Take a look at the online menu for Print Restaurant, 11th Ave. at 48th St. in NYC, and you can learn a lot. Ride your cursor over the ingredients and you will find a whole lot more than overblown descriptions of flavors.
You will discover that the impossibly magenta oranges in the Blood Orange Salad come from Isabelle’s Orange Orchard in New Orleans. The butternut squash that serves as a tasty whipped landing for the Pan-roasted Snapper comes from Paisley Farm, which coordinates a co-op of upstate NY farms consisting of 25 like minded farmers seeking to distribute their crops.
Most ingredients on Print Restaurant’s menu can be linked back to their farm source. This amazing information is provided by Real Times Farms, a crowd-sourced online food guide.
Real Times Farms has a hugely ambitious mission to “provide one location where you can learn about where your food comes from, whether staying in or eating out, so you can trust the food you eat. As crazy as it sounds, our vision is to collectively document the whole food system.”
The mission is closely related to Print Restaurant’s mission. Print wants you to know where your food was grown.
And so does their full time forager, Johanna Kolodny.
Kolodny spends her days searching for the freshest, mostly organic, ingredients from farmers in the NY region and beyond. In season, she may be spotted investigating the colorful offerings and artisans’ products at the expansive farmers’ market in Union Square in NYC.
Or she may be on the road checking out a local farm. She may be speaking to vendors in other regions who offer ingredients that are not grown locally but are grown sustainably somewhere beyond the tri-state area.
Here’s how that kind of commitment plays out: The food at Print is deceptively simple and simply fantastic.
This attention to detail about sourcing may be of interest to some. I am one of this kinda gals.
If you are NOT, just enjoy the fresh flavors of seasonal dishes, beautifully prepared by a deeply experienced and talented team in the kitchen. Rest assured that the ingredients are the best available.
There are plenty of vegetarian choices if you are Kosher Like Me, veg or vegan. At lunch and dinner, the vegetarian choices in both first and second courses were about 50% of the menu items.
Ingredients are fully disclosed so you don’t need to wonder if the soup stock starts with chicken or vegetables. The reveal feels honest and the food is pure and fully flavored.
I joined committed locavore, food historian, and culinary guide, Alexandra Leaf for lunch there recently. I jumped at a special opportunity to meet the forager, the owner, have a tour of the multiple kitchens and enjoy lunch and conversation together. All of this was offered through the 92YTribeca.
We enjoyed a three course fixed price menu. The Blood Orange Salad was bright with citrus flavors from those precious blood oranges that are available only for a passing moment in the dead of winter.
A multi-colored, variegated bed of red watercress was topped with almonds, Medjool dates and Parmesan, dressed in a perfect orange vinaigrette that I would have been happy to slurp with a tablespoon.
Pan-roasted Snapper rested on a cushion of cauliflower puree over a perfectly seasoned pool of sauteed butternut squash, with additions of habernero heat and mushrooms to anchor the flavors.
Dessert included 2 choices.
I (quietly and privately) tormented myself by steering clear of the Whipped Chocolate Flan with heavy cream and bittersweet chocolate sorbet.
I felt it my duty to check out the texture, consistency and flavors of the Sticky Pumpkin Toffee Pudding served with Walnut Ice Cream. It was presented with a crunchy pumpkin seed confection wedged into the generous scoop of frozen nutty treat.
Executive Pastry Chef Heather Carlucci-Rodriguez, recognized in her sphere as a brilliant and talented purist, blew me away with the gooey caramel draped over perfectly spiced pumpkin pudding. The walnut ice cream was heavenly rich with chunks of chew provided by walnuts and the accompanying pumpkin seed crunch.
Look for these items on the menu and they may be gone or altered, as the weeks bring on new crops and ingredients disappear. That’s part of the fun and proof of the authenticity of Print Restaurant’s mission.
Not to be overlooked (pun intended) is Press Lounge, the restaurant’s rooftop area that can accommodate 300 people year round. It boasts a large bar, comfortable indoor and outdoor seating and its own small kitchen.
Perched 16 floors up and just one avenue from the Hudson River, with not a car dealership in sight, the views can’t be beat. I am waiting for an early summer eve to have a cocktail overlooking the river .
I’ll return sooner than that to check out the ever changing offerings in the comfortable and beautiful dining room at Print.