Thursday, March 25, 2010

New-restaurant jitters at Print

Here at LWF&D, as you may know, we don't do brunch very often. But AV is a fan, and so occasionally we do venture out to an eating establishment around midday on a Saturday or Sunday to see what all the fuss is about. This Sunday, we decided to check out the offerings at the newest brunch contender in town, Print at Ink48.

At least from our perspective, Print has location going for it- it's incredibly close to my place, so it's perfect for a roll-out-of-bed brunch. It's also a serene place to be: the designers of the restaurant did a great job with the furnishings, from a large wooden communal table to live floral accents to chic metal chain-link curtains. Low leather banquettes dividing the room were comfortable; wicker chairs were adequately spacious and supportive. Oh, and the ceramics-- mentioned by name on Print's menu-- were actually quite beautiful.

Service-wise, Print is still getting its sea legs. The place was fairly empty when we ate, so there seemed to be too many runners for their own good-- a water-filler came by approximately once every five minutes; one runner came by with an extra serving of toast just as AV had received his first (ample) plate, looking determined to wedge it onto our crowded table before AV suggested it might not be destined for our table.

But how was the food? Well, the meal started out with two tiny baguettes accompanied by a small block of butter decorated with grains of sea salt. AV approved the bread, which is always a good way to start a Sunday morning.

Bread in a bed

For an entree, AV chose the two eggs any style with roasted potatoes, toast, and sausage. The aforementioned toast was ample and multi-grain, so extra points are awarded for that. The remainder of the food, AV said, was serviceable-- not blow-me-away delicious, but not bad. He did have to request ketchup, salt, and pepper, but once asked for, they were all brought over promptly.

A hearty breakfast

Needless to say, we didn't need four MORE pieces of toast...

I decided to go straight for the liquid lunch and order a green tea. What arrived was a Bodum french press full of perhaps the most delicious tea I've ever had. It was delicate and fragrant and decidedly lovely. Upon inquiry, it was revealed that it was Mighty Leaf tropical green, which may well be my new favorite tea.

A perfect cuppa

On balance, it was an exceedingly pleasant brunch. Everyone was polite and friendly, if still a little sure of themselves. The food was neither astonishingly good nor prohibitively bad. But there are two gripes worth mentioning: first, AV and I found not one but two hairs decorating our plates (one on the toast plate, one in my teacup), which doesn't gross us out disproportionately but should be a red flag to the non-headcovering-wearers in the kitchen and service staff. Secondly, when the bill arrived, my tea was $7. Yes, you read that right, SEVEN DOLLARS. That may well be the most expensive tea I've yet encountered in the city. I know that Mighty Leaf is on the expensive side, but $7 was more than the fruit salad I was considering ordering; I had naively assumed the tea would be less expensive. Especially for brunch, where hot beverages like coffee and tea are de rigeur, it's unfair to price gouge like that. Print, you're still young, so there's time to make amends. Lower your prices-- on tea and on food-- and you'll stand a chance of upgrading your current status from a shaky three Offset Spatula spot to a four spat destination.

653 11th Avenue, at 48th Street

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