L’Americano Espresso Bar
Time Out says
There’s much more than coffee to be had at this new Alexandria café
It’s not every day that a great café opens up inside a store. But then, L'Americano Espresso Bar isn't your run-of-the-mill, everyday café. Judged on its name alone, this spot located inside the Alexandria outpost of Coco Republic would seem to be all about coffee. But the food is the real surprise here. Because it’s great.
Regardless of what you fancy eating when you stop in, it's imperative you order the provolone tostato (Italian toasted sandwich) with proscuitto and sweet and sour onions. The centre is melty and rich, with a crisp and buttery exterior that's a result of spending quite a bit of time in a fry pan. The finocchiona salami, tomato and mozzarella option is great, too: it's heady with fennel and melts onto the plate.
There’s crostini, too – the Thorough Bread-made slices are fresh and toasted, not dry and stale like many others. Try the braised capsicum crostini with pancetta and burrata – it’s a bargain at only $7 and would do a light lunch for one. If bread's not your thing, go for the soft-boiled eggs with avocado, feta, tomato and basil. They’re generous with the avo, which is mashed and seasoned to a tee (and bread is an optional extra if you feel like amping up the carbs).
The signature salad is like the chopped salad of your dreams – with such an array of ingredients tossed together, every mouthful is a surprise. On the day we visit, there are ripe, juicy figs alongside ultra-smoky fried pancetta, pecorino, finely sliced fennel and bitter radicchio, tonnes of herbs, walnuts and sweet cherry tomatoes. It sounds like too much is going on, but it isn’t – instead it’s fun to eat, like a Pandora’s box of a salad. Order it.
The interior is as chic as Coco Republic would demand, with an Italian Riviera theme running throughout. Miniature boats line one wall, while decorative rope, white marble and darkly stained timber feature extensively. The coffee is good, and offered to you as soon as you come in. It’s toasty and clean tasting, and not overly caramelly. Come for it – just as the name intends, but we can assure you'll find yourself staying for the food.
34 O'Riordan St
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sat 7.30am-3pm; Sun 9am-3pm|