When Pomo Restaurant Group restauranteur Stefano Fabbri announced that he’d be opening The Americano, an Italian steakhouse in 2020, it was big news. Not only was it a unique idea to merge Italian food and steak in Scottsdale, dedicated Arizona foodies knew it was bound to be done well, with celebrated Italian favorites like Mora Italian, Pomo Pizzeria and Meat the Ball already under Fabbri’s belt.
While the core of the menu is steak and pastas, there’s something for everyone with appetizers ranging from burrata to tuna tartare as well as salads, a raw bar, more exotic meats like duck breast and a selection of fish. Those with a sweet tooth can also choose between eight Italian-inspired desserts like The Americano Rocher with hazelnut mousse, praline core and champagne gelato or the Amalfi Citrus and Anise Meringue with Galbani mascarpone and citrus compote. Diners can also look forward to cocktails and an extensive wine selection cultivated by sommelier Nicholas Padua.
To get even more insight into the menu, we interviewed executive chef Matthew Taylor on his background, the inspiration behind the menu and his dream dinner guest.
PHX Fray: What inspired you to start cooking and what is your career background?
Chef Matthew Taylor: I began my kitchen career at 15-years-old as a dishwasher at Earls in Calgary before relocating to Arizona almost 20 years ago. From there, I worked at The Wrigley Mansion, Mosaic and then Mary Elaine’s before taking off to New Orleans and Restaurant August. I then returned to Phoenix and worked with Chef and dear friend Robert McGrath before opening Metro Brasserie in Old Town Scottsdale in 2007. In 2008, I took off again to work for Michael Mina at both his eponymous at The Belaggio and Nobhill at The MGM Grand in the capacity of Chef de Cuisine. I came back to Arizona to head the kitchen at NOCA on Camelback before reuniting with Chef McGrath, followed by a stint at Gertrude’s at The Desert Botanical Garden. For the past three years, I have been overseeing daily kitchen operations at Mora Italian and now The Americano in Scottsdale as well. I’ve been so very fortunate for this journey to say the least.
PF: That has been your most significant accomplishment with The Americano’s team so far?
MT: The fact that it has probably been the smoothest opening I have been apart of says a lot about the amazing management team we have created. Paride Guerra, the general manager, has done a masterful job of setting us all up for success.
PF: What was the inspiration behind The Americano’s menu?
MT: The menu toes the line between modern Italian and a contemporary steakhouse with touches of whimsy that pay homage to tradition in both Italian cuisine and regional American. Some nods to the restaurants of yesteryear also play a factor and tie it together nicely.
PF: What are some of the most popular dishes?
MT: Obviously, we are serious about our beef program showcasing Niman Ranch Prime, 7X Ranch in Colorado and Certified Piedmontese Beef from Nebraska. We also feature Miyazakigyu A5 for those looking for something extra special and of course, all the pastas seem to be a hit thus far.
PF: What’s your go-to dinner order, at The Americano or somewhere else?
MT: I like to keep things simple and old school when visiting a restaurant such as Americano or the like. Usually I start with some oysters, followed by a wedge salad and then get into some beef or a nice piece of fish if there’s something less common these days such as turbot or John Dory.
PF: Who in the world would you most like to have at The Americano to try the menu and why?
MT: I’d be proud to show the restaurant off to friends and family alike, but would also love the opportunity to cook for all the great chefs who I have been fortunate enough to work with over the years.
To learn more about The Americano, visit www.theamericanorestaurant.com.