A New York Restaurant Story

Gabrielle Hamilton owns an acclaimed East Village restaurant called Prune. It’s a small 15-table closely seated cozy boîte. As Hamilton herself recognized, it was becoming an anachronism in the new dining scene of brands rather than personalities, even before the coronavirus crisis.

Her NYTimes piece about the struggle to figure out what to do in this strange new environment is a poignant, poetic homage to the heart & soul of her 20-year James Beard– winning labor of love. It is a metaphor for so much now that it elicits a tear. One of the best reads of the year.

She began her torturous dilemma during the first warnings of an emerging pandemic “after 10 days of being waterboarded by the news”. What to do? An absurdiste lament, “That we are still a thread in the fabric that might unravel if you yanked us from the weave”.

The best quote is about how the industry has changed over the years, “The Brunch. The Brunch. The purebred lap dogs now passed off as service animals to calm anxieties that might arise from eating eggs Benedict on a Sunday afternoon”.

– Hamilton’s memoir Blood, Bones & Butter one of my faves. She is also featured in my old Northampton anthology Table’s Edge.

3 Replies to “A New York Restaurant Story”

  1. Incredibly touching. There are many different types of pain, suffering and death. Many that go unnoticed. Aside from the heartbreak of this article it is truly a love story. Beautifully written.

    Liked by 1 person

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