Saturday, August 30, 2008

Printworks Bistro: Greensboro, NC

It takes 30 minutes or less to get most anywhere in the Piedmont Triad via I-40 or I-85. Many residents of Winston-Salem and Greensboro don’t travel to the other climes unless something spectacular, historical, or truly wonderful is at stake. Printworks Bistro at Proximity Hotel is definitely worth the trip.

This restaurant is part of the Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants and Hotel family which also runs Green Valley Grill, Lucky 32, and O. Henry Hotel. The restaurant is part of the sustainable movement, using fresh local ingredients, reusable energy from solar panels on the hotel’s roof which heats the water, provides light, and efficiently runs the entire property. The name Printworks is from a mill that was run in downtown Greensboro until 1912. A throwback to this time period, the menu offers bistro-friendly food prepared simply with wholesome ingredients. Traditional and modern versions of classics pepper the menu.

As per usual, this diner and her favorite dining companions attacked the menu, dissecting each course. A bread basket wrapped with a napkin closed with a clothespin and fridge-cold butter arrived at the table. We started with an amuse bouche of a cheese gougère, assorted crackers and spreadable cheese. A smoked salmon mousse upon another gougère arrived at our table during another visit. Restaurants don’t dole out amuses like they once did. It is a good measure of a chef who wants to whet your appetite before you open the menu.

The appetizer list is a bit short, only offering few hot items and a sample of hearty salads. Everyone’s favorite was a toss-up between the salad frisee ($8) and the roasted beet ($7) The salads were served on chilled plates, with fresh, crunchy, seasonal vegetables. The best of hot list include mussels ($10), steamed nicely with fresh crusty bread with which to dip in the sauce, flatbreads, and the lobster gratin ($11). I am a sucker for lobster and I was hoping for melt-in-your-mouth nodules nestled in a plume of cheeses, and it was just that.

Mussels and pommes frites

The entrees did not disappoint with the steak frites ($22), grilled tuna provençal ($21), and grilled lamb loin ($22) leading the pack. Unfortunately on one visit, a server dropped our table’s entrees and we had to wait an additional 15 minutes to be served. Our server failed to mention this, even though we were suspiciously peeking beyond the floor-to-ceiling curtains to see what the commotion was about. The hangar steak was grilled and rested appropriately and the frites are served in a paper cone decorated with another charming clothespin. The tuna was silky-smooth, yet firm to the bite and wonderfully accented atop a bed of arugula, fennel, and olive tapenade. The lamb was the best I’ve tasted in years accented with a tangy charmoula sauce. I am always wary of lentils because they seem to come undercooked or overly mushy. These were just right and the perfect accompaniment.

At only $3 each, a modest portion and an economical meal can be made out of Printworks’ side dishes. The potatoes dauphinois were buttery, soft, crispy, and steaming hot all at the same time. The Brussels sprouts were the best I have eaten. On a rainy night, you might find me there ordering a sack to go, to enjoy the crispy, yet juicy morsels on my way home from work. They are that delicious.

The desserts were modest, at best. The profiteroles (essentially gougeres without cheese) were a bit stale and the tri-flavored pot de crèmes were palatable. Printworks offers a cheese platter and a chocolate mousse to round out the after dinner sweet selections.

Printworks does quite a few things well. Knowing the fare is locally produced and incredibly fresh, is reason enough to patronize the bistro. I look forward to receiving many delicious dishes from here in the future.

Print Works Bistro
702 Green Valley Road
Greensboro, NC 27408

photo courtesy of

1 comment:

Velma said...

Thank you so much for your commentary on Print Works. A colleague and I will be venturing in tonight to check out the wonderful fare.

~Velma Thomas