Notable Restaurants: Prune
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Gabrielle Hamilton’s East Village restaurant Prune, which she opened in 1999, is the archetypal Manhattan restaurant: tiny, holding only 30 people at capacity, and reservations are near impossible to secure. How she came to exemplify that trend was by dispensing with the business of setting trends entirely, opting instead to cook food that is honest, personal, and authentic in its simplicity. Instead of reinventing NYC’s way of eating, she re-imagined her favorite comfort foods, serving them in large portions in an intimate, unassuming setting. Or, as Hamilton put it in a 2011 interview with the New York Times, “The love song was already written, man. I’m just singing it.” Her approach earned her the James Beard distinction of Best Chef in 2011, and was detailed in her bestselling memoir Blood, Bones and Butter.