What’s On The Princi Menu? The Starbucks Reserve Roastery’s New Bakery & Café Has Something For Everyone
With news that Italian bakery Princi has opened up shop inside the Starbucks Reserve Roastery — and with more locations in several upcoming Roasteries on the way — the big question on many people’s minds is this: What’s on the Princi menu at Starbucks? The answer is, A Lot. Princi’s recipe library has over 100 items in it, spanning from breakfast to cocktail hour — so there’s literally something for everyone, no matter what time of day it is.
“When we first approached [Princi founder] Rocco Princi’s menu to understand what would be the best starting point for us to pair with our coffee for the Roastery,” Alan Booth, Director of Culinary Operations, tells Bustle, “we looked at the overall portfolio of recipes that he’s developed over the years, and we chose the things that were going to create those different meals throughout the day that will meet our customer needs, but also that really represent Princi.” Booth estimates that about 80 percent of Princi’s European recipes have been included in the Roastery’s offerings.
The bakers work in eight-hour shifts, baking onsite continually from 3 a.m. throughout the day (the Roastery itself and Princi within it are both open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.). This allows them to switch out the offerings in the food cases as the day goes on, moving seamlessly from morning to afternoon to evening. The ingredients are all carefully sourced, with many being imported directly from Italy; indeed, that’s Princi’s signature: Choosing exactly the right ingredients for exactly the right recipe. What’s more, at the Seattle Roastery, Princi items are all priced between $3 and $11, too, which means they’re quite all affordable.
Since 100 items is, uh, a lot, I won’t break down the entire recipe library here; instead, let’s take a look at a general overview of what you can expect to find at what time of day, with a few specific highlights under each category. During a recent trip to the Seattle Roastery, I was able to taste a bunch of the items, too, so for those I can speak to from experience, I’ve included some additional thoughts. (Spoiler: Everything was really good.)
1. Breads And Pastries
Served: All day.
Princi is perhaps most well-known for its bread — and you guys? It’s really good bread. What I found so remarkable about Princi’s breads is how perfect the textures were. (Bread is one of my favorite foods, so I am super interested in breads with the right textures.) Highlights include:
- Cerali Ciabatta: Springy yet crispy, this is one heck of a ciabatta. Even if you think you don’t like ciabatta, you’ll probably like this one. It’s delicious.
- Focaccia: Focaccia is really easy to get wrong. When that happens, it’s heavy, and dense, and kind of tasteless. Princi’s focaccia, however, is substantial, while still being light and fluffy on the inside and a little bit crispy on the outside. Served fresh out of the oven with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, it was honestly one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.
- Princi Signature Loaf: The Princi signature loaf uses a sourdough starter, and its finishing touch is a stamp of the Princi logo. Like all of the other breads, its crust is crispy while its insides are pillowy and soft.
Served: Opening to 11 a.m.
Sweet and savory options abound, including:
- Princi Granola: Served with Greek yogurt.
- Steel-Cut Oats: Served with Italian jam.
- Baked Eggs: Served in either a spicy tomato or rich porcini sauce.
- Cornetti: Cornetti are Princi’s take on croissants. Almost cloud-like in their lightness while still maintaining the buttery richness you’d expect of a croissant, they’re available in a ton of different varieties, from plain to filled with raspberry or blueberry jam. (Also, these little treats are served all day; you can get them as breakfast sandwiches in the morning, though.)
3. Pizza Al Taglio
Served: 11 a.m. to close.
Fun fact: Princi’s pizza base uses the same dough the bakery uses for its focaccia. It’s treated a little differently, of course — that’s what separates the pizza from the straight-up bread — but the use of focaccia dough gives the crust a really unique spin. Served al taglio — that is, baked in large, rectangular trays and sold as square slices — it's a bit different than the round, thin crust pizza served as wedges that most Americans are familiar with; it's more rustic, and the crust is a little bit fluffy. Again, though, it’s not dense or too doughy, and the toppings are the freshest you can imagine. Options include:
- Margherita: You know what a Margherita is, right?
- Pizza Verdure Griglia: Topped with grilled vegetables. This one was my favorite.
- 4 Stagione: Princi’s take on a Four Seasons pizza.
Served: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Salads, sandwiches, and seasonal soups make up the Princi lunchtime menu. Highlights include:
- Prosciutto Crudo Focaccia: This one is exactly what it sounds like: Thinly shaved prosciutto served on Princi’s focaccia. It’s the quality of the ingredients that sets the whole thing apart, though; you already know my thoughts on the focaccia, and the prosciutto was honestly some of the best I’ve ever had.
- Primavera: A lightly dressed salad of bib lettuce, radicchio, and caperberries. The caperberries lend it a tart little punch.
- Chicken and Artichoke Salad: A delightful mix of chicken, chickpeas, corn, peas, celery, carrots, and tomatoes.
Served: 4 p.m. to close.
Two words: Happy. Hour. But, like, the classiest and yet also most relaxed of happier hours (which, really, is the best kind of happy hour). There’s a full bar at the Roastery Princi, with wine, beer, and cocktails inspired by Italian aperitivo; together with a delightful small plates menu, it’s perfect for unwinding at the end of the day before you head off to dinner. Try:
- Aperol Spritz: Princi’s take on this classic is light and refreshing, and pairs perfectly with the food offerings available at this time of day.
- Olive Sfilatini Pistacchio Mortadella: This bite-sized sandwich made of crispy olive focaccia and thinly shaved meat was one of the biggest hits among the group with which I visited Princi. The really remarkable thing is how many people took a bite and immediately said, “I don’t even like olives, but this is amazing!”
- Reserve Princi Coffee: Naturally, Princi and Starbucks created a Reserve blend together that will be available both at the Princi locations within the Roasteries and at the standalone Princi locations that will begin opening in the United States in 2018. (As a Starbucks spokesperson put it in an interview with Bustle, “Whenever you have Princi, you have Reserve coffee; whenever you have Reserve coffee, you have Princi food.”) Assertive and darkly roasted, but with a smooth, sweet end, the Reserve Princi blend describes itself as “rich and caramelly sweet with deep tones of dark chocolate.” Speaking from experience, it pairs particularly well with… well, pretty much everything in the next category — which, of course, is…
Served: 2 p.m. to close.
You’re in luck if you’ve got a sweet tooth: There are plenty of dessert options at Princi, including:
- Tiramisu: This was a dynamite tiramisu — rich, but still light.
- Crostata Fragola: Like strawberries? This one’s for you. A crispy tart filled with pastry cream and topped with berries, it was one of my favorites on the dessert menu.
- Delizia al Limone: Cake filled with lemon curd and topped with meringue. You can’t go wrong.
Princi is open starting today at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle; additional locations will open up at new Roasteries in Shanghai, New York, Tokyo, Milan, and Chicago starting in December of 2017 and continuing through 2019. Standalone Princi locations will also be opening up in the United States starting in 2018.