top 100: prune

Every New Yorker complaining about kitchen size and space should at some point venture to Gabrielle Hamilton’s Prune in the East Village and take a moment on the way to the toilet to peer into the minuscule kitchen and be humbled. With a footprint no larger than most office cubicles, Hamilton turns out effortless, engaging dishes that make you wish you had the forethought – and the energy – to try them at home. Self-explanatory nibbles like fried chickpeas and radishes with sweet butter and kosher salt go down easy while deciding between meaty roasted marrow bones and a spatchcocked poussin. (I opt for both.) Chef Hamilton knows that fat is flavor and she’s not shy about using it liberally. The same might also be said for those no-nos butter and salt. To food Puritans – or anyone presently caught in the austere rage for “new Nordic” – this night be a heresy. To me, however, it soothes like home, which, I expect, Chef Hamilton had in mind all along.

fried chickpeas

radishes and butter

roasted marrow bones

spatchcocked poussin

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