Saturday, December 11, 2010

Eating New York

Roasted Chestnut Doughnut
In all seriousness: what does one do in New York City? I am lucky enough to be able to make trips twice a year, and just about every time that my boyfriend's parents pick us up from the train afterwards, they ask us what we did, and all that we can say is this: "We shopped a little, but mostly, we ate," and then offer them each a pretzel-croissant from City Bakery or whatever other tidbits we thought were worth toting home. And, of course, they just look at us quizzically, as though we should have gone to the MoMA or at least seen something on Broadway--we just spent the day in Manhattan, for crying out loud!
Call me a philistine if you'd like, but after a string of late nights writing on something like `Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind', I would far rather sit down to a lovely lunch at Prune than brave the crowds at the MoMA. (Why is everyone who visits possessed by the urge to photograph the art? Do they plan on contemplating their pictures of it when they get home from their trips? I don't get it, and all of that jostling just makes me want to leave.) And lunch at Prune was lovely indeed. I really like the atmosphere there. It's a small place--probably seating no more than twenty--with a charming old bar, vintage mirrors lining the walls, penny tile on the floors, plenty of stools, tables, and cafe chairs salvaged from another life, and an open kitchen for the curious to peer into. It's a place with a sort of quiet, unassuming sophistication. And, the food, of course, was fantastic: skate wing in a brown butter-lemon sauce with capers, kale with parm and olive oil, poached pear in vanilla creme, and espresso mousse. So much so that there were actually leftovers from our much anticipated trip to Doughnut Plant, like the roasted chestnut doughnut pictured above. I assure you that it made for a well-balanced breakfast this morning.

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