Mercato

I don’t know why but Mercato reminds me so much of Vivo Ristorante in Edmonton. They could be brother restaurants. Same high end, expensive concept. Same family style dishes. Heck, even the menu design/layout looks identical.

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Hours. Better make a reso if you want a spot here on Friday and the weekends. We came here Sunday evening and it was pretty packed.

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The cool thing about Mercato is that they have their own market inside the restaurant.

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Genius. The layout inside is very cool as there’s a couple different areas to sit at – the bar, tables, or right along the open kitchen. This seems to be a trend in Calgary, Pigeonhole is another spot that comes to mind.

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The menu is split into four: antipasti, primi, second and contorni.

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If you want to see a closer look at each page, click here and here.

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Dessert menu is separate. Pretty standard options.

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Also, some grappa and other liquor to end your night.

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Bread
DSC09076Complimentary bread. Everyone was saving room for the feast that was to come but I tried a slice. Nothing special, just filler.

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Make your own olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette mixture and you’re good to go.

Olives
DSC09077Small bowl of olives to snack on while you wait. These were pretty whatever.

Polpo ($23.00)
DSC09079Charbroiled octopus tagliate with a warm potato, olive and celery heart insalata. This was not what I was expecting when it came out but the octopus was marvelous. Cut thinly, it almost tasted like chicken.

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I have no idea how they did it but we were all impressed.

Gnocchi ($19.00)
DSC09081Hand rolled potato dumplings with asparagus, fresh ricota and meyer lemon zest. Delicious, pillowy bites. Rich from all the parmigiano and ricota smothered on top.

Risotto ($23.00)
DSC09084Riso vialone nano alla milanese with saffron, roasted bone marrow and gremolata. Rich, creamy, decadent. Excellent execution of this dish.

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Roasted bone marrow comes separately. You can choose to eat it by itself but you’re supposed to mix it in with the risotto. Adds even more fatty richness to the dish.

Bistecca ($97.00 double cut)
DSC09087Fiorentina style rib steak with rucola, lemon and olio verdone. This is normally good for 6 people (the waitress was worried it would be too much) but we pretty much ate the whole thing. Super tender, juicy and cooked a perfect medium rare. If you’re a steak man/woman, it’s a must. The five ladies sitting beside us shared the single cut ($49.00).

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The arugula adds a nice peppery taste and the grilled lemon, a light citrusy taste to the meat. I really liked the sea salt that they had on the side. Add a touch and it really brings out the flavours on the rib steak.

Asparagi ($16.00)
Charred asparagus spears wrapped in prosciutto with lemon and olive oil. The prosciutto wrapped around the asparagus didn’t do much for me. But it was nice to have some vegetables to balance our meal out.

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Broccoletti ($16.00)
Grilled broccolini with balsamic vinegar and crumbled pork ciccioli. Great crunch to the broccolini, I enjoyed these much more than the asparagus. Both definitely are overpriced but you should already know that.

Caffè latte
DSC09095Steamed milk added to espresso. O really liked it.

Panna cotta ($12.00)
DSC09097The panna cotta was large, a mix between a mousse and custard. Not my favourite dessert I’ve eaten but passable. The ladies beside us we’re devouring two tiramasu.

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Mercato knows what they’re doing and it shows in the food. We rolled out of the restaurant fully satisfied but this is definitely one of those “special” occasion/splurge places. Happy to have tried it!

Mercato
http://www.mercatogourmet.com/
2224 – 4 Street SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 263-5535

Mercato Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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