The day draws closer for the opening of Americano, the latest restaurant in the Joule Hotel. According to a release, there's a date: Americano will open in early October. And the menu will be creative Italian-American food including pastas and Neapolitan-style pizza.
Americano is owned by Headington Companies and operated by The Joule Hotel. It's being pitched as a "casual neighborhood restaurant," with a patio that opens onto the sidewalk. Chef is Matt Ford, who will execute his creative interpretations of Italian-American classics.
Named for the classic Campari cocktail (and presumably not the watered-down espresso drink at Starbucks), Americano pays homage to Caffe Greco, a landmark café that opened in Rome, Italy, in 1760, and that figures in the 1960 Fellini film La Dolce Vita.
Someone needs to quick-hurry and write a trend story about Italian food in Dallas, what with the recent openings of Saint Rocco's at Trinity Groves, Cibo Divino in Sylvan Thirty, the Sfuzzi's-esque Five Creeks Tavern at Highland Park Village, and the Piada Italian snack-food chain coming to town. Not to mention all the Neapolitan-style pizza joints that have opened since the Medici of pizza, Cane Rosso, arrived.
Americano's menu features house-made pastas, including bucatini with chicken meatballs and Swiss chard; tortellini stuffed with ricotta and butternut squash; and hand-cut pappardelle with Bolognese. There are also Neapolitan-style pizzas, small plates, larger composed plates, as well as house cured meats and cheeses.
Artisanal breads, pastries, and desserts, including gelato, are prepared in-house by pastry chef Ruben Torano.
The bar features a tap program with Italian wines and craft beers, both domestic and imported. There will also be signature cocktails, also on tap.
The interior is a bold olive-green, with a marble-topped bar, curved bronze mirrors, and minimalist furniture inspired by Donald Judd, which combine to create a "cinematic feel." An airy all-season glass-enclosed patio features bi-folding windows that in nice weather will open up onto the sidewalk on Main Street.
It's a bit of a tormented space. Original occupant Charlie Palmer closed abruptly in September 2013. In 2014, the Dallas Morning News reported that a restaurant called Grasslands would open in the space, with chef Gregory Bussey in the kitchen. But that restaurant never materialized. Bussey has left the Joule to focus on his BB Bop empire, with a new restaurant set to open in
Bishop Arts Oak Cliff in the fall.