Impressive: Press Cafe
4801 Edwards Ranch Road, No.105
With its enviable riverside address, Press Cafe has made one of the busiest restaurant debuts since The Woodshed back in 2012, perched on a different stretch of the Trinity Trail.
People love relaxing by the water and the Trinity River is one of Fort Worth’s most coveted features. This continues to prove the theory that if you build it by the river, they will come.
The idea was to cater to the active set (picture kickstands and cappuccinos). So if you stop in for breakfast or brunch, be prepared for a sea of spandex. The crushed granite patio space is packed and soon the open-air upstairs patio will open as well, affording another popular space in which to break up your ride (or enjoy sunset cocktails).
Chef Felipe Armenta envisioned a spot that people could bike to for their breakfast burrito or banana walnut waffles ($13), which are served here with vanilla crème fraiche and candied walnuts − well worth the workout! Another breakfast that is already winning over the masses is the vanilla spiced oatmeal ($6) which is dairy-free, made with coconut milk and garnished with cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut and fresh berries.
So far, Press Cafe has certainly found that intended (healthy lifestyle) audience, plus everyone else in search of this clean and curated menu, and I do mean everyone. It is a beehive of activity from morning to night, but worth the wait.
Armenta prepares modern and fresh dishes that are endlessly appealing, and he has had our attention for years. He gained a loyal fan base at his other two local restaurants, The Tavern, located on Hulen Street, and Pacific Table which is tucked in the corner of University Plaza. And, West 7th developers recently announced that his next venture will be to bring his San Angelo- and Odessa-based Cork & Pig (featuring pizza and wine) to town as well.
Press Cafe’s tuna and shrimp poke ($14) is a stunning appetizer and would make a hearty high-protein meal on its own. Ruby-red diced ahi tuna and sliced jumbo shrimp are mixed with sweet mango bits and a little avocado. The generous presentation is dusted with pine nuts and served with a side of house-made crispy potato chips for dipping. A drizzle of Thai chili sauce, with just a hint of jalapeno, brings the dish together.
Well-known for his excellent and creative salads, Armenta has added a few notable new salad dishes at Press Cafe. The little farmer’s salad ($8) is not all that little, mounded with curly kale, avocado, quinoa and green grapes. Pro-tip: order it with one of the other vegetable sides for a fun vegetarian meal.
The heirloom vegetable salad ($13) will make you feel good about yourself. It is brimming with hand-cut seasonal vegetables (both red and yellow beets and green peas at our visit), seasonal fruit, avocado, pistachios, port salut cheese and a dusting of black chia seeds.
The trailhead chicken salad ($14) is hearty and boasts plenty of shredded organic rotisserie chicken, avocado, wild greens, pine nuts, bacon and crumbles of Point Reyes blue cheese. The light pistachio vinaigrette was just enough to coat every leaf, no puddles of dressing necessary.
On a recent weekend night, the fish of the day was salmon ratatouille ($22), a generous portion of grilled salmon placed atop smoky ratatouille (typically stewed seasonal vegetables). This one was light and not tomato laden. And, as busy as the restaurant was that night, the salmon was cooked perfectly.
General manager Jenny Crossland’s strawberry mademoiselle cake takes a star turn on the new menu. “It is my tweak on a Momofuku Milk Bar creation, featuring my homemade strawberry mademoiselle jam,” she says. One of the most original desserts around, the layered cake is delicate with jam filling and fluffy strawberry cheesecake icing. It has a fantastic salty balance and is decorated with milk crumbs (she gave me the ingredients when asked, but a girl has got to have secrets, so I will keep hers). You can purchase the jam, which blends strawberries, lemon and Grand Marnier, at local farmers markets.