Q & A with Americano Executive Chef Matthew Taylor

Marilyn HawkesJanuary 2020
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The Americano Restaurant, Pomo Restaurant Group’s newest outlet, is set to open in North Scottsdale on February 5, taking limited reservations until their grand opening in March. The kitchen will be headed up by executive chef Matthew Taylor, who is also executive chef at Mora Italian, and chef de cuisine CJ Kahley.

The Americano will offer antipasti and pasta as well as steaks cooked over wood fire, a raw bar and caviar service, an innovative cocktail menu and a curated wine program with wines from both boutique and iconic wineries. Desserts will be prepared by pastry chef Hital Lipskin, a veteran of Thomas Keller’s Per Se and Bouchon Bakery.

We recently chatted with Taylor to learn more about the soon-to-open restaurant.

Q: What’s the concept?
A: It’s contemporary high-end modern Italian with an emphasis on our beef program and pastas. So, it’s our take on an Italian steakhouse.

Q: How are the dishes different from a traditional Italian restaurant?
A: A good example of the contemporary Italian feel – we have a meatball dish, but instead of doing traditional meatballs, for winter we’re doing a venison meatball with celery root and black truffle glazed in agrodolce (sweet and sour sauce); and instead of traditional burrata with grilled bread, we’re doing a take on a Waldorf salad with burrata, walnuts, apples, frozen grapes and caviar. There are a few things that are tongue-in-cheek with old-school American steakhouse stuff and modern Italian.

Q: Can you talk about your beef program?
A: The main selection of beef is all Niman Ranch Prime and then, for our filets, we’re offering all certified Piedmontese cattle – more of a grass fed, Italian style raised beef. We’re also offering American Wagyu from Seven X Ranch out of Colorado, which is 100 percent Wagyu cattle. It’s not crossbred with any Angus. And then we’ll also have a Japanese Kobe, as well.

Q: Which dishes are you looking forward to the most?
A: I really like all the pastas. Some dishes include tagliolini with sea urchin and king crab, and gnocchi with black truffle. We’ll do about six house-made pastas all together with a good variety of extruded, hand-cut and stuffed.

Q: What are some of the other dishes you’ll be preparing?
A:  We’ll serve cider-cured Liberty Farms duck breast, turbot, Mediterranean sea bass and tableside tuna tartare. There will be a spinach salad with guanciale and sherry vinaigrette with coddled egg yolk – a version of the old-school spinach salad with warm bacon vinaigrette and egg.

Q: What excites you the most about the project?
A: It’s a beautiful restaurant. They’ve really done a fabulous job in the design and build and that goes for the kitchen, as well. There are a lot of different focal points in the design of the restaurant and from the minute you walk in the door, there’s beautiful art work that’s really eye-catching. We have a 20-foot mural with real pots, pans and kitchenware that’s been mounted to the wall. The restaurant has a super modern feel, but I think it also has a lot of warmth.

The Americano Restaurant
17797 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale
480-573-0001, theamericanorestaurant.com

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