Americano opened last week, completing the Joule hotel's family of restaurants. CBD Provisions and Weekend Coffee have become regular, everyday destinations for Dallasites, not just guests at the downtown hotel. Americano looks poised to draw just as many locals, if only for the solid pizza offering and an endless variety of wines on tap.
Last week's opening was a show. The hotel posted a party, and the scenesters were out in full effect. Social diva Oh So Cynthia was in the house. Arts diva Anna-Sophia van Zweden was spotted. WTF, is that Cindy Crawford?
Don't mind me. I'm just here to get some pizza and do my best to mind my business, though it quickly became apparent that Americano is not a place for quiet reflection. Everyone could have been talking about the celebrities roaming the halls of the Joule but instead they were scream-talking nonsense in a dining room that was so loud it may have bested a METZ show. LOUD! More people were talking about the loudness than they were about the food.
Which is a shame, because the food shows promise. There are buttery pizzas topped in various styles and pastas including a hearty bolognese. Steaming bowls of hearty cioppino scented the bar with the smells of mussels and clams, and crudos pointed to an aspiring Italian restaurant.
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The only problem (unless you're into such things) is the noise. An entire wall of the restaurant is laminated in plywood, and that may be the softest surface in the restaurant. The walls are painted bright green and red fixtures make for visually loud accents. A neon sign told me it was all in my head, but I couldn't get over the sense that I was completely out of my element.