Prune. Popping My Cherry Tomato.
The Buzzed Assassin here, and you have arrived just in time to read my first ever review on The Drunken Tomato! (Now, don't you feel special?) Anyway, this is a doubly historic event because this also chronicles my very first Bloody Mary! How is it that I have never had what many (including our lovely blog running Ms. Tomato) consider to be the best cocktail EVER?!?!?! A little background.
I have never been a fan of savory drinks. Savory food, yes, but savory drinks tend to make my upper digestive tract launch into its own version of the Arab Spring. As a result, I tend to stick with neutral flavored cocktails, or cocktails on the sweeter side. Por ejemplo, my favorite high proof spirit is the spirit of my people, rum. Now, as a number of people, including Ms. D.T., know, I am a man of my word. When I make a promise, I keep it, come hell or high water. So, using her inherent wit and cleverness (not to mention a few pokes to my ribcage), D.T. extracted a promise from me to try my first Bloody Mary and to write my first review for The Drunken Tomato.And so, here I am, fulfilling my promise. To ease the burden of my first time, D.T. suggested we go to Prune, which many regard as having the best Bloody in the City. Wary of testing my ability to drink the Bloody, I began bracing myself as I arrived at Prune's East 1st Street digs. I was going to do this, dagnabit, and I would do myself and D.T. proud. The anticipation built even further as D.T. arrived a few minutes later and we waited outside for a table. I prepared myself mentally and physically while initially ignoring and then dismissing the rude PeTA activist who harangued the brunch crowd and interrupted a lovely chat between the Assassin and the Tomato (needless to say, she will NOT make that mistake again). As we entered, I was comforted by the sounds of Janet Jackson's "Design of a Decade." Given a table along the far side wall, D.T. and I quickly made our cocktail choices: a Classic Bloody Mary for me, a Chicago Matchbox for her (see above for her review of this Bloody twist!). Soon after ordering our entrees, we received our drinks, and I made my last mental preparations before jumping head first into the Bloody.My first impression was that it was a very well balanced Bloody Mary. Having accompanied D.T. on a number of her review trips, I get that this can be, sadly, a rare quality among Bloody Mary serving establishments. A number of locales seem to add a bit too much horseradish, opting to have their sanguine cocktails become memorable for their unyielding spiciness rather than for their overall flavor and balance. In this cocktail, the horseradish was, on my first taste, only detectable as a slight spiciness toward the back of the throat. When I mixed it a bit with the celery, however, the horseradish taste and its accompanying spiciness picked up a bit, but not so much as to overpower the rest of the drink. The tomato juice flavor was comfortably detectable but also not overpowering, as was the light dash of lemon juice. It was rounded out with the definite, but again, not overwhelming taste of the Absolut vodka they used as its base. The bartender was able to very deftly balance a number of powerful cocktail ingredients to create a memorable yet sublime Bloody experience, one that left me feeling very good about my vow and left me feeling absolutely ecstatic about not retching, as I feared I would do when drinking such a savory cocktail.But now, how to rank Prune's good effort. Again, the drink was remarkably well balanced, allowing each of the flavors to touch the tongue without allowing any one to dominate. As I have no standard on which to base this, I would normally say that this is the standard candle, and as such, give it thee celery stalks. Let all the other Bloodys I may consume try to compete against Prune's. But, having been with D.T. on previous review trips, I know how rare a good and balanced Bloody is. Therefore, I will put a bit of a thumb on the scale and give Prune's Classic Bloody MaryCelery Stalks.
There you go, Ms. Tomato, my Bloody Mary cherry has been popped, and you were the reason! Now wipe that smile off your face, we are in public...
Prune 54 East 1st St, New York, New York 10003-9313. P: (212) 677-6221.