James Beard Award-winning chef Scott Conant debuts The Americano menu

Lifestyle | 23 hours ago |

After taking helm of the The Americano in North Scottsdale last month, the James Beard Award-Winning Chef Scott Conant is debuting his first new menu this week at the Italian-inspired steakhouse offering a range of sophisticated, yet humble dishes paired with celebrated signature recipes that have helped shape his career.

Modern in approach and Italian in spirit, the new menu takes guests on a culinary journey as Conant artfully pairs traditional, rustic cuisine with clever, unexpected twists inspired by his worldly travels to lesser-known regions of Italy like Le Marche and Alto Adige and Japan. From fine steaks, including prime and American Wagyu beef, to house-made pasta, organic salads, Italian antipasti and Mediterranean seafoods including Italian crudi, The Americano entices all cravings with its incredibly diverse menu and is poised to become the pinnacle of fine, yet approachable dining in Scottsdale.

“For me, simplicity is the ultimate luxury and with fine dining playing a big part of my background, I really wanted The Americano to be a creative culinary outlet where I can tap into the soulful aspects of food while creating a cosmopolitan-style vibe within the restaurant,” said Conant. “Everything about this menu is fresh, modern and electric. This is one of the most exciting menus I’ve created yet.”

From classic to extravagant, the menu blends a European style of highly personalized, tableside service with contemporary Italian-inspired dining to create an unmistakable, convivial experience. To start, guests can choose from a range of appetizers including the Focaccia Riepiena ($13) stu­ffed with Stracchino cheese, potato and pesto; Olive Oil Poached Octopus ($20) with fingerling potatoes, olives and capers; and Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks ($19)with seasonal vegetable farro and pumpkin seed “Togarashi”. Harkening back to his early New York City days, Conant has also incorporated a selection of Japanese-style crudo and chilled seafood served with Italian accompaniments including the Cocktail di Mare (MP) with features a daily selection of chilled seafood, cocktail sauce and charred lemon; Yellowtail Crudo ($21) with pickled shallot, Fresno chili and ginger oil; and Tuna Tartare ($19) with blac­k garlic, caper vinaigrette and smoked salt.

Critically acclaimed dishes that have earned Conant his reputation also grace the menu including the Food Network and The TODAY Show-featured Pasta al Pomodoro ($24) with house-made spaghetti, creamy tomato basil sauce and garlic oil; Agnolotti Del Plin ($29) with braised duck, foie gras emulsion and recioto; and Polenta “Cremosa” ($19) with seasonal mushroom and truffle sugo.

An eclectic selection of entrees and house-made daily pastas are also featured including the Diver Scallops ($33) with hazelnut gremolata and cauliflower purée; Roasted Mediterranean Orata ($32) with leek purée, fingerling potatoes and clam sauce; Duroc Pork Milanese ($38) with tonnato sauce, endive salad, and charred lemon; Gnocchi alle Vongole ($19) with clams, green onion sofrito and bonito flakes; Granchio Campanelle ($36) with king crab, sea urchin and Calabrian chili breadcrumb; and Agnello Fiorentini ($23) with milk braised lamb ragu, baby arugula, and sunflower salsa verde. A concise but impressive display of steaks and chops straight from the mesquite and pecan wood-burning grill also appear on the menu and are accompanied by a range of sauces including The Americano Steak Sauce, salsa verde, truffle jus and horseradish crema.

The menu also includes a variety of organic salads like The American Wedge ($13) with bibb lettuce, marinated tomatoes, crispy lardons and buttermilk blue cheese dressing; Heirloom Tomato & Burrata with gem lettuce, basil vinaigrette and lattice tuille; and the Bella House ($11) with baby kale, arugula, bing cherry, pistachio, parmesan and house vinaigrette.

Rounding out the offering are fun, yet familiar sides, which most can be made as vegan or vegetarian, including the Charred Broccolini ($8); Potato Purée ($9) with chicken jus and crispy shallot; Italian fries with roasted garlic aioli; Cavatappi alla Cacio e Pepe ($11) and Mushroom Arrostito ($9).

Conant’s culinary vision shares the spotlight with an inventive cocktail program that is playful and intricately devised. Newly launched for the fall season includes the Basic BB ($16) with black-spiced rum, Borghetti Caffe, spiced pumpkin served in a caramel glass; Them Apples ($19) with house-made apple butter-infused vodka, St. George Apple Brandy and velvet falernum; and the Testarossa ($17) with Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Mertelletto Classico Vermouth, Grappi Chamomile Grappa and orange. The Americano also features a thoughtfully curated selection of 200 distinct wines from iconic, established and emerging Italian and American labels, including Conant’s private label, SC Wines.

Hip and humble, the restaurant offers a chic, moody atmosphere adorned with striking custom art and sculptures. The modern supper-club style dining room, with cozy crescent-shaped booths, rich leather chairs and butcher-block tables, has a front-row seat to the open kitchen and wood-fired grill where Conant’s team puts on a nightly display.

For more information on The Americano and to book a reservation, visit TheAmericanoRestaurant.com. The Americano (17797 N. Scottsdale Road) is open for dinner service Tuesday through Sunday from 5 pm until 9 pm.

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