prune: downhill alert?
has prune been going downhill? ate there last night and found it nowhere as good as it used to be. everything over salted and drowning in olive oil. the meat dishes were overcooked. the meat cuts served were tough and low-end, despite being priced at $25 an entree. sauces were watery. the salads were either overdressed or underdressed. the side dishes were too salty and yet somehow flavorless. the whole fish was drenched in oil and way over salted. in general, the menu seemed like a fall/winter menu and not a spring/summer menu: heavy, fatty, oily. but the real problem was that the food coming out of the kitchen seemed to lack any concern or attention for the experience of the diner. is prune like so many other places that, once it's become madly successful, just churns out bland fare, concerned only with keeping their revenue stream up and no longer cooking with care and devotion, at least for the ingredients, if not the customers? and the music was so loud that talking was a bit difficult, despite the fact that numerous members of our party asked the waitress the turn it down repeatedly. but each time, the volume would creep back up, as if nobody in the kitchen gave a hoot about the diners' experience. admittedly, the service itself wasn't bad: waiters were polite, attentive, unobtrusive. but the overall quality of the dishes was so low as to be a bit shocking. overall, it just felt as if the food was prepared without attention or care or, dare i say it, the slightest bit of love. has prune become just another arrogant business venture where diners are supposed to feel grateful that the staff is even deigning to serve us? harumph.
Went back for dinner this weekend -- the host was really nice, too. We didn't have a reservation and waited for two seats at the bar. He kept coming outside to tell us what the progress was. They also sent us some deviled eggs for "waiting so long" even though our wait was only 30-40 minutes for two bar stools (honestly it didn't seem that long to me).
The little dish of deep fried chickpeas were so good, we almost asked for more, but instead went for the Spanish goat cheese with red onions on buttered toast, and bone marrow with parsley salad. The shallots and sea salt really make it in my opinion (I think I might like Blue Ribbon Brasserie's version just a tiny bit more because I like the bread there a little more).
My wild sea bass with chorizo, garlic, and cockles, was excellent -- nicely seared, well cooked, and nicely seasoned. Addictive chorizo. My husband's duck breast with dandelion greens was simple but excellent. Crispy skin in every bite. Generous portion. Hearty, rustic, well executed. Couldn't have asked for much more.
For dessert, ricotta ice cream with salted caramel sauce and croutons that stole the show. We split this and fought over every last spoonful.
Overall, Prune still seems as good as it used to be, at least to me!
Yussdove, that is shocking... expecially since I've always visited prune specifically because of the care they put into each dish. My last trip was about six weeks ago, I had the anchovies which were delicious as always. For my main, I had two appetizers, the sweetbreads and bone marrow. Everything was carefully contstructed, and cooked to perfection. remember remarking how great it was that little restaurants like Prune can consistently put out such good food.
So while not to take away from your recent bad experience, I can't say that I've noticed a trend.
re: Spends Rent on Food
The original post was over 4 months ago... maybe they hit a bad night, or maybe Prune has bounced back?? I can't say, my first experience there was a couple of months ago, and my wife and I followed that up with a trip there a few weeks ago. Both visits were fantastic, it was instantly one of our favorite restaurants in the city. I just wish there were more out there like Prune.