Prune is a highly acclaimed sliver of a restaurant that by seven o’clock will have you perched on top of your dining neighbors. On the plus side, this lets you take a close peek at what they’re eating (bone marrow to my left, burgers to my right) and for all the close quarters, an open front, which was taken full advantage of on Friday’s moment of seasonal sunshine, keeps the space airy and comfortable.
Prune, just like the small block it sits on above Houston is unassuming. The all female staff is friendly but slightly aloof and the food is very simply presented. We started with some cocktails served in nice big glasses (that I want for myself). I tried the Fresca, being on a bit of a grapefruit kick lately. It was a refreshing blend that also included vodka, mint and sugar. Jim went with the spiked lemonade that by the end of the glass was too spicy for him to finish (not wanting it to go to waste, of course, I drank the rest).
While sipping our refreshments, and nibbling on fried chick peas we began to pour over the menu. With so many alluring options there, we finally, after much deliberation, decided on the veal hearts to share. The meat strips were tender and tasty with a creamy salsa verde so good Jim and I were nearly fighting over the lettuce salad accompaniment (Jim doesn’t fight me for greens often).
For dinner, I opted for the sea bass special with some of the most scrumptious ingredients to my ears: cockles, sliced razor clam, chorizo and a saffron broth. It was delicious. Though Jim’s lamb was also tasty, the cut only offered a few bites of meat on the bone, which was disappointing.
We split a side of asparagus with spring greens. Chef Gabrielle Hamilton has a way with enticing flavors, each dish excelled in that aspect including dessert, a ricotta ice cream with salt caramel croutons, which for obvious reasons, we simply could not turn down. The two elements were just OK when eaten on their own, but the combination was dreamy.
I have heard praise (as well as some less impressed incounters) with their popular brunch, which most people wait in long queues for, and based on the dinner experience we had, I think I’d like to try it some day. After all who can say no to a huge, long list of bloody mary options?