Whilst I was in New York I had the pleasure of having lunch with Adam Roberts of Amateurgourmet.com who is a very friendly fun person with a great blog and book. We decided to go to Prune in the East Village, which is run by Chef/Owner Gabrielle Hamilton. It’s a very laid back unpretentious neighborhood place and I loved it. We had an excellent meal and afterwards we also visited Bespoke Chocolates.
To start we shared a starter of Pasta Kerchief with French Ham, Poached Egg and Pine Nuts. This was a very good dish with very memorable flavours, it took me back to my French exchange trip when I was 13 where I was served a Galette Complete, which is a buckwheat crepe with an egg, ham and emmental cheese. The stand out though was had in the entrée. We both ordered the Cod, which is served in a saffron broth with leeks potatoes and cabbage with the addition of cinnamon. The Cod was beautifully cooked and the skin was nicely crisp. The chef was kind enough to bring us out a small dish each of what (I think?) she called minestron, she said that she was worried we were not getting enough vegetables. The dish was basically string beans, some sort of white bean and courgette in a little sauce and it was very good.
After our meal at prune we walked a block west to visit Rachel Zoe Insler the chocolatier of Bespoke Chocolates. Bespoke is a small operation run by Rachel and you can actually watch her make chocolates in the store as the kitchen and sales space basically share the same area. Bespoke is popularly known for its signature Pretzel-Covered Sea-Salted Caramels, which is what we first tried. We were advised by the friendly woman at the counter (Rachel wasn’t there yet) to eat the whole thing in one go as it is a liquid caramel. They are divine, crunchy pretzel with salty caramel and chocolate just delicious.
Once we got talking to Rachel you could tell she is really very passionate about what she does and that she strives to put out the best product she can. We got a crash course in chocolate whilst we there as well. Rachel explained just because a particular chocolate has a higher percentage of cocoa doesn’t necessarily make it better, flavor has more to do with the location its grown in. She pulled down a couple bags of chocolate and gave us pieces from different areas around the world and you could really taste the difference.
I liked Bespoke Chocolates so much I actually came back later on in the week and purchased a box to bring home to share with my family and they loved them too. Both Adam and Rachel were wonderful people, very friendly to a foreigner in a strange land (ok not so strange but it sounds nice) so thank you both but especially Adam who was kind enough to meet me for lunch and who I spent a very enjoyable couple of hours with. If you want to read a much better written account of Bespoke Chocolate Adam has a great post on our visit.
Amateur Gourmet, Adam Roberts – http://www.amateurgourmet.com/ @amateurgourmet
Prune – http://www.prunerestaurant.com/
54 E 1st St,
NY 10003, USA
Bespoke Chocolates – http://www.bespokechocolates.com/ @UrbanArtisan
6 Extra Place
NY 10003, USA