In a city renowned for its "gastro-this" and "fusion-that," it was a surprise that my decadent waterfront meal at the Americano ended with a simple dessert. Simple, I soon learned, only at first glance.
What looks like a standard ice cream sandwich—an inch or so of cream set between two butterscotch pecan cookies with a brown sugar-caramel sauce—has a rich maple flavor that turns out to come from a mushroom.
A native to Northern California, the candy cap mushroom has a burnt orange color, and a sweet scent that becomes more potent when dried. The strong maple flavor—the kind that makes you want to put on your plaid and head to Canada—means that the mushroom is often used in place of flavors like vanilla or saffron.
Drawing inspiration from these sweets straight from the California woods, Chef Kory Stewart has turned a classic dessert into a new favorite at the Americano.
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Have Your Steak and Eat it Too
What do you get when you cross a savory bread pudding with a Thanksgiving-style stuffing? The porcini and leek panade, served on Americano’s dinner menu with hangar steak, smoked cauliflower puree, romanesco, and a slow egg. Chef Kory Stewart’s Americano restaurant serves soulful Italian cuisine with a focus on seasonal, California-grown fare—much of it coming from the Ferry Plaza Building just across the street, which holds markets every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
To make a reservation, call 415-278-3777 or visit their website.
Before I went to the Americano, I'd never tasted fish that I'd rave about over steak. But all that changed with a bite of Chef Kory Stewart's Local Black Cod dish.
Chef Stewart, a Northwest native and avid traveler, uses ingredients found at the Ferry Plaza Building market across the street to create his delicious Italian-American cuisine with a decidedly Californian spin—dishes are seasonal, hand-made, and very focused on local ingredients. With a view overlooking the water, it's no surprise that the Americano has great seafood (a San Franciscan staple) but the cod was a step above remarkable.
The fish was served in a Dungeness crab butter broth—my two favorite flavors—with clams, butternut squash, and butter beans. Even with such an emphasis on butter, the overall flavor was perfectly light and not too salty; I soaked up every last drop of sauce with the fresh Acme sourdough bread that came with the meal.
After we paid the bill, I crawled into bed and literally dreamt of eating it all over again.
This is a Monday-Friday happy hour kind of place, not necessarily a weekend destination. And, yes, it's where everyone in the Financial District goes to pick up people after work. Perhaps you consider that a plus, maybe not. I don't care since I'm engaged, but I will say that I love this place for their huge patio, view of the Bay Bridge, good cocktails and fancy food selection.