When two longtime friend and industry veterans come together on their first joint project, the result is a comfortable and casual café. Americano 2211 is the combined vision of pastry chef Nancy Silver (Blackbird, Charlie Trotter's) and wine expert Chris Pappas (The Winchester, Sepia). The all-day eatery in now open at 2211 W. North Ave. in Wicker Park, with a walk-up counter serving breakfast and lunch. Dinner and bar service will be added in the coming months.
"The name is a play on a European café, but ironically called Americano," Pappas said in an official release. "Americano 2211 is reflective of true European café culture. Almost anywhere you go overseas there's a café where people gather from morning until late at night." That means get off your laptop and into a conversation over espresso. The 45-seat café has no WiFi — yet — nor a liquor license, however, a full beverage program is in the works.
Executive chef Fred Noinaj (Avec, Analogue), who recently returned from Austin where he was the chef and owner of The Hey Ha Truck, presents an European-influenced menu with breakfast items such as burrata with savory eggplant jam as well as ham and soft scrambled egg biscuit sandwich with refogado. For lunch, the menu expands to offer panzanella salad and seared halloumi sandwich. An extensive pastry program ranges from sweet cocoa-crème fraiche coffee cake to savory wild mushroom tartlette.
Dinner service will be coming soon along with that extensive wine and aperitif program that Pappas promised. The café will also offer Silver's Snookelfritz ice creams and sorbets, including grapefruit-prosecco sorbet and coffee ice cream with red wine cherries and crushed amaretti. Come summer, Americano 2211 will also open an ivy-covered back patio with additional seating for 30. The interior retains the feel of its former occupant, Birchwood Kitchen, with its exposed brick façade and long wood bar that wraps around to the pastry case.
Americano 2211 is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with evening hours coming soon.