Superman, Suzy, Nam, and I all went to Prune for brunch the other week. I’ve read that Prune is be arguably the best brunch spot in the city and wanted to investigate. I read Gabbie Hamilton’s book, Blood, Bones, and Butter and found her to be a really fascinating character (Keep a lookout as in a few weeks I will try to publish a string of thoughts on chefs biographies that I’ve read lately!).
The wait at Prune is supposed to be pretty heft later in the day, so we arrived right when they opened and were seated promptly downstairs. The mimosas there are really unique and combine an unexpected bunch of ingredients.
Chef: Takashi Inoue
Date: February 25, 2013
I’ve wanted to try Takashi for a few months now, ever since I heard about it from a friend. The NYTimes summarizes it pretty well in its review: “[Takashi] specializes in raw offal and Korean-style Japanese barbecue.” The menu has a bunch of bizarre dishes and cuts of meat to try, and this is one of the few restaurants where I can see that I want to try the entire menu. (You can check out the menu here.)
Pretty much EVERYTHING on the menu looks amazing. “Calf’s brain cream tube”? Bone marrow–and–crawfish dumplings? Beef heart chili? Beef tongue, stomach, and cheek? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and YES. I wanted to try EVERYTHING!
As for thoughts of the meal, I thought everything was pretty good. Generally, the ingredients were high-quality, and most of the stuff tasted fresh. As for subpar dishes, the gyutoro-temaki sushi, bone marrow–and–crawfish dumplings, and testicargot really weren’t that great.
The food’s kind of pricey, so you should be willing to spend if you really want to try a good variety of the dishes—and I highly suggest that you order a lot of dishes so that you can try a lot of them. They all look really interesting! Also, definitely make sure to bring some friends who are willing to be adventurous!
Lastly, there was a ridiculous moment in the meal when we were just happily enjoying our food and my friend, for reasons unknown, randomly asked, “Can you imagine if we lit a cow on fire? How amazing it would taste?”
Restaurant: Kyo Ya
Chef: Chikara Sono
Date: February 23, 2013
-A lot of friends have been saying that Kyo Ya has pretty amazing kaiseki, so I’ve wanted to try it for a while now. However, I never got around to actually trying it until recently, when I finally found some friends who were willing to go with me.
-A lot of the ingredients in the meal were seasonal, and I definitely appreciate how Chef Sono tries to use the best ingredients available.
-Overall, it was a pretty great kaiseki meal! A lot of the courses and ingredients didn’t have flavors that were too strong, so I can definitely see why people see Kyo Ya as really authentic—many of the flavors were more subtle and nuanced.