The Wild Blue Yonder
Departing Toronto and flying to NY on Thursday, we arrived just in time for all the trees to bloom.
East Village in Bloom
Once set-up in our apartment on St. Marks Place we ran to grab some lunch around the corner at Momofuku Ssam Bar.
We really did run as it was almost 3pm and they close until dinner at 3:30. Tad had had their buns of deliciousness before so he craved reunion while I was happy to finally be introduced.
Better than a circle of friends.
My picture cannot really convey the deliciousness which caused me to eat one pork bun too many when I was already bursting. But the eyes would not back down and I shovelled the last one in feeling equally satisfied and slightly queasy at the same time. In hindsight, an hour later, I have no regrets.
We had two steamed pork buns each and a pulled duck bun. The duck bun was lined with smoked mayo and sauerkraut and the pork was accented by cucumber, scallions and hoisin sauce. The bun was soft like newborn Wonderbread, crust removed. Fresh, tender, sweet, salty flavours.
As I perused the drink list and I noticed a Riesling from Tawse Winery. I said to the server, “Oh how nice, I’m from Toronto so happy to see a Canadian wine on the menu” and she replied, “Yes, wine making is getting popular in Canada.”
Why yes- yes, it is!!!
After some R&R at our apartment we wandered out again before dinner. It as a gorgeous night.
The Cooper Union Building
We wandered around and I went into a couple little boutiques where jeans came in waist sizes for women from 23-28 (well, ok, it was the sales table but they were all beautifully laid out and not a bigger size in sight). We headed to Prune for dinner at 7:30.
Prune (NYTs review) has been in the East Village since 1999 and is at 54 East 1st Street. Chef Gabriella Hamilton won the 2011 James Beard Foundation Best NY Chef Award and has recently written a biography called Blood, Bones and Butter (excerpt here from Bon Appetit magazine).
The pictures below were necessary but taken under duress as the place only seats 30, and it’s elbow to elbow. Obnoxious food blogger iphone antics seemed out of place and I was extremely self-conscious. Tad twisted my arm. Lighting sucks but “picture it” all in better light. And btw, I don’t think you come here without ordering the bone marrow.
Roasted marrow bones, parsley salad (with capers) and sea salt on the side. Served with grilled bread. The sum of the parts –the fatty, rich, mouth-coating marrow with the sea salt cleansed with the bright, fresh flavours of the parsley salad was luscious. You really are temped to stick your tongue into the bones (once the little spoon renders itself useless) to dig as deep into the crevice as your would like.
Our mains--see the clams and pork in the back?
The mains were also lovely. I had Arctic Char (with the crispest, sweet skin I’ve ever tasted) on a lemon rice which was like a light risotto mixed with fresh peas. Tad had pork shoulder with Littleneck clams in a broth filled with kale and white beans. The tender, delicate pork was sitting in the broth surrounded by the sweet, tender clams.
Not too sweet, a little espresso bitterness in the chocolate. Perfect conclusion!
Dessert was a chocolate semifreddo (an Italian chilled dessert usually softer than typical ice cream) on slightly sweetened whipped cream and I think it had little caramel bits around it (we’d finished a bottle of wine and a negroni at this point).
So excuse my bad photos, tomorrow I hunt for cheese. Til then….