Monday, August 8, 2011

The Emperor's New Dessert

I had to get over my dislike of the single ingredient restaurant name this weekend, as the wisest New Yorker I know had made us a reservation at Prune.

There were no prunes on the menu. In fact, it's the chef's childhood nickname, and has nothing at all to do with that dried fruit which keeps you regular. So with that fact established I was able to enjoy a top notch dinner.

I started with a 'Corpse Reviver' cocktail. Although I was fully alive, and didn't even feel jaded, blimey! was I revived after that gin, Cointreau, Lillet and Pernod combo.

We shared some outstanding appetizers, and tucked into quail (me), pulled pork (TLOML) and lamb (wise New Yorker) for the main event. It was really good food, hearty and robust without being heavy or overwhelming. Just about perfect.

There being no cheese plate, the question of dessert had to be raised. An item called 'Peppermint Stick in Lemon - $4' intrigued me. I turned to the couple sitting at the next table.

'Excuse the interruption,' I said, 'That dessert you had, that looked like a hunk of lemon with a peppermint stick in it, was that this 'Peppermint Stick in Lemon'?'
'Whay yes,' she drawled. (We talked to them for a good while longer and it transpired she was from Mississippi. Best accent ever.)
'Was it nice?' I asked, scepticism written all over my face.
'Well, it was jus' a peppermint stick and some lemon. Aah didn't know what to do with the lemon, so Aah ate it. Aah don't know if that was the raaght thing to do though.'

Needless to say, we did not order the Peppermint Stick in Lemon. To be fair, it's only four bucks, so I suppose it's not the scam of the century. But still... a dessert which is half made of an inedible raw fruit? Presented in a way that confuses the eater into eating the lemon? That's just mean.

I have since googled and learned that this is apparently a fairground treat in some parts of the country (presumably those deprived of funnel cake). You are not supposed to eat the lemon, but to suck the lemon juice through it. My mouth is watering with the thought of the sourness, and not in a good way. And wouldn't it be awfully hard work to suck that lemon juice up through the peppermint stick?

Yes, I was a sceptic before I saw it, a sceptic after I saw it and I remain a sceptic now. It sounds like absolute bobbins to me.

Instead of the Emperor's New Dessert we had the mascarpone icecream with little croutons covered in salted caramel. Like everything else we had at prune-free Prune, it was delicious.

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