Nancy Silver Adds the Perfect Sweet Touch to Americano 2211

Americano 2211 had big shoes to fill when it stepped into the space formerly occupied by Birchwood Kitchen. The Bucktown spot, helmed by Chris Pappas of The Winchester and pastry chef Nancy Silver might still be brand new, but it’s already proving to be the neighborhood gem customers were craving. Thanks to a bevy of baked goods by Silver, the formula at Americano 2211 is clearly a recipe for success. 


Americano 2211
Nancy Silver

For Silver in particular, Americano 2211 is in many ways the culmination of a years-long dream, and her exceptional, unique pastries deserve acclaim among Chicago’s upper echelon of bakeries. It’s not very surprising though, considering her honed pastry prowess working for the likes of Blackbird, Charlie Trotter’s and her own Snookelfritz ice cream company over the years. Finally, for her, Americano 211 represents a permanent space where she can exhibit her skills, and where customers can revel in everything from Meyer lemon pudding cake to rosemary sea salt biscuits. 

“Everything I like to do is simple and ingredient-driven,” explains Silver, who formerly operated an ice cream cart at Green City Market featuring a rotating roster of seasonally inspired ice creams and sorbets. “I’m working with farmers I’ve worked with for so many years; it’s sort of a hit list of things I like to eat.” Said hit list runs the gamut from savory-leaning pastries like vegetable tarts and quiches, to financiers, Sicilian almond cookies and hickory nut shortbread. “I tend to go a little nut-heavy on things, it’s the German in me,” she says. 


Americano 2211
Pastries at Americano 2211

In addition to her current roster of cookies, pudding cakes and biscuits, guests can expect an increase in ice cream production with summer in the offing. Currently, Americano 2211 has half pints of ice cream for sale, and Silver is ruminating about ice cream sandwiches. As the cafe adds evening service, which will also include a bar, she’s also planning on a couple composed desserts. “One I’ve done for years on and off is a baked Alaska, so that will probably pop up at some point.” 

- Matt Kirouac