By: Malcolm Mayhew
| photography by Alex Lepe |
Chef and Owner Felipe Armenta has been a busy bee. His newest endeavor, Cork & Pig Tavern, opened in June, joining his roster of successful Fort Worth restaurants - The Tavern, Pacific Table and the recently opened Press Café.
The name Press Café originates from the pressed sandwiches and French press coffee served there. Sharing an attractive riverfront building with Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop, Press Café exemplifies the area’s health and fitness vibe by offering fresh fare and several vegetarian options.
In addition to the food, locals are drawn to Press Café because of its chill ambiance. The architectural beauty of the glass building is enhanced by one of the top patios in town. Guests can look out onto the river and grass yard where kids burn off energy as parents dine or relax in the low seating around the fire pit.
Our visit on a busy Saturday afternoon began with a 15-minute wait. With no real place to stand, we made our way to the handsome bar to enjoy a cocktail before going to the table.
Seated at a comfortable booth near the bustling patio entrance, I observed the crowd to be an interesting blend of fitness junkies in spandex, TCU brunch-goers and young families. Don’t plan on having an intimate conversation with your dining guests; the restaurant is very loud during prime times.
We were blown away with the Medi Dip ($11) appetizer. The hummus could have easily stood alone, but it was paired with a muhammara. Unfamiliar with this dish, we asked our knowledgeable server about the flavors. With a walnut base, the muhammara enlivened the taste buds with its spicy red peppers. Served with not quite enough toast, cucumber and rainbow carrots, we asked for a second round of dipping components to get every last morsel.
When the Vegetable Salad with added ahi tuna ($14 + $5) arrived to the table, it contained such a vast array of cubed fruits and vegetables that it was hard to identify them all. The tuna was prepared perfectly. A tart sherry vinaigrette coated what we identified as pickled beets, carrots, avocado, green beans, sweet potato, dates, pistachios and Port Salut cheese atop butter lettuce.
Ticket times were long, as to be expected with the crowd, so our table was happy that we had ordered a hearty appetizer and salads. The Rotisserie Chicken ($17) main dish is comprised of an organic half bird served with a brown crispy skin and a side of nutty couscous tossed with cubed veggies. Elevated with creative seasonings of harissa and Aleppo peppers, the chicken was a tad dry but overall didn’t disappoint.
Our attentive server cleared the plates and described the desserts. After a little arguing and compromising by some, our table opted for the Jenny’s Cake ($11). Featuring homemade mademoiselle jam, which blends lemon, strawberries and Grand Marnier, this dessert was a slice of heaven. The layered cake is perfectly moist and topped with a fluffy, yet dense, strawberry icing and milk crumbs.
With the sweet taste still in my mouth, it was slightly soured when the bill arrived. Prices at Press Café are a bit hefty, but I’m not saying that is wasn’t worth it. Our experience was a good one, and our brunch group will definitely return…especially when fall arrives, and we can take full advantage of that glorious patio.
Location: Press Café, 4801 Edwards Ranch Road
For Info: 817.570.6002, presscafeftworth.com
Prices: $$ - $$$
Hours: Mon.-Sun., 7 a.m.-10 p.m.
What We Liked: A fresh, healthy menu is small but well-executed.
What We Didn’t: Dishes were pricey.
Our Recommendations: The Medi Dip appetizer and Jenny’s Cake are imaginative and unlike anything you’d find elsewhere.
By: Malcolm Mayhew