and to see...new things on the menu! And even new from week to week, as it should be, apparently because Gabrielle Hamilton had decided to celebrate ten years of Prune with homage paid to old favourites. Yay.
The crab claws above do appear in season, but I'd never ordered them, as, at $15, they're over my lunch appetizer budget (hey, what am I thinking? I don't have a lunch appetizer budget!) ...but with my mom in town...heheheheh. Quite delicious, dipped into melted butter with a squirt of Tabasco. We were also given 4 or 5 claws as a pre-appetizer little present, to start. This (possibly calculated, who cares) generosity is what sets lovely apart from ordinary.
Then, this New Thing. Inspired by James Beard, it said: his onion sandwich with chicken liver. I loved the presentation. A fairly hefty triple decker tea sandwich, crusts off, on wonderbread (I'm guessing), so that the heft is all air and food additives, with one mayonnaise-rich side dipped in chopped parsley, and the inside mayonnaise and onion. The chicken livers are dipped in flour, I think and fried, so the outside was crisp, and the inside just pink. Small onion slivers in more - totally redundant - mayonnaise on the side. Brilliant. Then, I love onion. Thin red onion slices on cold-buttered bread, salt, yum, and very good for you.
The espresso here is good. And when your check arrives it does so with a piece of house-made candied ginger for every person. And the ginger is delicious. Reminds me that I want to make some for Christmas presents.
So, a place I recommend highly to locals and visitors for lunch. Dinner is fine, too, just packed, and with a different, and pricier menu (up to $33 for a main course). Brunch is a zoo. The lunch prices are really reasonable, nothing over the $15 crab claws, and you're sitting in that pretty room, with a lovely little bar, on a quiet street, eating distinctive food to which someone has given some thought.