Chef Gabrielle Hamilton opened Prune in 1999. It took a little more than a decade, but when her career took off, it rocketed into the stratosphere. In 2011, she was named Best Chef in New York City by the James Beard Foundation, and in the years since, she has published a memoir about her life and the restaurant, as well as hosted her own television show on PBS. All of these have contributed to Prune's popularity, and the warmly-lit restaurant is now an East Village fixture. Adventurous eaters who aren't afraid of organ meats (or poultry such as pigeon) will especially be rewarded, as these are Hamilton's strength.