Neighborhood Guides

Must-See East Village

by Julie Besonen, 02/08/2012

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  • Prune
    54 E. 1st St., 212-677-6221

    Gabrielle Hamilton humbly calls herself a "salt-and-pepper" cook. Her instincts are true and her menu personal at the one and only Prune, a tiny restaurant that has long curried favor with the food world. She won Best Chef: New York City from the James Beard Foundation in 2011, the same year she published her dishy memoir, Blood, Bones and Butter. The accolades have made it harder to nab one of the cramped tables at brunch, which is spectacular but should be avoided unless you have time and patience. The payoff: a famously extensive Bloody Mary menu, plus dishes like a quirky and delicious fried-oyster omelet with rémoulade sauce. Dinner has its bewitching charms, but a weekday lunch is the time of least bedlam. You can waltz in, get a table and feel unrushed while savoring something as elemental as half an avocado with olive oil, salt and lemon.

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