Mercato is a delightful Italian BYOB in Philadelphia. Though not a new restaurant, my husband and I visited the spot for our first time recently.
We met our friends at the restaurant ahead of our reservation. It was a beautiful night and we opted to wait a little longer for an outside table. Once seated, our friendly waiter came over to go over the menu and open the wine we brought.
We all decided to try the four-course tasting menu, which the entire table must participate in. The tasting menu consists of a vegetarian antipasto plate for the table, then we each select our own appetizer and entrée, and dessert is a tasting selection for the table to share. Our waiter put in the antipasto order while we perused the menu for our individual selections.
I opted for a grilled octopus and fingerling potato appetizer special and the Bolognese pasta as my entrée. The antipasto course arrived with a sampling of olives, cheese, artichokes, roasted red peppers, grilled zucchini and bread. Shortly after, our appetizers arrived. The octopus was tenderly grilled to perfection. Fingerling potatoes, olives and tomatoes complemented the dish. Up next, the main course. My pasta portion was huge, much bigger than I expected for a tasting menu. While flavorful, I left most of the pasta on my plate.
The dessert course featured three small cannolis (which I found odd given our table of four), tiramisu and cheesecake with berries. Each were tasty, though I kept going back for bites of the cheesecake with its rich graham cracker crust.
1216 Spruce St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
tel 215 985 2962
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