Print Restaurant – Location, Location, Location

You’ve heard it before and you are about to hear it again – location, location, location.

Hell’s Kitchen is known for its plethora of cheap Thai restaurants and trendy bars, but the farm-to-table concept hasn’t made a big splash in this part of town. Furthermore, restaurants rarely spread father west than 9th Avenue, let alone to the car dealerships of 11th Avenue. Print, the restaurant at Ink Hotel, is thus one of a kind.

This restaurant, owned and operated by Adam Block, is so committed to seasonality and sustainability that it has hired a full time forager whose sole job it is to source products and produce from local farmers and indigenous plants. Black, who has previously consulted for both Thomas Keller and Alice Waters, has put together a menu that seems more at home on a farm in Vermont that on a car dealership dominated street in Midtown.

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The look of the restaurant is sleek, streamlined, and just hip enough to avoid trying too hard. It feels a bit corporate, but sufficiently sophisticated enough for a weekday lunch or business dinner.

dinner and lunch at marea and scarpetta 038 Black bean soup with cilantro and crema 

The beans are tender and meaty, and the soup has a thick consistency. Spiked with fragrant cilantro and a drizzle of tangy crema, it is nonetheless flat tasting. Some additional Mexican spices like cumin or coriander would round in out, adding smokiness. Even some fried garlic chips would have added texture.

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Poached eggs on a bed of seasonal vegetables with speck, Parmesan cheese, and toast

The ideal brunch any time of year. The eggs are perfectly cooked, with velvety whites and gooey yolks that spill out over the salty speck and nutty Parmesan cheese. The vegetables vary by the day, but if you are lucky enough to get some freshly foraged mushrooms and spicy arugula in your mix, you won’t soon forget this dish.

dinner and lunch at marea and scarpetta 044 Steak and eggs with homefries

Nicely fried eggs with firm whites and runny yolks. Crisply fried potatoes with fresh peppers and herbs. And steak that is not only cooked well (that is, to say, rare), but is served with a totally unusual sauce. Dill, parsley, basil…anything fresh and green goes into that sauce. It brings a fresh, verdant taste that steak rarely gets. It somehow makes the meal lighter, so it’s an ideal breakfast.

dinner and lunch at marea and scarpetta 039 Blood orange salad with arugula, dates, Parmesan, and almonds

Why don’t more people use dates in salads?! They are like cranberries’ softer, sweeter, slightly easier-to-get-along-with cousins. With crunchy almonds, salty cheese, and juicy blood oranges, this salad is a textbook lesson in varying textures and tastes. In fact, this salad is one of my new standards. In fact, I can’t wait to recreate it at home – with avocado, naturally.

Print does simple food very well. It brings a well-known trend to a lesser frequented part of the city, and as such has endeared itself to the neighborhood. The service is quite good, and though the prices are a bit high, the food and atmosphere makes up for it. Hell’s Kitchen now has a new type of restaurant to add to its mix.

Location is everything – you should just make sure that your location is at this restaurant.