My friends and I have a tradition that we like to call a lot of different names: fancy night, very Dallas night, bougie night, etc. Regardless of what we label it, the evenings always share one consistency—we do something we really can’t afford. Typically this night comes twice a year and never has any real justification. It’s a celebration when we’ve got nothing to celebrate. And so we put on a fancy dress, some high heels, and revel in the fact that our bank accounts are somehow not yet in the negatives.
This week, The Quirky in Dallas went upscale and we checked out the new restaurant at the Joule Hotel, Americano. This really cool restaurant is located in downtown Dallas, which is surprising to those of us who assume downtown is only home to accounting firms and Neiman Marcus.
Americano proved to be the perfect location for an evening of colorful sophistication.
The first thing you need to know about this place is that they have wine on tap. Wine on tap is basically beer on tap’s fancy cousin. Behind the bar, there is a long wall of faucets but I like to think of them as adult water fountains, miraculously releasing the sweet promise of a wine buzz. We opted for the chardonnay, and I have absolutely no regrets.
A good indication that a restaurant is sufficiently high-brow is if you find yourself reaching for your phone to Google some ingredients. Yes, this happened and sure, I could have just asked the waiter but I chose not to embarrass my fellow diners. Instead, I found myself furiously searching, “What is a sunchoke?” under the table. According to Wikipedia, a sunchoke is also known as a “Jerusalem artichoke” or an “earth apple.” Still confused? Me too, but I do know that at Americano you can order them crispy and with salsa verde!
The restaurant is supposedly “casual attire” but don’t be fooled. You’ll find an eclectic mix of people here and most of them will be dressed pretty dang stylishly. I was glad that I had opted to wear my faux fur jacket when I noticed that a man a few tables over was donning a top hat. I wanted to ask him if he, too, was having a fancy night but hesitated when I realized this was probably just his typical attire and my question could be perceived as rude.
On one bright, green wall there is an illuminated sign that reads, “It’s all in your head.” I have a penchant for walls featuring vague yet deep quotes and on this front, Americano did not disappoint. Naturally, I insisted we get a picture next to it. If we ever start a band (unlikely given the fact that we all lack any discernible musical talent) this picture will definitely be our album cover.
The dinner was delicious. I had butternut squash ravioli (just like kale and all things farm to table, butternut squash is a very trendy food and therefore an excellent choice) and finished it off with a pine nut tart (think pecan pie but with pine nuts, because pine nuts are FANCIER.) Throughout the meal, the waiter would walk around the table asking, “Sparkling or still?” as he filled our water cups. I appreciated this because that’s a choice that everyone should have the right to make.
If you want to eat delicious food, encounter interesting people, and take a cliché picture that is sure to get a lot of Instagram likes, then I highly recommend Americano for your next birthday, anniversary, or random weekday evening when you’re kinda feeling fancy.
Hayley Waring is a level 5 improv student at the Dallas Comedy House training center. If the world was a perfect place she would spend her days writing poetry with Alexander Hamilton while sharing an ahi tuna tower.