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Prune, Sunday Brunch... how long is the wait? And other questions

lynnlato Mar 23, 2009 12:27 PM

I know they open at 10 am and ideally we'd like to be seated that early (I have a flight to catch at 2pm from LaGuardia). What time should we get to the resto?

Another question... We are interested in treating ourselves to some bone marrow and we're going back and forth between Blue Ribbon and Landmarc (Tribeca Loc.). Which is better? I heard that Landmarc has great deals on wine too.

Also, we want to go to Momofuku, and originally wanted to do the Noodle bar again (visited on a previous trip), but I've heard good things about Ssam and now I can't make up my mind. Your thoughts/preferences?

Some other places we're considering:

Otto's - lunch (I'm not excited about this one)
Casa Mono - dinner
Hudson Hotel - drinks
bOb Bar - drinks
PDT - drinks

This is a girl's weekend. We want to keep it casual. We'r e open to just about anything... but are interested in offal, in particular(well, I am anyway).

Thanks, in advance, Chowhounds!

  1. MMRuth Mar 23, 2009 12:31 PM

    If you've been to Noodle bar (which I've not been to), I'd suggest going to Ssam, which I love. Casa Mono is a favorite of mine. I'd rather go to Lupa than to Otto's. Sounds like you have a fun weekend planned.

    1. k
      kathryn Mar 23, 2009 12:51 PM

      I'd get in line no later than 9:45am. 9:30am is better if you don't want to chance it. Bring the paper. There's also a nice coffee shop nearby, Simon Sips, and a juice bar/takeout window, Juicy Lucy. However, note that Prune is rather small and cramped, if you plan on bringing your luggage with you.

      Never been to Landmarc but I've been to the Blue Ribbons a lot. Blue Ribbon Bakery and Blue Ribbon Brasserie both offer the bone marrow. I like the atmosphere at the Bakery during the day, and the atmosphere at the Brasserie at night. But both are great. Not sure which one you are considering....

      Otto will definitely be a good choice for lunch - pizza is pretty good, not great, but definitely get some of the pastas and salads, and whatever is a seasonal special.

      Casa Mono for dinner will be GREAT if you are an offal fan!

      And since you seem to share taste with me (Prune, Blue Ribbon, Otto, Casa Mono), I think you'll love Momofuku Ssam Bar and PDT.

      2 Replies
      1. re: kathryn
        MMRuth Mar 23, 2009 12:53 PM

        Also - the Blue Ribbon in Midtown also serves bone marrow - it's the only one I've tried, and I thought it was delicious.

        1. re: kathryn
          LeahBaila Mar 23, 2009 01:36 PM

          Agree with the time to get in line for Prune. I also echo the Ssam rec.
          What is bOb Bar?? Thanks.

          www.thelunchbelle.com

        2. k
          kim e Mar 23, 2009 01:44 PM

          I went to Prune at 1:00 pm and waited about an hour. I wouldn't think there'd be much of a wait at 10 am. Also, do you know about Clinton St Baking Co? It's at Houston and Clinton and has incredible breakfasts...probably one of the highest rated in the city. If you can get there early, it's worth it. Sorry, I'm not a fan of Prune.

          Momofuku Ssam is great. Better than the noodle bar and definitely more varied food.

          I was severely disappointed with Casa Mono. The dishes were so hit or miss and they definitely stray far from authentic tapas (I lived in Spain). Although not 100% authentic, both Las Ramblas and Tia Pol at least come closer to the mark for both authenticity and execution than Casa Mono (and are cheaper, too).

          I haven't been to Blue Ribbon or Landmarc, but generally people favor Blue Ribbon's food.

          1 Reply
          1. re: kim e
            MMRuth Mar 25, 2009 02:32 PM

            I've not been to Spain, but my sense as well is that the dishes are not authentic tapas. That said I've loved almost everything I've eaten there. I still need to try Las Ramblas and Tia Pol.

          2. lynnlato Mar 23, 2009 01:57 PM

            You guys ROCK. Thanks so much for the feedback.

            I don't know much about bOb Bar, but a friend that I will be traveling with suggested it. I understand it's not a "scene" kind of place... more casual, dance music, inexpensive drinks and it's on the lower east side (http://www.bobbarnyc.com/).

            Thanks again, 'hounds!

            1 Reply
            1. re: lynnlato
              k
              KTinNYC Mar 26, 2009 04:45 AM

              bOb is a LES mainstay. It's been there for years and it's tiny little bar not to be confused with it's twin the Sapphire Lounge down the street. They are both DJ centric bars where dancing is not unusual and they are both less apt to be filled with the crowd now associated with the neighborhood. Be warned the bar can get LOUD.

            2. s
              sugartoof Mar 25, 2009 11:00 PM

              Prune sounds like it would be cutting it close if you're supposed to be in the air at 2pm, honestly. Not to say you can't pull it off, but my advice would be to find a place open for breakfast and get an earlier start. Prune isn't remarkable compared to the breakfasts you see outside of NY, but it fills a gap for New Yorkers, and that's why it gets crowds.

              PDT is interesting, but make sure you have reservations because they always have a host who is way too into their clip board sitting at the door. I think Pegu Loung, and Death & Co. are better mixers.

              Hudson Hotel - The library rooms are nice and there's private seating in the hallway areas, which are relaxed, but the main room with the light up dance floor is to be avoided unless you're a huge fan of $18 drinks (no, really), and watching Sex and the City come to life before your eyes. If you want to sit down on anything but the log (yes, I said a log) you'll have to pay hundreds for bottle service. It's a good place for girls to go for attention, but be very, very careful in there. It attracts a den of sleazeballs.

              5 Replies
              1. re: sugartoof
                lynnlato Mar 26, 2009 04:19 AM

                Ooooh, thanks for the info. The only reason we were considering Hudson Hotel was b/c it is a sister hotel to The Delano in South Beach and we fell in love w/ that place a few years ago. The scene you described, however, sounds like a deal breaker.

                I heard about the need for a resv at PDT - you made me chuckle w/ the clipboard comment.

                Turns out my flight leaves at 2:45 and our hotel is 3 miles from Prune. Not sure if we'll try to squeeze it in or not. We were also considering Norma's or, if none of those work, Brooklyn Diner has a decent eggs benedict and some tasty fried polenta.

                The two spots you mentioned for drinks look interesting and good for some interesting beverage concoctions. ;-) Thanks again!

                1. re: lynnlato
                  jvish Mar 26, 2009 06:07 AM

                  You will never make a 2:45 flight if youre hitting Prune for Brunch at 10am..unless you really get right in..get quick service and rush out..that being said..Prune is so much better than Normas...

                  also Otto is a nice option for lunch..Its relaxed, un-hurried, lots of great wine..and a nice selection of antipasti to pick on...Lupa is much much better than Otto for dinner..but I think Otto is a perfect lunch spot.

                  Casa Mono you will love..

                  1. re: jvish
                    k
                    kathryn Mar 26, 2009 08:37 AM

                    Ditto that Prune is better than Normas.

                    I've had reservations at Norma's and still been made to wait a bit, so they may not be the best choice if you are pressed for time.

                  2. re: lynnlato
                    k
                    kathryn Mar 26, 2009 08:36 AM

                    The bar at PDT is always first come, first served. If you come right around when they open, you shouldn't have a problem. There are always huge crowds on Fridays and Saturdays though. I tend to go on off nights.

                    I would say that Death & Co is a hair better than PDT and Pegu varies dependent upon who is mixing and how slammed they are.

                    1. re: lynnlato
                      s
                      sugartoof Mar 26, 2009 01:31 PM

                      You may really like Hudson Hotel, but I felt you should be warned. Like I said, the side rooms aren't clubby at all, so there is refuge and if your friends want to be party girls one night, they'll at least get it out of their system there. The other bars mentioned are all fairly small, and low on ambience. The focus is on a good drink instead of partying. Pegu is probably the only one with much ambience, otherwise, expect minimal and quirky.

                  3. rosiemac75 Mar 26, 2009 06:45 AM

                    I just did Prune this past Sat. If you get there at 9:30, you will be seated in the first wave. If you can get your order in fast, i.e. study the menu before (I suggest the Eggs en Cocette or the Spicy Stewed Chickpeas) you can get out of there at 11:30. You'll be cutting it close if you have to go back to your hotel to pick up luggage but if you bring luggage with you, you'll be fine. It will take you 40mins to get to LGA shooting up the FDR...

                    Norma's is totally over priced and over-rated.

                    And if you have eaten at Noodle Bar, try Ssam. It was has a great sweetbread dish on the menu that I had last week. (and a whole section dedicated to offal! since you are looking for that.) I also wouldn't miss the steamed buns, and the Uni.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: rosiemac75
                      k
                      KTinNYC Mar 26, 2009 06:55 AM

                      The only issue with bring luggage to Prune is that there isn't any place to store why you eat. The restaurant is so small your luggage will be in everyone's way.

                    2. m
                      MinhLikesFood Mar 26, 2009 07:53 AM

                      You've already gotten a ton of great advice on this, but since you mentioned many of my favorite places i figured i should chime in as well. Definitely do get to Prune by 9:30 with your time constraints. I think the bone marrow at Blue Ribbon is better than the one at Landmarc, though you're right and Landmarc does have great deals on wine. It's also nice that both are open late so you can go well into the night.

                      Go to Ssam bar for sure. Noodle Bar is great, but if you haven't had it, and frankly i think it's better anyway, go to Ssam.

                      With PDT, and reservations, just make sure you start to call at exactly 2:58pm and you'll get that reservation. Otherwise, waiting can get annoying. But while you wait Bua across the street is a great place to hold you over.

                      have a great weekend.

                      1. lynnlato Mar 26, 2009 11:58 AM

                        Amazing advice from everyone - many, many thanks! I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am. Rarely do I get the opportunity to venture out sans the family... the thought of eating my way through nyc again has me giddy.

                        I'm concerned that Prune is not going to cut it. Damn! I really want to go. Bloodies and eggs cocotte after a crazy weekend sound so appealing. But who knows... maybe it could work. If I can be back to my hotel (which is 3 mi from Prune) by noon and make it to the airport by 1:30pm I should be good, right? It's a Sunday so traffic shouldn't be heinous - hopefully. I guess we'll play it by ear.

                        Thanks Again!

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: lynnlato
                          u
                          ukitali Mar 26, 2009 01:40 PM

                          I think if you get there at 9:30 and are seated at 10 and don't drag out the meal, you shouldn't have trouble making your flight.

                          1. re: lynnlato
                            e
                            ESNY Mar 26, 2009 01:43 PM

                            I'm not sure why people are trying to convince you that you do not have enough time. If you get seated in the first shift, at 10am, you have more than enough time to eat and drink leisurely, go back to your hotel and head to the airport.

                            3 miles (60 blocks north/south) in manhattan is like a 5 minute cab ride, esp on a Sunday. Plus LGA is only 20 minutes or so away (from the east side). Just go prepared with a backup plan in case you aren't one of the lucky ones to get seated at 10. There are plenty of other breakfast, brunch places in EV/LES that you can go to should you not get a table right away. Velselka, Essex, the smith, freemans, etc.

                            1. re: ESNY
                              lynnlato Mar 26, 2009 03:27 PM

                              Thank you.

                          2. lynnlato Apr 6, 2009 08:17 AM

                            I am back from my trip and still have all the glorious food and wine swimming in my head. Again, many thanks to all of you for great feedback. Here's a rundown on what we did:

                            Friday lunch - momofuku ssam. Hamachi, braised brisket w/ rice noodles and the best fried brussel sprouts EVER. Of course, pork buns too - yum.

                            Friday dinner - we were still stuffed from our lunch so we went light for dinner at Landmarc Tribeca. We shared a plate of their bone marrow and the foie gras terrine. It was good, but not impressive. Afterwards, we headed to PDT were we had scored a reservation. I have to say, this is the corniest concept I have ever experienced. You wait in this hotdog shop, outside a phone booth. You are to pick up the phone in the phone booth and let them know you've arrived. The back of the booth opens and the hostess peaks out and says it will be awhile. A line began to form behind us as we waited and folks were growing impatient. We pick up the phone again and the hostess said they were waiting for some folks to leave before we could enter. We waited maybe 15 minutes and then were brought in through the booth. It's dark, low ceilings and a large stuffed bear hangs over the bar. The cocktails were not impressive. I just thought it was a ridiculous place and it made me laugh. Ha!

                            Friday night - bOb bar. This is a great place. $5 cover, cheap drinks and just a dark, dingy place playing fabulous music. An open space packed w/ people dancing. 80s & 90s music - loved it.

                            Saturday breakfast - The Brooklyn Diner, Times Square. This is a staple for us when we're in the city. Nothing mind blowing but they do eggs well and their fried polenta w/ sage is yummy and ideal for a "morning after" breakfast.

                            Saturday afternoon - we went to Bouchon Bakery in The Time Warner Center and then sat in the waiting area outside Per Se where we watched folks come and try and open the blue doors - Ha! We ate their 2 yrs ago and contemplated going in to try the bar/lounge menu but decided against it. Instead, we headed over to Bar Boulud. This was a good choice as they have the most exquisite pear cosmo ever. Grey Goose pear vodka, Elderflower St. Germaine lime juice, white cranberry juice and a garnish of two cubes of jelled pear - yum. We also had their charcuterie platter. 3 different pates (beef cheek, chicken citrus, and chicken and pork), salumi, jamon, cornichons, fennal and apple slaw and the most delicious cumuin and lime juice carrots.

                            Saturday dinner - Casa Mono. Champagne, razor clams, duck egg over roasted potatoes, fried sweetbreads, and pumpkin and goat cheese croquetas that made me want to get up and dance. Dessert was a lovely crema catalana w/ mind-blowingingly good fried bay leaves - WOW!

                            Saturday, after dinner - Rose Bar @ Gramercy Park Hotel. Gorgeous place with warm fires burning and velvet couches to sink into. I had a Maracuya Mosqito, their twist on the mojito. Reyka vodka, fresh basil, passionfruit juice and green chartreuse - wow. Afterwards ,we headed to Puego Lounge. Again, a beautiful place. Asian decor, intimate tables. Another delicious, overpriced cocktail - but sooo good. I had the Red Pepper, Red Pepper. It was tequila, agave syrup, red peppers, elderflower lime juice, green chartreuse and black pepper. It tasted like a sweet red pepper.

                            Saturday late night - Blue Ribbon Brasserie. Fabulous bone marrow, much better than Landmarc. Delicious east coast oysters too. The bartender, oyster dude, neighborhood regulars and a Carson Kressley siting made it too much fun.

                            Sunday - brunch @ Prune. We got their at 9:30 and were seated first. The service was slooooow, but it was a good time. Not fabulous, but we drank too much the night before and didn't get much sleep so we were not at our best. I had the soft scrambled eggs b/c it's what I needed. We also shared the cream of wheat w/ buttermilk ice cream and maple syrup (good), the fresh ricotta w/ figs, pinenuts and honey. The merveilles were delicious w/ a nice burst of citrus. My vanilla tea was also good.

                            I had more than enough time to get to the airport. It was another good wknd in the city.

                            10 Replies
                            1. re: lynnlato
                              GodfatherofLunch Apr 6, 2009 08:41 AM

                              Wow what an amazing trip. The descriptions are fantastic, I felt I was their at times. Batali, Chang, Boulud, you keep very good company. So tell me what do you now think of sweetbreads?

                              1. re: GodfatherofLunch
                                lynnlato Apr 6, 2009 02:42 PM

                                The sweetbreads were good, but didn't really do much for me. I didn't find them strange or weird or anything - maybe it was the preparation? Just fried w/ fennel. I was expecting more flavor. The bone marrow, on the other hand a REALLY good time. <wink, wink>

                              2. re: lynnlato
                                Ms.Munchie Apr 6, 2009 09:11 AM

                                Great post L. I was so happy to hear your rip on PDT. No one agrees more on that than me. DUMB.

                                1. re: Ms.Munchie
                                  s
                                  sugartoof Apr 6, 2009 10:04 AM

                                  Oh, I more than agree. PDT is the type of place that should have been laughed right out of NY. I mean, taxidermy, and bacon wrapped hot dogs, plus high end cocktails with novelty names? Must be someone's idea of a joke. It can still be fun if you stumble in on a random night, and there's a booth waiting. I cringe every time it gets suggested though.

                                  1. re: sugartoof
                                    Slob Apr 7, 2009 08:21 PM

                                    The novelty aspect is less off-putting than the cheesy hidden door and the snotty attitude of the uptight woman who answered the dumb phone gimmick at the corny trap door. She seemed very full of herself.

                                    1. re: Slob
                                      s
                                      sugartoof Apr 8, 2009 12:02 AM

                                      I agree, there's something kind of degrading about playing along.
                                      I prefer to just bust right through when the doors not entirely shut, or when people are leaving. The clip board always bugged me too.

                                      1. re: Slob
                                        lynnlato Apr 8, 2009 03:18 AM

                                        You guys are cracking me up - HA! It's all very fresh in my mind and I was equally as annoyed as you. It's just dumb. I mean, isn't this a place for "grown-ups"? It reminded me of something I'd find at Universal Studios in Orlando - the cheesiest place on Earth.

                                        1. re: lynnlato
                                          Ms.Munchie Apr 12, 2009 03:25 PM

                                          yeah. PDT is the new Danceteria. FIERCE!

                                    2. re: Ms.Munchie
                                      lynnlato Apr 6, 2009 02:48 PM

                                      Yea, the best part of it was waiting outside the booth and ripping on the hostess - the others waiting joined in and we had a few good laughs. My friend enjoyed her bacon-infused whiskey though( I think that's what it was), but I thought my cocktail was lame.

                                      That red pepper, red pepper cocktail at Pegu Club was unbelieveable! Thanks sugartoof for that rec. We tried to get in Death & Co. and couldn't.

                                      1. re: lynnlato
                                        s
                                        sugartoof Apr 6, 2009 06:27 PM

                                        Oh right on! Great to hear it. The owner of Pegu Lounge is responsible for bringing back a lot of the old cocktails, and a lot of the bartenders who have worked under her went on to run various other fancy pants bars that get a lot more attention these days. She's credited with inventing some new classics, so I'm glad you took a risk and ended up picking a standout. Sounds like you have a great trip over all.

                                  2. lynnlato Apr 6, 2009 03:26 PM

                                    Oh, I also wanted to point out that we tried desperately to find a Beard Papa's and eventually we quit cuz our feet were sore. We hailed a cab and as we headed back to our hotel we freakin' passed one. We were pissed!

                                    I was told that these places have amazing cream puffs. Can anyone confirm this?

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: lynnlato
                                      k
                                      kathryn Apr 6, 2009 04:07 PM

                                      I've had ones that were pretty warm, from the oven, that were fantastic. But nowadays, they just have the puffs sitting around waiting to be filled. Not as good as it used to be.

                                      1. re: lynnlato
                                        k
                                        kim e Apr 7, 2009 08:16 AM

                                        i first had them in beijing and fell in love. i came back to the city to fulfill that longing and it wasn't nearly as good. so don't worry...you didn't totally miss out. now if you were talking about missing your opportunity to try sugar sweet sunshine cupcakes, that would be another story. :)

                                        1. re: kim e
                                          lynnlato Apr 7, 2009 09:37 AM

                                          Oooh, I don't even want to know about those cupcakes - stop right there! LOL

                                        2. re: lynnlato
                                          p
                                          Pan Apr 7, 2009 03:06 PM

                                          Depends. Japanese pastries are not very sweet. If you like that, you'll like Beard Papa. I find a lot of cream with not much sugar to be a waste in a sweet pastry. Give me a French or Italian pastry anytime.

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