by Julie Besonen, 08/14/2012
Photo: Alexander Thompson
54 E. 1st St., 212-677-6221, East Village, Manhattan
Men hate to wait, which helps explain the bevy of women at Prune during brunch. Those who have the patience to stand outside this open-air, 30-seat bistro for 45 to 90 minutes will be rewarded with some of the best brunch food on the planet. Let's start with the Bloody Mary list, variously offered with vodka, tequila, aquavit or gin and served with a chaser of Red Stripe. Now you can breathe easy, the wait for the table forgotten. Gabrielle Hamilton's classic eggs Benedict tastes more buttery and lemony than all the rest. Her food isn't particularly feminine, with items such as spaghetti carbonara that's not shy with black pepper. And egg en cocotte might sound French and petite, but the cup holding a coddled egg has a base of savory pulled chicken to be slathered on the thick triangles of toasted white bread. Hamilton's best-selling memoir, Blood, Bones & Butter, is currently in development for a film starring Gwyneth Paltrow, so depending on how that goes, the lines could get even worse.